Is your little one starting kindergarten or school? If you’re after some great tips and advice on what to pack in their lunch and snack boxes, that is healthy but also something your child will eat, Dairy Australia has shared some fabulous information with us.
Dairy Australia Dietitian, Amber Drake, says adding dairy foods to the lunchbox plays an important role in helping to power kids through their day.
“Dairy foods provide a unique package of 10 essential nutrients, including calcium and protein, which have a wide range of health benefits for growing, active bodies,” Ms Drake said.
“Kids at school will consume around a third of their daily nutrient needs at recess and lunch. So it’s important lunchboxes contain nutritious snacks such as dairy foods to help enhance kids’ concentration in the classroom and fuel their bodies for active play.”
Childhood is the time for building strong bones for life. Providing kids with 3 serves of dairy every day helps to set them up for a healthy future, with the school lunchbox being an ideal occasion to include dairy foods in a variety of ways.
Every lunchbox should include foods from the five food groups including dairy foods. Here are some easy ways to incorporate the food groups.
- Sandwich dried apricots together with spreadable cream cheese
- Cut the crusts off a slice of bread, and top with sliced ham and a cheese stick, roll up firmly to create fun Cheesy Roll Arounds
- Cook a little extra dinner the night before and save for lunch the next day. Pasta salad, quiche and homemade pizza slices are just a few examples that are delicious cold for lunch
- Pop a small container of your kids’ favourite dairy dip such as French onion, avocado, or tzatziki with vegetable sticks in their lunchbox
- Sweet dips can also make a delicious treat! Pop cream cheese in a container and sprinkle with cinnamon and honey, delicious for kids to dip crisp apple wedges or fingers of banana into
- Jumping beans pasta salad: Toss a simple tuna and pasta or potato salad with this simple and delish dressing: 1/4 cup natural yogurt, 2 teaspoons mayonnaise and ¼ teaspoon salt reduced taco seasoning
- Pop a few cubes of mozzarella or swiss cheese in a container with sticks of the kids’ favourite veggies for an energy boosting snack pack
- Mix up sweet and savoury! Pop some cubes of cheddar in with: some grapes and popcorn, sultanas and pretzels for a Pick’n Mix bag.
Check out these top tips for a successful lunchbox
- Try to encourage your child to make decisions about what they eat and chat with them before preparing their lunch.
- Think about what your child likes to eat at home and try to translate that into a lunchbox option
- Foods should be simple and easy to prepare, ready to eat and appetising after several hours storage in the lunchbox.
- Foods such as sandwiches can be prepared the night before or on the weekend, frozen, then taken for each day’s lunchbox
- It is important to keep offering healthy lunchbox choices in a variety of ways, as children learn to eat what is familiar to them.
Visit www.dairyaustralia.com.au/kidsneed3 for more information on the importance of dairy foods for kids as well as simple tips, recipes and an interactive calcium planner.