1. Every bite counts – we pack the food we serve our family with good stuff; we’re always thinking of ways to add healthy fats, protein, fibre and nutrients through little tweaks; a sprinkle of seeds, a splash of oil, some extra fruit and veg here and there
2. Eat seasonally and locally – its cost effective, good for you, and good for the environment!
3. We rotate proteins… we eat good quality meat occasionally but vegetables, beans, legumes, pulses, nuts and seeds can be the star of the show too.
4. We personally aim to eat 30 different “plants” a week – it’s suggested to be a great way of improving gut health, and for us it’s been a good way of encouraging our kids (and us adults!) to eat a varied diet and try new things.
5. We minimise, but don’t exclude sugar. There is a time and place for sugar – my kids get a chocolate or sweet treat in every lunchbox and we regularly have something sweet with a meal.
6. Moderate packaged products – of course there are times when we grab something packaged for the convenience, but as a rule we tend to find it cheaper and healthier to try something simple or home prepared.
7. Get outside and move – before you eat to work up an appetite and after you eat to help you digest. During the Covid lockdowns we introduced a post evening meal family walk and we’ve stuck too it since then, and our kids always eat better after a good bit of exercise or play in the local park.
Remember, it can take time for kids to develop healthy eating habits, so be patient and consistent in your efforts to pack healthy lunches for your child!