By Raising Children Network
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Choosing a healthy lunch box

Buy healthy food; let your child choose his healthy lunch box food; include food from the main food groups.
  • When you buy food, choose enough healthy foods for school lunches. Stocking your fridge and pantry with these options makes it easier to pack a healthy lunch each day. It also means your child won’t have to buy lunch so often.
  • Letting your child choose from a range of healthy options helps him learn about good foods. He’s more likely to eat food he’s chosen. Packing the night before gives him time to choose carefully.
  • Include foods from each of the main food groups in your child’s lunch box. These everyday foods give your child the energy and nutrients he needs to grow, learn, play and stay healthy.

Fun, healthy and environmentally friendly

A 'rainbow' lunch box offers different nutrients; cut down on plastic packaging; tap water in a water bottle is the best drink.
  • Different-coloured foods have different types of nutrients. A lunch box full of fresh food in a ‘rainbow’ of colours gives your child more chances to get all the nutrients she needs.

  • ‘Nude’ food has no plastic packaging. It cuts rubbish and costs and can be easier for kids to handle. Try reusable containers, pockets and wraps. Make sure your child can open them!
  • Tap water is the best drink for your child. Send a water bottle with your child in her backpack and save milk as a drink for home. Fruit juice and soft drinks are best kept for special occasions.

More lunch box tips

Keep the lunch box clean and safe; choose everyday foods; avoid 'sometimes' foods at lunch.
  • Keep food in the fridge until you pack it. Add a frozen water bottle or use an insulated lunch bag to keep food cool during the day. If your child’s classmates have allergies, you might need to leave some foods out of the lunch box.
  • Go ‘green’ in the canteen. The green light is for everyday foods. It’s best for your child to eat a variety of foods from the five food groups every day. Check out more healthy lunch ideas.
  • Avoid ‘sometimes’ foods at lunch. Foods such as chips, muesli bars, biscuits and chocolate are high in sugar and low in nutrients. They’re OK sometimes, but not for lunch boxes.
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  • Last Updated 30-07-2012
  • Last Reviewed 30-07-2012