When we get busy it's easy to go for a convenient lunch instead of being organised and packing a healthy lunch. The problem with buying lunch out too often is that not only do we spend more money, our teeth and overall health can also suffer.
An easy way to ensure both you and your kids are eating a healthy lunch is to pack yourself and your children the same lunch the night before, which will save you time and money. When you pack lunches, you should include a healthy mix of carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats, which fuel your body and protect your health. It's also important to include foods that contain nutrients that help protect your teeth and gums, such as calcium and vitamins A and C.
Here's how to plan out your lunch to ensure a good balance:
Carbohydrates are important for energy. Having carbs in your lunch helps you to focus and keep you fueled for the afternoon at work and give your children the energy they need for the school day.
Some good options to include in your lunch include sandwiches using wheat bread, wraps with whole grain tortillas, pita bread or even bagels. Another good option is brown rice or quinoa with a good mix of protein and veges.
Protein is super important to keep us full for longer. It's also good for growth and development in kids and keeps our muscles strong and healthy. You can get protein from several sources, which makes it nice and easy to include in your lunch with other important nutrients. Chicken, turkey and tofu are great healthy lunch protein options. You can also use peanut butter or a slice of cheese for extra protein. For snacks include a handful of your favourite nuts.
Adding healthy fats to your lunchbox is also important. Foods like avocado, salmon and nuts can help provide you with the essential nutrients you need to look after your oral and overall health.
Calcium is the most important nutrient for your teeth. Lack of calcium can go on to cause trouble in your mouth and your children's mouths. Including dairy products such as cheese or milk in your lunch can help you get enough calcium. If you're dairy intolerant or vegan try a lactose-free alternative.
Vitamins A and C are also important for keeping your mouth healthy and your teeth strong. Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of these vitamins. Make sure you pack fruit and vegetables with your lunch each day. Options could include an apple, banana or orange, or you could put together a small salad or vegetables from dinner the night before.