Back to school & back to lunches!

‘Nude’ food, nut free, healthy eating, fussy eaters & the list goes on…..all part of the day to day process of packing kids lunch boxes for busy mums and dads. These days’ parents are more time poor than ever and packing a lunch that ticks off all these requirements isn’t always as simple as it sounds!

What are some of the things that you can do to help save time?

  • Buy a lunch box with lots of compartments.
  • Have a basic routine each week – sometimes parents worry more than kids about repetition of foods. E.g. sandwiches – Mondays, wraps – Tuesdays, sushi – Wednesdays etc.
  • Make a chart for the week listing the main lunch items & what snacks will be packed each day.
  • Bulk cook & freeze items. Mini muffins (sweet & savoury), healthy pikelets, pizza or cheese & vegemite scrolls can all be made ahead and frozen.
  • Pre-cut carrot sticks, cheese, celery and store in sealed containers or bags so they are ready to go.

How to make food look appealing

The simplest things can turn a vegemite sandwich into a much more interesting proposition – especially with younger kids. Sandwich & cookie cutters are readily available at department and kitchenware stores. Sandwiches can become butterflies, dinosaurs and fish in a matter of seconds!

Struggle to get kids eating fruit – put it on a stick! Toothpicks, or for younger kids you can use straws, are always a hit in my kids lunch boxes. Grapes, strawberries, sultanas and as the odd (not so healthy) treat a marshmallow threaded on a stick always gets eaten. Often cheese, kabana and a cherry tomato are done this way too.

‘Nude food’ (food with no packaging)

Nude food primarily encourages less rubbish in the school yard, however there are a number of advantages to Nude food policies. Nude food saves money! Buying items such as sultanas or popcorn in a bulk pack and placing it directly in to a lunchbox is a lot cheaper than buying individual packets of items.

What exactly are ‘healthy’ lunch box foods?

Many schools and kindergartens have now introduced a healthy food policy to encourage long term health and fight the battle against the increase in childhood and adult obesity. Advertising & food labels can be overwhelming and sometimes what we think is healthy is actually full of hidden sugars and nasties that have a negative impact on children’s (& adults!) weight, teeth and overall development.

At Community Pharmacy we offer a number of services to help you with you and your family’s healthy food choices.

We offer supermarket shopping tours conducted by our naturopaths & nutritionists, that teach you all you need to know to decipher the sometimes confusing information on food labels and packaging. The shopping tours are fun, interactive and empowering. Please contact your local Community Pharmacy for details of the next upcoming shopping tour. Places fill quickly, so bookings are essential.

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