School Meals are great but if you do decide to make a packed lunch for your child then we have a few tips on what the lunch box should contain so that you child is eating a healthy, well balanced lunch.
Keep them fuller for longer
Base the lunchbox on foods like bread, rice, pasta and potatoes. Choose wholegrain where you can
Mix your slices
If your child doesn't like wholegrain, try making a sandwich from one slice of white bread and one slice of wholemeal/brown bread.
Freeze your bread
Keep a small selection of bread in the freezer. Make lunchboxes more interesting by using different shapes, like bagels, pittas and wraps, and different types of bread, such as granary, wholemeal and multi-grain.
Wraps and pots of fillings can be more exciting for kids when they get to put them together. Dipping foods are also fun and make a change from a sandwich each day.
Cut down on the spread used and try to avoid using mayonnaise in sandwiches.
Cut back on fat
Pick lower fat sandwich fillings, such as lean meats (including chicken or turkey), fish (such as tuna or salmon), reduced-fat cream cheese, and reduced-fat hard cheese.
Always add salad to sandwiches – it all counts towards your child's 5 A DAY.
Always add veg
Cherry tomatoes, or sticks of carrot, cucumber, celery and peppers all count towards their 5 A DAY. Adding a small pot of reduced-fat hummus or other dips may help with getting kids to eat vegetables.
Cut down on crisps
If your child really likes their crisps try reducing the number of times you include them in their lunchbox and swap for homemade plain popcorn or plain rice cakes instead.
Add bite-size fruit
Try chopped apple, peeled satsuma segments, strawberries, blueberries, halved grapes or melon slices to make it easier for them to eat. Add a squeeze of lemon juice to stop it from going brown.
Swap the fruit bars
Dried fruit such as raisins, sultanas and dried apricots are not only cheaper than processed fruit bars and snacks but can be healthier too. Remember to keep dried fruit to mealtimes as it can be bad for your child's teeth.
Swap the sweets
Swap cakes, chocolate, cereal bars and biscuits for malt loaf, fruited teacakes, fruit breads or fruit (fresh, dried or tinned – in juice not syrup).
Go low fat and lower sugar
Go for low-fat and lower sugar yoghurt or fromage frais and add your own fruit.