Packing A Perfectly Balanced Lunchbox
This is a featured post from Paediatric Dietitian and Nutritionist Susie Burrell, a proud mother of two and leading expert in early childhood nutrition.
Packing lunch, for both parents and bubs, is enormously beneficial when it comes to our health. First and foremost, when we pack food from home we generally include healthier and lower calorie meals and snacks. Secondly, it means that we remain in control of our nutrition, helping to keep our food goals on track. Finally, it saves plenty of cash!
So, if you would like to leave the house each day with a perfect lunchbox for both yourself and your little one, here is how you go about it.
Lunchbox ideas for parents
- Sandwich, wrap or leftovers – A sandwich or wrap is a good choice nutritionally, and is easy to make up the night before or even around breakfast time. Storing extra food from the night before in a container to heat up the next day is a great option! Not only will you get a serve of veggies with your lunch, but a hot meal is more likely to keep you full throughout the afternoon.
- Some extra vegetables – Fruit is a great snack, but even better are low calorie, fibre-rich vegetables such as cucumber, celery, baby carrots and capsicum. Bite-sized veggies are perfect to munch on when commuting, in the car, or when you are peckish at work.
- Handful of nuts – Studies show that regularly consuming a small portion (15 to 20) of mixed nuts ensure we get the essential fats we need on a daily basis, and help keep us satisfied for longer.
- Protein snack – When we are hungry and reach for sweet snacks — like commercial banana bread and muffins — we are rarely satisfied after eating. Rather, when we seek out protein-rich snacks such as cheese and crackers, a protein bar or bliss balls, we will be full and satisfied for hours. Some of my home made bliss ball options are below:
Lunchbox ideas for toddlers
- Half a sandwich or wrap – We often overfeed small children forgetting that they don’t need a lot of food. For this reason, remember a single slice of a sandwich with nut spread, avocado, or cheese is more than enough food for them.
- Small portion of fruit – A few berries, grapes or a baby apple is the perfect portion serve of fruit for toddlers.
- Cut up vegetables – The more frequently we encourage small children to look for vegetable snacks the better! Cut up cucumber, baby tomatoes and capsicum in to bite-sized slices for toddlers to snack on.
- Protein snack – This could be a small portion of cheese, a sugar-free kid-sized yoghurt or some homemade protein bites. Encouraging toddlers to snack on nutritious protein-rich snacks will help to reduce their overall sugar intake, and keep them satisfied between meals.
- Organic pureed meals – Purees are important for babies to develop their taste buds. Bellamy’s range of ready-to-serve baby foods provide a convenient, nutritious and organic choice for children. Bellamy’s offers Australian made, certified organic and sustainable options to give you a hand through the week with delicious and nutritious options.
My easy lunch-box recipes are available on the Bellamy’s Organic Resource Centre and below:
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Susie Burrell is one of Australia’s leading paediatric dietitian and nutritionists.
For years Susie has promoted healthy eating practices in Australia by providing access to evidence-based nutrition and lifestyle advice. She’s also a proud mum to twins, bringing real-mum experience to her health and nutrition teachings. Susie develops content for Bellamy's to help communicate the importance of early childhood nutrition for life-long health and well-being.