A Healthy Lunchbox Matters!

***SCHOOL LUNCH--- If you're in a hurry and just want a QUICK list of healthy lunchbox ideas for your kids, please click here.

lunchbox fruit

I believe that giving children a healthy lunchbox, that is nourishing and enjoyable for them to eat, is vitally important. However, the humble lunchbox tends to be the Cinderella of food and doesn't get the attention and care it merits. It gets brushed aside, because we tend to think of it as just 'something to get the kids through the day', while their real diet consists of the meals they eat at home.

But I believe that what we pack for our children's lunches has a special importance that we often overlook. Lunchbox food has a role in providing emotional sustenance to children, as well as physical nourishment. Let me explain---when I used to stand at my kitchen worktop, getting the school lunchbox ready, I always had a very strong feeling that I was literally sending my love for my daughter, in that little tupperware box, as she went off for the day, away from me, into the big wide world!

Lunchbox food is comfort food, especially for very young children. It is their little piece of home that they bring with them into the world of school, or daycare, with all of the challenges that they will face there. So lunchboxes are about more than just food and they deserve our care and attention for that reason---they carry within them the taste of home and all of what home means to a child.

Steer Clear of Lunchbox Junk!

packed lunch

Making healthy lunchbox meals is an integral part of developing healthy eating habits for your kids and not giving them a taste for processed, junk foods that can lead to problems like diabetes and obesity. The quality of what you put in their lunchboxes is therefore very important, because bad lunchbox food can completely undermine your efforts to keep your kids eating a healthy diet. It is vital, therefore, not to think of lunchbox food as less significant, or as separate from the rest of the food your family eat.

Prepare healthy lunchbox meals from whatever you normally eat, and don't buy special, ready-made lunchbox products. Then your kids will get used to healthy eating all the time. When you cut out lunchbox junk, they will enjoy all the other meals you cook for them much more, because they won't have the expectation of anything else.

When you let them eat lunchbox junk at school, they'll want to eat junk food at home too. It becomes a vicious circle of bad-eating habits. But when they never get lunchbox junk, there is a continuum and a familiarity in what they are given to eat, both at home and at school. Successful lunchbox food, should be of the same quality as any other meal you feed your child, and as good and as healthy as the food you yourself eat.

A Little Planning And No More Guilt!

Let's face it, preparing nutritious, delicious and healthy lunchboxes for our children, can be quite an ambitious feat for many of us, on dark winter mornings, as we grope our way from fridge to worktop, still half asleep. Okay, I confess, that is myself I am talking about---I am not a morning person, at least not before daylight!

I had to work out a different way of doing things. And for many of us, this is so---it is not within our capability, in the morning rush, to think up great, healthy lunchbox ideas and prepare them with creativity and flourish. And so, we throw together a sandwich of processed cheese with sliced pan bread, a bar from the biscuit tin and a packet of crisps. And we feel guilty about it.

However, it is possible to make wonderful, lunchbox food that is yummy for the kids and easy for you, if you plan in advance and use ingredients from dishes you are already cooking anyway. Then, after some trial and error, you can build up a ready-repetoire of tried-and-tested food your children love, that with a little preparation the night before, can be put together, even on the worst of mornings, by semi-somambulent parents!

Delicious and nutritious healthy lunchbox ideas.

Practical tips & tricks for lunchboxes.

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Remember! Healthy eating is enjoyable!

Blessings on your table!

The Good Food Angel.


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