PLANNING A HEALTHY SCHOOL SNACKBOX FOR 5-7 YEAR OLDS
It's that time of year again - back to school! Does the thought of getting back into the routine of packing school snack boxes daunt you? We all know that providing a balanced snack box is important, but challenges such as limited time, picky eating, and keeping food fresh, make this hard. We are here to help: here are some tips and ideas for packed school snack boxes for children approximately aged 5 – 7 years old.
- Packed lunch or snack boxes are great tools to teach children about healthy eating principles. Getting them involved in the planning and packing of lunchboxes can create more ‘buy in’ and increases the likelihood of them eating the food (less food waste!).
- When choosing foods for your child, consider your child’s individual requirements e.g. if they are very active they may need more snacks.
- A good rule of thumb to use: Try to choose more homemade, wholesome foods and less processed, pre-packaged foods as much as possible.
- If you are short on time during the week, make time over the weekend to plan a snackbox menu plan for that week. Write down a shopping list, and get everything for the week ahead so that you don’t need to do any last minute dashes to the supermarket.
- Try to make the food in the lunchbox as bright and colourful as possible, with different tastes and textures - this makes it look (and taste) more appetising. Including plenty of fruit and veg will make this easy to do.
- To make things a bit more interesting, occasionally pack the lunch according to a theme e.g. colours, seasonal foods, countries, holidays. Including a special surprise note for your child is also a fun idea.
- Remember to make sure you follow food safety practices. This is especially important in summer - pack an ice block into the lunch bag and use an insulated lunch bag that will keep food cooler for longer; make sure lunch boxes aren’t sitting for long periods in the sun.
- Remember to include plenty of fluids especially at this time of year. It might be a good idea to pack two water bottles on very hot days or when they have lots of activities or sport planned. Water should be your number one choice - make it more exciting by adding some fruit pieces to add flavour. Cold water is usually more appealing on hot days, therefore freeze a bottle of water over night. Once in the lunchbox the next day it will start defrosting and will keep their food cool and provide them refreshingly cold water to drink.
Some snack box ideas:
When planning make sure half the box includes fruit or veggies and then add in the wholegrains, protein-rich foods and healthy fats.
For individualised assistance please contact us to book a consultation. We also do fun educational workshops for kids and can come to your school.