Pack Lunches

Not all children have the same likes and dislikes and with the wide world of foods, there will more often or not be something that a child doesn’t want to eat. This is completely normal toddler development however with time this behaviour can become a problem when cooking meals or making up lunch boxes.

Below we have provided a list of resources that we believe will be helpful for families who have a fussy eater or would like so alternatives to spruce up their child’s lunchbox!

What should I pack in my child’s lunchbox?

A perfect pack lunch is a balance of different foods that together, cover all the important things that you child needs to grow big and strong! To do this, it is important to get an idea as to what foods cover which areas.

What do I need in a lunch box?

Carbohydrates are the starchy foods that give you energy – these would be things like bread, crackers, tortilla wraps, pastas, rice and more! Carbohydrates are important as they not only fill you up and digest slowly, giving you energy for longer, they are high in fibre that can help with toileting and also contain vitamins and minerals.

Proteins are the foods that help you grow and develop – these would be things like meats, eggs, kidney beans, quiche, fish, houmous and more! Proteins are important as they makes up the enzymes that power many chemical reactions within the body.

NOTE: Not all proteins are found in meat or fish, you can substitute them for tofu, soybeans, kidney beans, oats and much more! If you’d like some ideas, please follow this link to Healthline as they cover the 18 Best Protein Sources for Vegans and Vegetarians. Please be aware that children under the age of 2 should not have a vegan / vegetarian diet as it can be harmful for their early development.

Calcium are the foods that give us strong bones and teeth – these would be things with a lot of milk in them, like cheese, custard in a pot, rice pudding, Fromage Frais, etc. Not all calcium is found is milk specific products though they are often the first thing people think of.

Vegetables are the foods that help keep the body healthy and are also a great way to get valuable minerals and vitamins. Think lettuce, tomatoes, sweetcorn, carrots and more!

Fruits also help keep the body healthy and are a great source of natural sugars and vitamins. Think apples, bananas, dried fruits, berries, etc.

Why is water so important?

Water is vital to our body in so many ways it’s impossible to list them all here, however we will list the big ones:

  • Water keeps us hydrated and allows us to regulate our body temperatures
  • Water carries nutrients and oxygen to our cells
  • Water flushes bacteria from your bladder
  • Water aids in digestion and prevents constipation

It is important to note that drinks such as tea, coffee and fruit juices do contribute to your water consumption each day however they themselves might have negative side effects.

Drinks with too much caffeine can give you the jitters or keep you from sleeping, think Coffee, Tea or Fizzy Drinks. Sugary drinks also lead to weight gain and inflammation.

Staff at the GBDN offer children the choice of water or milk, we do not give them fruit juice unless it is a special occasion. We still recommend you ensure your child drinks water at home as it keeps their bodies healthy and allows them to sleep.