The essential ingredients for every lunch box.
Carbohydrates provide a steady supply of energy to the brain and body throughout the day. Healthy complex carbohydrate choices include wholegrain bread and vegetable rice, wholemeal pasta, Idly or banana crepes.
Protein is essential for growth, development, and for repairing the body. It also helps stabilise blood-sugar levels. Choose healthy, protein-rich foods such as sandwiches or wraps with chicken, meat, boiled egg or low-fat cheese; Paneer with vegie; chickpeas or other legumes mixed through a salad or in vegie patties; and some dried fruit.
Fruit and vegetables
Always include fruit and salad vegetables in your child's lunch box, as they are vital to healthy immune function (fighting off illness and infections) and are an excellent source of fibre. If the fruit always comes home again, try cutting it up or making a mini fruit salad. A little lemon juice squeezed on an apple will stop it going brown. Pack a small container of apples, mangoes, oranges or grapes, or try mixing fruit pieces through a tub of yoghurt.
Add salad to sandwiches or wraps, or pack sticks (carrot, cucumber, capsicum) with small tubs of dip.
Calcium is needed for strong, healthy bones and teeth, so try to include some calcium-rich foods in your child's lunch box: a tub of low-fat curd, cheese with crackers, a Paneer or Soya wrap, and baby spinach added to salads & sandwiches. Watch out for yoghurts that contain high levels of sugar. For extra fibre and goodness you can add a spoonful of toasted muesli to yoghurt.
Always pack some water in your child's school bag.