A healthy energy-packed lunch can be a parent’s biggest back-to-school battle. There’s no doubt it is a challenge, but we have some tips to ensure you get it right this year! We look at what to pack in your son’s back-to-school bag to make sure he is on the right track for a successful year at school; academically and on the rugby-field.
WHAT IS A HEALTHY LUNCH?
A healthy lunch should contain one main food item such as a wholewheat, brown or rye sandwich, fruit, a selection of vegetable pieces and a snack like dried fruit or nuts. Balancing these requirements with your young sportsman’s preference is the key when preparing a school lunch that will keep him full, focused and energised all day long.
SCHOOL LUNCHBOX TIPS:
- Keep it varied with different sandwiches, wraps, healthy snacks and plenty of fruits every day.
- Be mindful of things that may need to be kept cold in a cooler bag on hot days.
- Get the kids involved in the choices, they will be more likely to eat and enjoy their lunch.
- No one has time to think of creative lunches in the morning, so plan ahead.
- Healthy lunches need treats in them too, so add something sweet or special every now and then.
- To avoid soggy sandwiches, consider putting a slice of lettuce between the bread and the tomato.
- Place a paper towel at the bottom of the Tupperware to help prevent moisture from getting to food.
LUNCH BOX MENU IDEAS TO GIVE YOU A HEAD START
To give rugby parents a helping hand, we’ve created a basic idea of a weekly lunch schedule. Change it up from week to week and you’ve got a winning recipe for healthy, energising lunches all year long.
|Sandwich||Lettuce, Mozzarella Cheese and Tomato||Chicken and light mayonnaise||Lettuce, Avocado and Cucumber||Lettuce, Ham, Mozzarella Cheese||Peanut Butter|
|Fruit||Banana||Sliced Mango||Peach||Sliced Orange||Sliced Pineapple|
|Vegetable||Carrot sticks||Cucumber slices||Celery||Sugarsnap Peas||Cherry Tomatoes|
|Snack||Dried Mango Roll||Unsalted Peanuts||Seed Bar||Small Dark Chocolate Bar||Cashew Nuts|
Remember it is important to keep your kids hydrated during the day, so make sure they have enough water and some juice for energy. When buying juices or other products from the store, look at the labels to avoid sugary drinks, artificial flavouring and colourants, as these things have been shown to decrease their attention span and cause headaches. Some important ingredients to avoid are aspartame, high caffeine content and MSG.
If you use these tips as a guideline, it should make your life easier, keep your son focused in the classroom and physically energised right up until rugby practice in the afternoon, and teach them valuable nutritional skills that will keep them healthy into adulthood. Next time you are tempted to send your son to school with pocket money for lunch, keep in mind that he doesn’t know what he should be eating. Teach him from young so he can make healthy choices for healthy development.