While the kids enjoyed the last of the school holidays we’ve spent the weekend running around making sure their uniform still fits, checking that they’ve got all the required course work books and stationery they need and stocking the fridge with delicious food to ensure they keep their energy levels up for their final term.
Well, here at Parent24 we’ve done the work so that you don’t have to, on that last one at least.
Complete with nutritional value and all, we’ve put together a list of groceries to shop for and lunchboxes to pack for every day of the week. Watch the video and read the article below to see exactly what you’re putting into those lunchboxes and why they’re so deliciously nutritious!
- Peanut butter and jam on brown bread: Peanut butter is filled with healthy fats and protein which we all know is yummy with a little bit of jam. And we’d suggest whole wheat brown bread over white bread because it’s less processed, keeping more of its fibre and nutrients.
- Yogurt: Yogurt is rich in calcium, high in protein and contains probiotics which regulate the digestive system. With a little muesli and blueberries, it makes a delicious parfait!
- Muesli: Muesli usually contains rolled oats, seeds and a whole bunch of other antioxidants, whole grains and fibre to regulate the digestive system. With the addition of nuts, it will also provide a source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
- Blueberries: Blueberries is believed to contain the highest antioxidant content in commonly consumed fruits, while also containing fibre, vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese. They have the potential to reduce chronic conditions while having a powerful effect on the immune system.
- Dark chocolate: Dark chocolate will keep the kids happy and in a good mood, and not just because most children would do just about anything for a little chocolate. We can understand the change in mood specifically in terms of chocolate’s carbohydrate ingredients, amino acid tryptophan, and its production of serotonin. It’s no secret that carbohydrates make us feel good. Our body changes carbohydrates into blood sugar and sugar quite often signals the brain to produce serotonin, ie. the feel-good hormone. But dark chocolate specifically, ie. chocolate with 35% or more cocoa, tends to contain more tryptophan to increase serotonin, whereas other milk chocolates, diluting the cocoa content, combats the feel-good effects of consumption.
- Cheese and tomato on brown bread: Cheese gives your kids a necessary dose of protein and calcium and it’s even better with slices of tomato. Tomatoes contain all three high-powered antioxidants while also being rich in potassium.
- Apple slices: Apples contain fibre, vitamin C, potassium and vitamin K. They also provide some B vitamins. The antioxidants in apples can prevent numerous diseases while also being linked to increasing bone density. The pectin content in apples is a type of fibre that also feeds good bacteria in the gut, improving digestion and metabolic health.
- Peanut butter: Peanut butter pairs well with apples and is a great snack because it’s filled with healthy fats and protein. And it certainly will give them energy to keep going during the day.
- Popcorn: The kids don’t have to wait until they go to the movies to have popcorn. Popcorn is a whole grain and has fibre in it. This means it will actually keep the kids full for longer. You can also make it a little more exciting and give them different popcorn every day. You could try salty today and cinnamon and sugar the next – yummy!
- Macon, cheese and tomato on brown bread: If the kids are tired of the usual cheese and tomato, add some protein! Macon, cheese and tomato pairs well together and is delicious when it's toasted.
- Granola bar: Much like having muesli, a granola bar is filled with whole grains and fibre. Best of all it’s a great way of tricking the kids into having a healthy snack that only resembles some sort of candy bar.
- Peach: Peaches have a number of nutrients including antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K and most notably, vitamin C. It is also low in saturated fat.
- Tuna and mayo on brown bread: A quick and easy sandwich to make in the morning is a delicious tuna and mayo. Tuna, while being a great protein, is also known to have B vitamins, increase energy levels and boost the immune system.
- Cucumber: Cucumbers, if this makes any sense at all, can be a rather refreshing fruit. But that’s due largely to the fact that it contains lots and lots of water, which is great for the kids as it prevents dehydration on the playground. It also contains many other vitamins such vitamin K and calcium to ensure good bone health.
- Hummus: Hummus serves as a great dip and is also healthier than your usual mayos. It provides you with protein as well as numerous other vitamins and minerals including vitamin A and B-6, folate which produces new cells, potassium, zinc, calcium, phosphorous and magnesium. The latter two are very important as they ensure your kidneys, heart and nerves are functioning properly while magnesium ensures proper immune function. While being high in fat, it’s the good kind, ie. heart-healthy, unsaturated fats.
- Peanuts and raisins: Nuts provide a source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids while the nutrients in raisins are stronger, due to the fact that they have been dehydrated and now have become more concentrated. As such, the kids will get a good amount of B vitamins, iron and potassium with just a handful of raisins.
- Cherries: Cherries are rich in potassium, fibre and vitamin C. They also include antioxidants which could potentially prevent disease while containing melatonin – a hormone that signals the brain when it’s time to sleep and also ensures that you get a good night’s rest when you do.
- Chicken and mayo: A chicken and mayo sandwich is filling and easy enough for you to make in the morning, if you’ve got leftover chicken from the night before.
- Strawberries: Strawberries go so well with chocolate and we know they’re such an indulgent snack. But they’re also filled with nutrients including vitamin C, manganese, folate, potassium and just as most other berries, antioxidants. The antioxidants in strawberries may reduce diseases and studies have shown potential to help prevent cancer and tumor formation.
- Nuts: Nuts provide a source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids and are a yummy little snack, perfect for the compartments in their lunchbox.
What will you be packing into the kids' lunchboxes to keep them going through the day? Tell us by commenting below.
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