Easy peasy lunch boxes
How many times have you struggled to think of something different for lunch? And how many times have you wondered how healthy your lunchtime diet really is?
To help you (and your kids!) eat well and avoid packed lunch boredom, we've put together 5 healthy and easy-to-make lunches that don't cost the earth and will guarantee you come home with an empty lunchbox, a full tummy and a healthier routine!
First thing you need to consider - have you got something from each of the 4 main food groups?
A balanced lunchbox should contain an item of food from each of the 4 main food groups of the eat well plate (see image at the end of the article). Foods from the smallest group are best avoided.
2 small wholemeal rolls with spread and 2 thin slices of beef (from Sunday's roast) or a sliced boiled egg with thick slices of tomato and some lettuce -wholemeal is a great source of fibre which is essential for a healthy gut and the beef will give you iron which is needed for healthy blood
A slice of banana bread - low in fat and sugar but satisfies that midday cake urge!
A pear - this will count as one of your five a day
Fruit juice - source of vitamin C needed for good immunity and 1 of your 5-a-day
Actimel - choose from a range of fruit flavours to top up probiotic friendly bacteria needed for good gut health and immunity. There are 11 flavours including delicious Multifruit to fabulous Strawberry and Banana - you'll find an Actimel to suit any taste!
2 slices of white bread (with added fibre) with spread and slices of Edam - this will provide you with a good source of calcium needed for strong bones and teeth
Bag of baby carrot batons - means you can check another of your 5 a day off the list
Pot of hummus dip - will give you a good source of protein and source of vitamin E, an important antioxidant, not to mention a tangy burst of chickpea goodness
Small bunch of grapes - sweet and juicy and also 1 of your 5 a day. What more could you want?
Pot of rice pudding - satisfy your sweet tooth as well as your tum
Bottle of water - to keep your hydration topped up. Crucial for physical and mental performance required in your busy day-to-day lives
Plain bagel, spread with low fat soft cheese, filled with some canned pink salmon mixed and slices of cucumber - addresses some key food groups. The bagel will give you the starchy carbohydrate you need for energy while soft cheese is lower in fat and salt than most cheeses and a good source of calcium. Meanwhile our favourite fish, the salmon, will keep your heart and brain healthy with a strong presence of fish oils (long chain omega 3 fats)
Slice of malt loaf - lower in fat than you might think, and a great source of energy. Add a spread of low fat butter if you're having a tough day
Box of raisins a more-ish snack that are also another of your required 5 a day
Probiotic drinking yoghurt- this will top up probiotic friendly bacteria needed for good gut health and immunity
2 small wholemeal round pitta breads filled with hummus, grated carrot and sliced cherry tomatoes - wholemeal pitta is a good source of fibre needed for a healthy gut, and these fillings are not just tasty, but also part of your recommended fruit and veg intake. Forget the supermarket sandwich which has sat on the shelf for 3 days!
Mini breadstick and cucumber batons with a soft cheese dip - we all love a snack with our lunch. Let this crunchy duo replace that packet of crisps
Banana - as if you needed telling, bananas are a fantastic choice for the lunchbox. Plus they're one of your five a day with energy and potassium to balance body fluids
Carton of semi-skimmed milk - is a fantastic source of calcium needed for strong bones and teeth
Tub of cooked pasta shapes mixed with diced cooked chicken or canned tuna, avocado, chopped red pepper and spring onions - give yourself a treat on Friday. The pasta is a good source of slow release carbohydrate needed to sustain energy levels, while chicken or tuna is a great source of protein needed for healthy growth and repair. Tender avocado will top up essential fats and vitamin E
Small pot of fruit pieces in juice - mean you can check another one of your five a day off your list
Mini cheese - take your pick of cheese, this will provide you with the calcium you need in your lunchbox.
Bottle of strawberry and banana smoothie - as your body is unable to store vitamin C; a fresh blended fruit smoothie will provide you with the contribution it needs to improve immunity.