The chaos and dramas of the morning rush can take away any thought of what’s going into our kid’s lunchboxes. Often pre-packaged convenience foods are the easy answer to filling the void.
With a third of your child’s daily food intake consumed during school hours, it makes sense to keep it healthy and nutritious. Diet plays a major role in everyday behaviour which can affect concentration, energy levels and general health.
It doesn’t take much to include a few ‘superfoods’ in their lunchbox and quite often if kids are eating around their friends they tend to forget their fussy eating habits and more readily accept something new and exciting.
Now, the term superfood can be used loosely and my list below is no exception. I like to call these super foods because they pack a punch in terms of their nutritional benefits, especially for children, and are easy to pop in the cooler bag.
Here are lunchbox superfoods that are easy to include:
Yoghurt – Active live cultures promote healthy digestion and help ward off viruses and infections by boosting their immunity. Protein, carbohydrate, calcium and B vitamins make yoghurt a great lunchbox filler. Choose wisely though and go for a greek style, low sugar version rather than dairy desserts that are marketed towards children. These don’t offer much benefit at all.
Tomatoes – Rich in lycopene, vitamin C, E and beta carotene (all great antioxidants) tomatoes are easy to include on a sandwich, baked in a savoury meal or just cherry tomatoes on their own.
Blueberries – A great source of vitamin C, dietary fibre and super high in antioxidants, the blueberry falls into the low G.I. category (which measures how quickly carbs are released into the body as energy) which maintains stable blood sugar levels.
Wholegrains – Protein for bodybuilding, carbs for energy, fibre for healthy digestion and essential fats, vitamins and minerals…what a wrap! Whole grains offer a slow release of energy which is great for kids to sustain their levels throughout the day. Bake low sugar oat cookies, serve wholemeal bread for sandwiches and rice cakes with honey or avocado as a great pre-sport snack.
Eggs – Terrific brain food for children, eggs are high in protein (memory and concentration levels) and lecithin which encourages the speedy transfer of body fats into energy. They are quick, easy and have their own natural casing. Egg on wholemeal, a boiled egg or included in bakes such as a zucchini slice are ways to embrace the egg.
Avocado – Full of good fats, avocados are full of fibre which helps stabilise blood sugars while vitamin E protects cells against free radicals. Try as an alternative to butter on sandwiches or mash and store in a container as a dip with wholegrain crackers.
Do you have any superfoods you would like to add to the list?