By GMB Nutritionist Melissa Fine
Some simple changeovers that you can make today, these lunchbox ideas have all been given two thumbs up by the kids we’ve tested them on…you might want to pop some of these in your work lunchbox too.
SWAP a bag of crisps with: EMILY CRISPS’ FRUIT CRISPS##
Deep-fried, vegetable oil-laden potato crisps may make an easy lunchbox filler, but we all know it’s not the healthiest one. Emily Crisps’ Fruit Crisps are a just-as-easy lunchbox filler, but one with nutritional benefit – this 100% fruit snack has the same textural crunch as a potato crisp – but without the deep frying and funny fake flavours and preservatives. A single-serve packet gives you one of your daily serves of fruit…the Crunchy Fig Banana is our favourite.
SWAP white flour, sugar and vegetable-oil laden crackers with: BROWN RICE CRACKERS##
Those oily, sweet ‘n salty crackers so many of us grew up on (rhymes with ‘brats’ or ‘spritz’) are still in full force at the supermarket, but don’t offer much in the way of good nutrition. Go with Eat Rite’s all natural Brown Rice Crackers instead – you can get these in the health food section at the supermarket in yummy flavours like Sea Salt + Apple Cider Vinegar and Tamari Seaweed. You can add more sustenance to this lunchbox snack by throwing in a mini Babybel cheese (for protein + calcium), or some hummus for dipping.
SWAP sugar-loaded milk chocolate with: A BANJO BEAR##
A sweet treat that’s good for the kids (adults too!), you’ll find Banjo the Carob Bear at health food stores and even some supermarkets now because this fudgey, naturally sweet, single-serve snack is just so tasty! If you find your little one – or you for that matter ends up being up all night on the days you eat chocolate, a Banjo Bear is a great alternative, being free from theobromine - the stimulating compound inherent to the cocoa bean.
Swap ‘fruit’ rollups or fruit straps with: TRAVEL-FRIENDLY FRESH FRUIT##
A no-brainer we know, but if you pop fruit that bruises easily into your little one’s lunchbox than chances are it will return home uneaten and they’ll be asking for the stick-to-your-teeth rollups again. Try sturdier fruit like little apples, grapes in their own little compartment or container, a banana (just not loose in their backpack), or for more adventurous eaters, a fresh Medjool date might even go down a treat. Taste and texture-wise, a couple of sulphur-free dried apricots might also be a good rollup substitute.
Fruit flavoured yoghurt for: PLAIN YOGHURT WITH HONEY##
Skip the dessert and fruit-flavoured yoghurts – they’re typically sugar bombs. We get that kids might not be fans of plain yoghurt, so why not buy some mild-tasting natural yoghurt (try Vaalia or Jalna) and sweeten it with a teaspoon or two of honey? That way you can control the sugar content. Alternatively Barambah’s flavoured yoghurts (from health food stores and some supermarkets) are low in added sugar.
Any other healthy lunchbox swaps up your sleeve that go down well with the kids? Please share in the Comments!