Best choices include fresh or tinned fruit. Dried fruit is sticky and high in sugar, so have it occasionally. Best left out of the lunch box are dried fruit bars and ‘straps’, which are very high in sugar, low in fiber and stick to children’s teeth causing tooth decay.
Try vegetable sticks with dip or a small container with mixed vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, carrot sticks, capsicum and cucumber. Chips and packets of crisps are best left for parties and special occasions.
3. Milk, Yogurt And Custard
Include a small drink of milk (freeze overnight) wrapped in a cloth in the lunch box. Fruit yogurts should be kept cool in an insulated lunch box. Best left out of the lunch box are ‘dairy desserts’ and flavored milks, which are high in sugar.
4. Sandwich, Flat Bread And Pita Bread Fillings
Unusual and interesting fillings can get your child excited about sandwich.
For example, you could try flat or pita bread with chopped carrot, celery, capsicum, snow peas or cucumber Or add grated carrot, zucchini, sliced red cabbage, raisins or sultanas, sliced apple or fresh herbs to liven things up.
Here are more tasty sandwich combinations:
- Cheese and grated carrot
- Cheese, pineapple (drain and pat dry with kitchen paper) and lettuce
- Cheese and chutney
- Cheese and sliced gherkin (pickled cucumber)
- Cottage cheese or ricotta and chives
- Cottage cheese or ricotta and dates
- Curried egg or mashed boiled egg and lettuce
- Mashed egg and chives, dill or parsley
- Omelette, tomato and rocket
- Apple and raisin
- Chicken (well cooked, fresh and stored with a cool pack in the lunch box), mayo and celery
- Chicken, pesto and red capsicum
- Avocado (squeeze on some lemon juice to stop it going brown), tomato (remove seeds to stop bread going soggy) and coriander
- Drained canned tuna, stuffed green olives and tomato (remove seeds)
- Seasoned and baked tofu (available ready made).
5. Muffins And Cakes
Try making your own muffins and cakes as a great way to include more fruit and vegetables. Examples include sultana, carrot, zucchini, banana or pumpkin.
6. Muesli And Breakfast Bars
Almost all ‘bars’ are too high in sugar to include regularly, but cereal bars may be better for teeth than chewy sticky muesli bars. Try to avoid muesli bars and chocolate bars in lunch boxes.
These are expensive and usually stuck together with fats and sugars.