A healthy lunchbox has a variety of foods from these food groups:
- Fruit and vegetables
- Dairy foods
|Fruit and vegetables ||Dairy foods ||Protein
|1 portion of fruit and 1 portion of vegetables.
||1 portion daily of a food rich in calcium is essential for children’s growing bones.
||A portion of a food rich in protein either on its own or as a sandwich filler.
|Try: Cherry tomatoes, raw vegetable sticks, fruit salad, raisins, an apple, an orange, a banana or a bunch of grapes.
||Try: Yoghurt, fromage frais, cheese, milk, rice pudding, custard.
Always include foods like bread, rolls, bagels, wraps, rice, pasta or potato.
|Try: Chicken, lean meat, tuna or other fish, peanut butter, eggs or houmous.
Remember always include a drink. Water, milk, pure fruit juice and fruit smoothies are good choices. It is important your child has plenty of water to drink.
Keep it cool!
Lunchboxes should be kept cool – use a freeze block or similar. If sandwiches are prepared the previous evening, always store them in a fridge.
Menu ideas for one week
||Chicken and lettuce or cheese and tomato sandwich on granary bread
Low sugar jelly with added fruit
Chocolate or strawberry low fat/low sugar milk shake
||Vegetable sticks – carrot, pepper, cucumber
Slice of pizza
Scone or hot cross bun
||Pasta salad with sweet corn and peas
Slice of cold meat or cheese
Slice of fruit loaf
Banana or apple
Carton of unsweetened orange juice
||Houmous, (or ham) lettuce and tomato wrap
Small packet of low fat crisps
Slice of melon or a tangerine
Carton of unsweetened apple juice
||Wholemeal bread roll filled with tinned
salmon or tuna with cucumber and mayonnaise
Small bunch of red or green grapes
Pot of rice pudding
- Make lunchboxes fun! Pack foods attractively; cut foods into shapes; use a variety of containers. This is an opportunity to re-cycle packaging e.g. use clean, empty containers.
- Involve your child in planning his/her lunchbox. Encourage him/her to try new foods. Variety is the key to a healthier lunchbox. Give praise, reward stickers etc if they eat the new food.
- Vary the sandwiches by using different types of bread. Rolls, granary bread, wholemeal bread, bagels, pitta bread and soft grain bread are healthy choices.
- Try alternatives to sandwiches. Rice salad, pasta salad, pizza, quiche or noodles are tasty options.
- Alternatives to sugary foods and crisps could be a slice of fruit loaf, pack of nuts and raisins (check allergies) hot cross buns, pot of rice pudding, tub of fruit jelly (low sugar).
- If you include crisps only do so occasionally and choose a small pack of a low fat variety.
- If you have pasta for supper, set some aside to use in the next day’s lunchbox.
Download the Welsh Assembly Government leaflet.