Bento box – The key to school lunches

Bento box – The key to school lunches

Sick and tired of making ham sandwiches only to find them rotting away in the school bag at the end of the week? Wish your kids would eat a more balanced diet but struggling for inspiration? School lunches don’t have to be boring or require a great deal of effort. Bento boxes are a fun convenient way to ensure your kids consume different food groups and we think they might even enjoy eating it.

Trying to come up with something different each day can be challenging but the advantages of the bento approach is the container guides you through the process. It tells you what’s missing so you don’t have to think as hard — there’s often a big space for some protein or carbs, smaller spaces for fruit and vegetable and a tiny space for something sweet. This not only makes your lunch more attractive and fun to eat, but it also means you’ll ensure they get a balanced meal every time!

A healthy, balanced diet for children provides essential vitamins, minerals and other nutritional goodies that kids need for healthy growth and development. If your kids develop healthy eating habits from the start, it will set them up for a healthier adulthood. Different colours of fruits and vegetables usually contain different combinations of nutrients. So make sure to put a rainbow of colours in your child’s lunches.

Top 5 tips for a balanced lunch box

  • Water – Water is the best choice of drink for everyone and is important for keeping hydrated. Avoid juices, cordials and soft drinks. Kids don’t need them.
  • Sandwiches – Make sandwiches using whole grain bread or wraps. They provide longer lasting energy compared to your white varieties and help to keep children satisfied for longer.
  • Protein – Don’t forget to include some type of protein. Lean meats. meatballs, chicken breast, ham, turkey, boiled eggs, canned fish.
  • Fruit – Always opt for fresh over dried fruit or processed fruit snacks. Most kids prefer eating cut pieces of fruit rather than a whole piece. Squeezing lemon juice over cut fruit will prevent browning so it still looks fresh and tasty come lunch time.
  • Vegetables – Don’t forget vegetables! Vegetables provide a variety of nutrients and fibre to your child’s diet. We suggest cherry tomatoes, carrot sticks, celery and capsicum for snacks and including things like lettuce, cucumber or grated carrot on sandwiches.

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