How many times have you been confronted by a lunchbox that needs to be filled, and wondered what on earth to put into it? Or, worse still, one that comes back and has hardly been touched?  Most children leave home early in the morning and only return in the afternoon, so the majority of their nutritional needs must be met by the contents of their lunch box.  Preparing a packed lunch or lunchbox needn’t be a drudge, in fact with a little creativity, the packed lunch can become the highlight of the day.

How to avoid lunchbox frenzy

Start with dedicating a space in the pantry or grocery cupboard, or a separate drawer for snack items.  Ensure that you have a number of small containers of varying sizes, plastic spoons/ forks and some colourful paper serviettes.  The lunchbox container itself also need some thought. Find one that will take all your child’s snacking goodies without squashing the items, and is deep enough to fit in a few extra little containers for those little nibbles.

Tips for packing the perfect lunch

The contents of the children’s lunchboxes should:

  • Be balanced to sustain energy and concentration levels. Include a portion of each of the following: Lean proteins, fresh fruit and vegetables, wholegrains and dairy. Don’t forget that healthy fats and oils are also part of a balanced diet, so snack on something like nuts or add avocado to a sandwich or salad.
  • Be visually appealing so that he/she would want to eat the lunch
  • Include a variety of items that will encourage repeat visits to the lunchbox during the course of the day
  • Be Creative, don’t get stuck in with sandwiches. There’s nothing worse than dreading a lunch hour/ break because the contents of the lunchbox bores him/her to death.  Be creative and ensure that you pack something different and tasty every day.
  • Include snacks. As important as lunch planning is, the snacks that your child will undoubtedly need during the course of the day to keep him/her going are just as essential to a healthy diet.  Plan for snacks by buying large quantities and divide into daily portions in advance, which will be easy to grab and add to the lunchbox. Healthy snack include nuts, dried fruit, yogurt coated rice cakes, air-popped popcorn etc.

 

Lunchbox Ideas:

Sandwiches still is the most important, practical and convenient lunchbox item.  Other items, such as the fruit, provide the roughage and vitamin and mineral requirements.  The sandwich does not have to be boring, alternate the choice of bread, wrap, roll or pita (stuffed with last night’s leftover stir-fry)  to keep it exciting.

General Lunch Box 1

General Lunchbox 2

  • Wholegrain Wrap with chicken breast: wholegrain wrap spread with cottage cheese, lettuce, cucumber and t chicken strips
  • Small tub of plain or fruit yogurt
  • Fruit portion: small container of dried pears, dried fruit roll shapes or sliced kiwifruit.
  • 1 cup Air-popped popcorn
  • Water or Home-made Ice tea
  •  Wholegrain or rye bread spread with Nut Butter.
  •  Mini kebabs with small cubes of tomato (or baby tomatoes)gherkins and cheese wedge together on either side of a portion of rolled turkey, shaved ham , chicken or beef
  •  Mini rice cakes with yogurt topping
  •  Small container of sliced pawpaw and seasonal fruit
  •  Water or Home-made Ice tea

The Sports Lunchbox

Optimum performance on the sports field is ultimately determined by the health of yourself or your child.  These lunchbox ideas have been packed according to a specific formula, but you may adapt the quantities according to your child’s need and level of activity.

Sports Lunchbox 1

Sports Lunchbox 2

  • Cool Fresh Water
  • Brown Rice Salad.

Combined chopped tomato, onion or spring onion, cucumber, avo chucks, sunflower seeds and diced mozzarella cheese.   Squeeze fresh lemon juice over, to prevent the avo from discolouring.

Add cooked and cooled down brown rice to the above mixture, along with some chopped fresh herbs, like parsley, basil or coriander.

Drizzle with a tsp of olive oil

  • 1 Portion of seasonal fruit
  • 30g Nuts
  • 2 Sachets of Supa Energy Drink ( one to use in the morning and the other to use during the afternoon’s sport session)
  • Cool Fresh Water
  • Salmon Croissant

Mash avo with lemon juice to prevent discoloration, and season to taste. Spread thickly on the base of the croissant

Top with flakes of tinned salmon and chopped fresh chives, gherkins or kapers

  • Cucumber and Carrots stick/fingers with cottage cheese dip
  • 1 Portion of seasonal fruit
  • 2 Sachets of Supa Energy Drink ( one to use in the morning and the other to use during the afternoon’s sport session)

 

*Supa Energy Drink is a low Calorie, Low GI (sustained energy release), stimulant-free energy drink – an excellent alternative to the high calorie energy drinks on the market (some of which have undesirable stimulants in them), that comes in 4 refreshing flavours (Blue Ice, Crème Soda, Orange and ginger Beer).

 

Using Supa Shake to replace Lunch

Using Supa Shake to replace lunch is another healthy option to be considered, and a very convenient one as well.  Supa Shake can be used before the start of extramural activities, especially when there is not enough time to eat a balanced nutritious meal.

Supa Shake is a balanced meal replacement as it contains carbohydrates, protein, fat, fibre, vitamin and minerals.

Supa Shake is available in 4 delicious flavours:

  • Strawberry
  • Banana
  • Vanilla-Choc
  • Mocha Java

All your child will need is:

  1. Shaker
  2. One serving Sachet of Supa Shake
  3. 300ml Clean Water