Once your child is at school, the tuckshop sometimes becomes a focal point of lunch time and morning and afternoon breaks. Depending on your child’s school, a lunch box from home can be a healthier option than what’s on offer at the tuckshop.
You might like to let your child eat lunch from the tuckshop on special occasions, or once a week or fortnight, as a treat. It’s a good idea to talk with your child about which tuckshop offerings are good for him and which aren’t.
- Talk to your child about which foods are most nutritious and help him choose good food.
- Pack a lunch box if you want to be sure he’s eating well.
- Talk to your school about changing what the tuckshop serves if it's unhealthy.
Some tuckshops are now stocking healthier alternatives to the chips and fried dim sims of days gone by. Hamburgers, sandwiches (including toasted) and rolls, hard-boiled eggs, salads, fresh and dried fruit, and milk and fruit juices are all healthier than chicken nuggets, sausage rolls or chocolate bars.
It’s important to buy food that is not only healthy but also safe. To avoid harmful bacteria, any hot food that is bought must be really hot, not just warm, and sandwiches or rolls should be freshly made, rather than pre-made and sitting at room temperature. Let your child know that he should eat bought food straight away or put it in the fridge.
The fatty, sugary and salty food and drinks available in most school tuckshops can pose a serious challenge to the healthy eating habits of your child. Remember, though, that parents usually have input into what is served at the tuckshop – if you’re unhappy with what’s on offer, use your influence to change things and talk to the school.
A good breakfast makes it less likely your child will head straight for the tuckshop at morning recess.