With a week of school already gone, are you struggling to come up with tasty food ideas for your kid’s school lunch boxes? We’ve got you covered thanks to Anna and Alex from The Biting Truth.
Packing a school lunchbox your kids will actually eat is a challenge faced by the majority of parents. Not only is it hard enough trying to include foods that your kids will actually eat, you’re also limited by what foods you can send thanks to food allergies, food safety concerns and school healthy eating guidelines.
Just last year in fact, a South Australian mother of eight received a warning note for sending a chocolate slice (classified as a red food) in her three-year old’s kindy lunchbox. (You can read the full article here). While the food police might have taken the healthy eating idea a step too far, we as parents do need to consider the how the food we feed our kids affects them. You see, with childhood obesity rates skyrocketing and overwhelming evidence showing numerous benefits of healthy eating at school on a child’s concentration and ability to stay on task, the food you put into your child’s lunchbox is a pretty critical part of their ability to learn.
“Parents have a lot to consider when deciding what to put into their child’s lunchbox. Not only does the food need to be ‘nude’ [food without excess packaging], but it also can’t contain major allergens like nuts,” says Anna Debenham, accredited practising dietitian and co-founder of The Biting Truth.
“In addition to this, parents are being warned of the ‘obesity’ epidemic and the long-term impact of poor diet. It’s no wonder they are confused about what to pack,” adds Anna’s business partner and fellow dietitian Alex Parker.
On top of this, parents are also faced with trying to provide nutritious options that their kids will actually eat, as well as plenty of variety so that they don’t get sick of the same boring lunchbox day in day out a.k.a. flavor fatigue. And with kids eating around 200 lunches at school each year, that’s a lot of food ideas parents need to come up with.
While the latest nutrition survey showed that Australian children obtain around 35% of their total energy intake from processed foods like cakes, chips, chocolate, lollies and soft drink, The Biting Truth believes there is a small shift towards parents promoting healthier eating to their kids.
“Parents are starting to offer children healthier choices and are now facing the problem of the untouched lunchbox. What we need to think about is how can parents keep lunch boxes filled with healthier choices whilst making sure the lunchbox comes home empty,” explains Alex.
To help parents make preparing nutritious lunch boxes simple and much more enjoyable, Anna and Alex teamed up to deliver their e-book The School Lunchbox, which contains more than 25 child-friendly, nutritionally balanced lunch and snack recipes and plenty of practical guidelines for how to pack a nutritionally balanced lunch.
“A healthy lunchbox doesn’t have to mean a lunchbox filled with plain veggie sticks. To encourage your child to eat from a healthier lunchbox, it’s important to find the right balanced between healthy and yummy,” says Alex.
“Keep it colourful and bite sized! This makes it easy for them to grab and eat and keeps the lunchbox fun and interesting,” finishes Anna.
To get your hands on a copy of The School Lunchbox (RRP $12.95), visit The Biting Truth. Use this coupon code at checkout to received 15% off: KIDS15
This article originally featured on J+L Lifestyle.