A balanced packed lunch should contain:
- Starchy foods - these are bread, rice, potatoes and pasta
- Protein foods - these are meat, fish, eggs, beans
- A dairy item - this could be cheese or yoghurt
- Vegetables or salad, and a portion of fruit.
Starchy foods are a good source of energy and should make up a third of the lunchbox. But don’t let things get boring. Instead of sandwiches give kids bagels, pitta bread, wraps and baguettes. Use brown, whole meal or seeded bread, not white bread.
Children often like food they can eat with their fingers, so chop up raw veggies such as carrots or peppers, and give them hummus or cottage cheese to dip the veggies in. Breadsticks and crackers are great finger foods and they can be spread with low-fat soft cheese or eaten with reduced-fat cheddar and pickles.
Replace chocolate bars and cakes with fresh fruit or dried fruit.
Here are more ideas for packed lunches with lots of helpful tips