Tips to get more fruit and veg in kids’ lunch boxes

By Sarah Noone Nutrition News   |   30th Aug 2019

Back to School – Our expert dietitian Sarah Noone, shares some top tips on easy ways to get more fruit and vegetables in your child’s school lunchbox without the drama.

Be smart with sandwiches – Preparing a sandwich with your child allows you to pack in extra vegetables and salad. Sliced cucumber, tomatoes, peppers and lettuce complement many sandwich fillings. Banana, cucumber and cream cheese or chicken salad are some other sandwich combinations that could work.

Love the Leftovers – Using leftovers from the family’s favourite dinner or making a little extra for lunch the next day, not only saves lunch preparation time and money, but it is also is a great way of adding variety and getting in some additional portions of vegetables. Leftover roast chicken for example could be mixed with salad leaves, peppers, tomatoes, grated carrot, a little olive oil and some wholemeal pasta to make a tasty chicken and pasta salad. Leftover fish can be flaked though rice with onion, sweetcorn and chopped tomatoes. Even leftover vegetables such as sweetcorn or green veg, could be added to a stir fry or curry to take in the next day. Get a thermos to keep foods hot or cold until lunchtime and don’t forget to pack a fork or spoon.

Involve your kids – Children are much more likely to be interested in and eat their lunch if they were involved in helping to prepare it themselves. Why not encourage them to choose which piece of fruit they would like, or fill lunch box pots with dried or chopped fruit? I would encourage older children to make their own sandwiches and don’t be afraid to let them experiment with different salad complements to sandwich fillings.

Plan and Prepare in advance –As much as possible the night before, try washing and preparing vegetables and salad for sandwiches and put them into containers in the fridge, portion out leftovers into containers after dinner and cut up fruit or veggie sticks. The more you prepare in advance ahead of the early morning rush the better.

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