Back to school means back to packed lunches most days. While it’s tempting to include easy packet options, these aren’t doing much for your kid’s teeth and overall heath. Here are some healthy lunchbox ideas for parents.
DairyDairy contains a high level of calcium which keeps teeth healthy and strong and also aids in the development of healthy adult teeth. Cheese also contains an enzyme that helps combat bacteria in the mouth. We suggest avoiding highly processed cheeses and dairy products as these can contain high amounts of sugars which are detrimental to teeth. We suggest you try these:
- Add some cubes of cheese to your child’s lunchbox – these can be eaten alone or with vegetables such as carrot or cherry tomatoes
- Add cheese to their sandwich – simply slice from the block
- Natural yoghurt with frozen raspberries makes a healthy alternative to fruit yoghurt
Fruit and vegetablesCrunchy fruits and vegetables help to keep teeth clean in between meals. They are also high in vitamins and minerals which keep the whole body strong and healthy and will help to reduce the appearance of decay. Getting kids used to eating vegetables at lunchtime can help at dinnertime too. Try these:
- Cut up carrot, celery, capsicum or cucumber into small soldiers and serve with a small tub of hummus or cream cheese. Dipping these vegetables makes the snack more interesting. Snow peas or raw green beans are also a great option here.
- Cherry tomatoes are an easy and quick snack to pop into lunchboxes
- Fruit kebabs are a great way to add a variety of fruits into your child’s diet, try adding melon, berries, and pieces of apple or pear to paddlepop sticks.
- You can hide veggies in savoury muffins or eggy muffins too
Left oversWe all know how crazy mornings can get when you are trying to manage getting yourself to work, as well as your children to school, breakfast, bags packed, last minute homework – the list goes on! On those mornings where you only have 5 minutes to spare why not pack lunchboxes with last night’s dinner? Often dinners offer a low or no sugar option which is much better than tuckshop for keeping teeth and bodies healthy.
- Any leftover veggies are able to be eaten cold and will again help combat the onset of decay
- Chicken drumsticks or meatballs are small and easy to eat with hands and are packed with protein to keen them full for longer