With the kids back at school, coming up with interesting lunchbox ideas can be tricky. That's why this Healthy Eating Week, we've asked our team at Asda to come up with some delicious lunchtime recipes to keep little ones full and fueled for the day ahead. So you can pack the kids off with a tasty and balanced lunch they'll look forward to. Plus we've got some brilliant tips from our in-house nutritionist Beth Fowler...
Beth says: 'It's important for children to have a healthy and balanced lunch to provide the necessary nutrition to develop and thrive. School lunches are one option but packed lunches can also be a healthy choice, although it can be tricky for parents to know what to include. So, we've come up with some top tips for a nutritious packed lunch and provided some recipes to inspire you!'
'Check with your child's school whether they have a healthy lunchbox policy – many schools have these to encourage healthier eating at school and the policy should help guide you towards healthier options for lunchboxes.'
'Be sure to include the following food groups in lunchboxes,' says Beth:
- 'Base your lunchbox on starchy carbohydrates like bread, rice, pasta or potatoes – where possible go for higher fibre options such as wholegrain varieties or potatoes with the skin left on.'
- 'At least 1 portion of fruits and vegetables – it's important to eat 5 portions of fruit and veg per day so the more the merrier!'
- A portion of protein-containing foods such as beans, pulses, fish or meat – limit red and processed meat content in your lunchboxes
- 'A portion of dairy food or non-dairy alternatives. If you opt for non-dairy alternatives, ensure they're fortified with nutrients such as calcium and iodine.'
- 'A drink for healthy hydration, such as water or milk. Fruit juice and smoothies are a source of free sugars, so if you include these, limit the portion to 150ml and/or dilute them with water.'
As well as these key principles, try to keep lunchboxes interesting! Varying the types of foods you include in lunchboxes each week ensures varied nutritional intake but also keeps the kids from getting tired of their lunches. Check out our recipe suggestions devised by our Development Chef, Andrew Johnston, below...
FRUITY HONEY CRUNCH PANCAKES
These tasty wholemeal pancakes topped with crunchy pumpkin seeds and Black Forest fruits make a delicious start to the day AND they travel well.
Tasty, spicy veg quesadillas packed with sweet potato, black beans and irresistible gooey cheese make a great alternative to their usual sandwich.
Savoury veg and cheese muffins
A mixture of courgette, carrot, peas and sweetcorn adds tasty texture to these delicious cheesy muffins.
Top these deliciously crispy, herby veg fritters with creamy soft cheese.
Inspired? Pick up everything you need for these recipes at your local Asda or online at Asda.com. You can check out even more kids' lunchbox ideas here or visit the Change 4 Life website for more healthy eating tips.