In the Foundation Stage and Early Years Department, the children sit together in their classroom to have their snack and lunch. It is important for growing children and developing minds to eat healthy foods. Therefore, please do not place sweets, chocolate nor fizzy drinks in their snack boxes as your child will not be allowed to consume them.
Is your child bored with eating the same thing day in day out? Or maybe you're not sure what makes up a healthy well balanced lunch box? We hope the information below will give you all the inspiration you need for spicing up their lunches with a good mix of healthy ideas.
To help you provide healthy snacks for your child, here are a few easy suggestions:
Growing children need plenty of starchy foods to fill them up and give them energy. Nutritious meals packed with fibre, protein, carbohydrate, minerals and vitamins will also help your child's growing bones and give them a healthy dose of brain power for the afternoon ahead.
These along with fruit and/or vegetables should form the main part of your child's lunch.
Sandwiches and Wraps
· Sliced or homemade bread. Provide a variety of types including, wholemeal, granary, multi-grain and white bread.
· Bread roll, Arabic flat bread, bagel, tortilla wrap, croissant, oatcake, crepe, pancake and potato cake.
Fillings and Toppings
· Meat - wafer thin cooked meats with cucumber, salad and coleslaw, cubed chicken or turkey breast with tomato and lettuce, luncheon and cheese, roast chicken and hummus, leftover cold meats (chicken, turkey, meatloaf, sausages etc.) with salad, chicken and mashed avocado.
· Fish - tuna mayonnaise and sweet corn, tuna salad, sardine and tomato, fish paste and cucumber.
· Veggies - grated or sliced cheese with pickle, cucumber, salad and coleslaw, cheese spread, cream cheese, cottage cheese with pineapple, grated cheese and carrot mixed with a little mayonnaise, veggie sausages, egg with salad and egg with mayonnaise.
· Sweet toppings - Fruit, jam or fruit spread, honey, chocolate spread and treacle.
· Baked items such as a pizza slice, mini pastry, cheese and potato roll, sambusak, spring roll, cooked chicken drumsticks, cooked fish fingers and boiled eggs etc.
· Carbohydrate based salads such as pasta salad, rice salad, cous cous, potato salad, and tabbouleh.
· Any combination of the following, in a small pot or bag - raisins, sultanas, ready to eat dried apricots, dates or prunes.
· Whole fruits - tangerine, apple, banana, pear, peach, plum, grapes, strawberries or whatever is in season.
· Fruit salad pot - any combination of prepared fruit including strawberries, orange, melon, mango, pineapple, kiwi etc. cut up in a small leak-proof container.
· Homemade fruit puree, smoothie or apple sauce (you can add strawberry, peach, etc. to it).
· Fruit jelly made with fruit pieces and pure fruit juice.
· Tinned fruit pot (useful in the winter if you can't find ripe fresh fruit) – oranges, pineapple, peaches, fruit salad and pears, again in a leak-proof container.
· Salad pot - any combination of prepared raw vegetables including cucumber, lettuce, peppers, celery, cherry tomatoes, carrot sticks, slices of avocado sprinkled with a little lemon juice etc. or coleslaw.
It is important that our children eat a healthy diet that is good for growing bones. A number of healthy choices include the following:
· Fruit yogurt.
· Cold rice pudding or custard.
· Greek or plain yogurt.
· Cubes of cheese or pre-packed lunchbox sized cheese portions or cottage cheese with pineapple.
· Buy some small lidded (watertight!) pots, they are an ideal size for a portion of fruit, salad or dip.
· Even fussy eaters should be given a variety of different foods in their lunchbox (plus a couple of favourites so you know they won't go hungry). They're more likely to eat new foods when mum's not watching and when they are surrounded by other children eating.
· Use leftovers - if they liked it the night before, odds are, they'll love it next day cold - really!
· Remember to pack a teaspoon if you send a yogurt or jelly!
· Remember to label your child's lunchbox. Half the class might have the same design!
· Fillings for wraps can be put into a separate little container or resealable bag to stop the bread going soggy.
· To keep food cold in summer either use a refreezable ice pack, or freeze a bottle of water (remember not to overfill). Make lunches the night before and keep them in the fridge. It saves that last minute panic in the morning.