HEALTH: Does your child come home with a full lunchbox?

06 August 2018

I have three children aged 10, nine and six and more often than not, at least two of them come home with full lunch boxes. It’s frustrating to say the least because all three pick out the types of food they want to eat at school and when questioned, the excuses can range from “there was no time to eat” to “I didn’t feel like eating what was in my lunchbox today”.

Although all three have a good breakfast, I was starting to get worried that my children weren’t get enough nutrition during school hours. I started talking to a few school mums and found my children weren’t the only ones coming home with a lunchbox full of food. It seems like playtime is priority! I thought long and hard about what I could do to make sure my kids were getting their daily required fruit, vegetables and protein intake so I decided to shake things up for breakfast and afternoon tea.

My kids wake up around 5am every morning which is early and by the time school starts their bellies are starting to get hungry. They usually have oats with honey with a sprinkle of nuts, sultanas or cut up banana.

I decided they should start having two breakfasts in the morning, their regular cereal or oats upon waking and a smoothie just before 9am to sustain them for the entire morning.

My smoothie recipe is simple and packed with nutrients:

  • 1 banana
  • 1 green apple
  • 2 big leaves of spinach
  • nuts (almonds, cashews or brazil nuts)
  • organic frozen berries
  • half an avocado or tablespoon of coconut oil
  • children’s protein powder
  • filtered water
  • teaspoon of chia seeds

For afternoon tea I mix it up depending on the after school activities we have on. On any given day I will have prepared a mix of the following:

  • cut up some celery, carrot and yellow capsicum and pair it with guacamole or hummus or peanut butter
  • hard-boiled egg with a sprinkle of Himalayan salt
  • roasted chickpeas, fava beans and edamame
  • trail mix with plain or coconut yoghurt
  • a small platter of cut up tomatoes, cucumber, mushrooms and berries
  • apple with nut butter

I still pack a lunchbox, mostly with quick and easy grab foods but not as full as I used to and I find most of the food still comes home however when the kids are having a growth spurt they can finish the lunchbox and complain there wasn’t enough food. Just play it by ear because as we all know circumstances with kids can change from one moment to the next.

If you do find your child is struggling at school with learning or behaviour or complaining of stomach aches, then have a chat to the teacher and come up with a plan of action. With children, playing with their friends does take priority. If you find things are getting worse a trip to the GP might be in order.

If your child is getting their daily required nutrients, then you shouldn’t worry too much. We don’t want to put pressure on kids by making them feel guilty for not eating their food rather find alternatives to make sure they are getting a great breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner.

Written by

Amardy Baucke / Deputy Editor

Amardy is a Family and Children's Mindset Coach, and Deputy Editor for Kids on the Coast/Kids in the City. Her goal is to inspire people to live a healthy wholesome lifestyle.

Living on the sunny Gold Coast Amardy is a dedicated wife and mother of three beautiful children.

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