5 Healthy Back-To-School Lunch Ideas For Kids That Adults Will Love Too
By Amy Hopkins; Photograph by Freepik
This is legit the perfect lunchbox…
Don’t add too much fruit!
While fruit is healthy and you need to make sure you’re getting your five servings (or more!) of fruit and vegetables a day, fruit is also packed with sugar. Yes, natural fructose, but too much fruit can still cause a crash. Instead, make sure you have low-GI fruits for sustained energy, such as apples, strawberries, oranges and peaches. Bananas are also great for eating before a workout as they provide a kick of sugar and carbs to give you energy, and potassium to help you recover.
Pack in some veggies!
Adding some crunchy veggies and salad items will give you variety in flavour and nutrients. Swap out some of your fruits for more veggies, like carrots, celery sticks, mini tomatoes (technically a fruit), mini cucumbers, peppers, sugar-snap peas and mange tout.
Want a balance of different nutrients and antioxidants? Think of creating a rainbow with your snacks – the different colours are actually representative of different nutrients and colours, like beta-carotene, which often gives foods an ‘orange’ colour.
Up your protein!
Do you get that 3pm slump? This can often be attributed to not getting protein at lunch time. We’re not saying pack a steak! But some biltong, nuts, boiled eggs and blocks of cheese all provide protein. If you’re vegan, try get a good mix of hemp seeds, chia seeds or quinoa. You can add these to a salad or make some protein-packed super-food date balls and breakfast bars.
– 20g hulled hemp seeds
– 20g chia seeds
– 20g pumpkin seeds
– 50g almonds or almond flour
– 80g medjool dates, pitted
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– 1 tbsp raw cacao powder
– 1 tsp vanilla
– 1 tbsp honey
– 1/4 – 1/2 cup orange juice
– Desiccated coconut for rolling
Blitz together the seeds, nuts and dates until finely chopped. Add the rest of the ingredients with 1/4 cup orange juice and blend until the mixture comes together (this could take a few minutes, so be patient). Add more orange juice if needed and roll into 24 balls. Roll those each through coconut and place in an airtight container in the fridge.
READ MORE: Make Your Own Age-Defying Breakfast Bars
Pack something with substance!
Don’t starve yourself! You need energy to rock that presentation, kick ass at track and just be productive! Feeding yourself a good balance of protein, carbs and fat will keep you satiated. Sarmies are always a good option if you use good-quality low-GI, whole-wheat bread or rye. Many supermarkets stock gluten-free bread too. The trick is to layer your sarmie with healthy fillings, such a hummus, baby spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, avocado or something like almond butter and banana.
Want something different? Make these frittatas:
What you need
– 3-4 par-boiled potatoes, sliced into 5mm thick slices
– baby spinach
– 4 baby marrows, grated
– 10-12 large free-range eggs
1. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease with a little spray and cook.
2. Divide potato slices among a 12-hole muffin tray or a large 6-hole muffin tray. Place a couple baby spinach leaves into each muffin tray and top with some grated baby marrow.
3. Whisk the eggs together in a bowl and divide among the muffin holes.
4. Bake for about 20 minutes or until done.
Note: you can add a variety of other fillings, like spring onions and smoked salmon.
Did you know that being dehydrated often makes you feel sleepy? And hungry? Drinking water throughout the day will help keep you alert and keep those pesky – unnecessary – cravings at bay!
But don’t stock up with fizzy drinks! Even ‘diet’ drinks contain so many additives and sweeteners that could leave you crashing later in the afternoon. Sticking to water is best! To avoid boredom, try sparkling water or water infused with herbs, slices of fresh lemon or berries.