Healthy Packed Lunch Ideas

Healthy Packed Lunch Ideas

For many of us September is the start of not just a new season but the new school term, the morning rush and for many parents the daily preparation of the school lunch box.

It can be challenging trying to get the right balance of foods that are healthy but also foods that your child will actually eat. There has been much in the press over the summer about what schools are offering and campaigning for a better choice. So here at Del Monte Healthy Living we also feel that what we put into a lunchbox should be healthy, nutritious and delicious. Here are a few tips and ideas to get your child enjoying a tasty lunch this autumn.

Healthy lunch box ideas:

  • Keep children fuller for longer by swapping white bread for wholegrain.
  • Instead of a sandwich try a stuffed pitta or a delicious wrap filled with grated carrot and hummus.
  • If they are willing and interested get your child involved (not always possible for time strapped parents!!) with the creating.
  • Offer some variety through the week. Swop a sandwich for a pasta salad or noodle salad – see below a recipe idea that is packed with veg.
  • Encourage water as the main drink. Del Monte’s Fruit Burst drinks are no added sugar so a tasty option if your child is not fond of water.
  • Finger food is fab! Chopped cucumber, sugar snap peas, a boiled egg and some humus for dunking.
  • A small yogurt, fresh or tinned fruit makes a healthy sweet treat. Del Monte Pineapple Chunks are 69 kcal per 100g. About 12 chunks count as 1 of 5 a day.
  • Children love colour so make things bright and tempting with an array of chopped, sliced, diced vegetables.
  • Use tasty protein rich fillings such as tuna, salmon, chicken, egg, cheese or turkey. Add cress, baby gem lettuce, cherry tomatoes or shredded lettuce.
  • For younger children choose the lunch box and water bottle together, so it’s special.
  • Keep portion size age appropriate. For guidelines http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/5ADAY/Pages/Portionsizes.aspx.

This should make 2 lunchboxes portions

1 nest medium egg noodles
¼ cucumber
bunch spring onions, finely sliced
1/2 red chilli, deseeded, finely chopped
50g cooked chicken
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1 red pepper
handful of mange tout or sugar snap peas
Chopped coriander and mint – around 1 tbsp

For the dressing:
1 tablespoon sesame oil
½ tablespoon soy sauce
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
Juice of ½ lime

Method

  • Boil the noodles for 4 mins, then drain. Cool under running water, then drain again. Put into a large bowl, then using scissors, cut into shorter lengths.
  • Halve cucumber lengthways, then scoop out the seeds. Slice into halfmoons and add to the noodles with the onions, chilli, chicken and sesame seeds
  • Toss the noodle mix together with the veg and chicken and divide into lunchbox Tupperware.
Packed Lunch Ideas
Juliette Grove

Juliette Grove

Nutritional Therapist

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