Healthy Food for Kids
By Dietitian, Juliette Kellow BSc RD
Food for Healthy Packed Lunches
Around half of all children take their lunch to school – that’s 5.5 billion packed lunches every year. Unfortunately, many of them are unhealthy!
According to a Food Standard’s Agency study, nine out of 10 packed lunches contain foods high in sugar, salt and saturates and fewer than half contain fruit. Here’s how to pack a nutritious lunch for your kids…
- Use wholegrain or wholemeal bread, rolls and pitta
and try ciabatta, mini baguettes, bagels and raisin or
sun dried tomato bread for variety
- Pack pasta or rice salads instead of sandwiches from
time to time
- Cut fat by using less butter, spread or mayo in
sandwiches and choose low-fat fillings like lean ham,
turkey, chicken, tuna in water, cottage cheese, Edam or
- Add two portions of fruit – don’t just stick to
apples and pears, though. For variety, add grapes, fruit
salad, a slice of melon, a small box of raisins or a can
of fruit in juice
- Include cherry tomatoes, carrot and pepper sticks
and add salad to sarnies
- In the winter, fill a flask with vegetable, tomato
or carrot soup – or even a casserole or stew.
- Replace cakes, biscuits and chocolate with scones,
fruit bread or low-sugar cereal bars (check the labels)
- Swap fizzy drinks for water, unsweetened fruit juice, fruit smoothies, cartons of semi-skimmed milk or unsweetened yogurt drinks.
Healthy Snacks for Children and Teenagers
- Fresh fruit – chop it into bite-sized pieces for
young children to make it easier to eat or buy packs of
ready-prepared fresh fruit slices or chunks
- Mini boxes of dried fruit such as raisins or small
packs of apricots or mixed fruit
- Small packs of chocolate-covered raisins or nuts
(avoid giving nuts to young children because of the risk
- Chopped up vegetables such as carrot, celery and
pepper sticks and cherry tomatoes with a favourite dip
(look for those low in salt and fat if you’re buying
- Fresh popcorn made without salt or sugar
- Wholemeal toast with peanut butter and banana or
low-fat soft cheese and tomato
- Fruit smoothie
- Unsweetened yogurt drinks or a pot of low-fat fruit
yogurt or fromage frais
- High-fibre cereal with semi-skimmed milk
- Wholemeal sandwiches filled with lean meat, chicken,
tuna in water, cheese or egg and salad.
- Small packets of unsalted nuts and seeds – try mixing with dried fruit.
Parents can use the diaries, databases and tools in WLR to monitor their food intake for a healthy, balanced diet. Try it free for 24 hours.
Chew on This - A site aimed at children 11-14 with all sorts of interesting facts and activities to do with food.