Geelong nutritionist shares tips for a healthy lunchbox

P acking the school lunch box can be quite a daunting and time consuming task, but all you need is a little bit of persistence, wit and creativity.

“My son [aged 6] loves chocolate milk, but he didn’t realise his ‘special’ chocolate milk was made up of whole milk, honey, cacao, frozen banana and avocado,” she says. Avocado and egg for face “Avocado is great because you can’t taste it and it gives such a creamy texture.”

Through keeping the lunch box simple, your children will be getting the right brain foods so they can concentrate and learn during school, giving them the best start to life.

“We want to make food choices that will nourish our kids’ bodies.

Avocado and egg toast recipe Otherwise they will struggle to concentrate because they haven’t had the right fuels for their brains,” Lia says.

As a mother of three, Lia makes it a priority to do her grocery shopping at wholefood grocers, such as Geelong Fresh Foods and at farm gates like Magic Meadow.

For busy parents, Lia suggests stocking a wholefoods pantry so you’re organised and can make everything in one go in a couple of hours on a Sunday: you can even get the kids involved. Baked avocado and eggs Healthy bento lunchbox. Salad with egg and avocado Photo: Reg Ryan.

Some children can be extremely fussy and stubborn when it comes to food and will insist on eating a Vegemite sandwich every day. Baked avocado and eggs recipe Lia suggests using a healthy bread and says it can be a slow transition but parents should persist until they get the result they want.

Inspired by reading lots of books, looking at what other bloggers create and even asking her children what other kids are eating at school, Lia’s ideas keep flowing.

“If they won’t eat an apple, try cutting it into thick pieces or thinner pieces. Fried egg and avocado Make apple slinkies or puree it … just keep trying and eventually they’ll eat it.

“Keep it simple. Egg white and avocado breakfast You don’t need the hype of superfoods – they’re just added bonuses. Healthy avocado and egg recipes If you have a good base of fruit and vegetables you don’t need the superfoods.”

Stainless-steel bento-style lunch boxes ($30.75 from Little Earth Nest) are the perfect way to present your child’s lunch with no need for packaging and waste, which is better for the schoolyard as well.

Three terms into the school year and inspiration at the kitchen bench is probably beginning to fade so a few ideas from a noted chef might be more than welcome. Avocado and egg salad recipes And, as the days warm through spring and summer, a whole array of fresh new ingredients might also help to reinvent the school lunchbox.

As the author of 14 books and founder of her own Kitchen Garden Foundation aimed at educating kids about healthy food, Stephanie Alexander is in familiar territory when it comes to creating healthy lunches.

“Keep your kids interested by having easy to eat foods and nothing that requires too much peeling or is smelly, like hard-boiled eggs,” she says.

Stephanie suggests that home-made mini muffins are a great lunch box snack but, rather than being a big deal, they should just be a small treat.

Large apples can be daunting for young children, so Stephanie suggests cutting fruit into smaller pieces and wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap to avoid it going too brown.

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