Sunday 4 December 2016

Health kick for your kid's lunch

Published 25/08/2015 | 02:30

Join the Simon Fun Run and Family Festival
Join the Simon Fun Run and Family Festival

We have come a long way from the soggy school lunch sandwiches that were the staple of many an Irish child's youth, Safefood now has provided seven steps to creating healthy and varied lunchboxes.

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Include a wide variety of foods - starchy foods, protein, dairy and fruit and vegetables.

Try to offer different foods every day - no one wants to be eating a ham sandwich five days a week! See page 10 for options.

Vary the types of bread, e.g. pitta bread, bagels, wholemeal rolls - keep a stock in the freezer

Cook extra rice/pasta in the evening - these can make interesting salads.

Theme your lunchbox on a different country, e.g. Italian - try a pasta salad, for Mexican you can fill flour tortillas.

Homemade soup (in a thermos flask) is great for cold days, while salads are light and refreshing for warmer weather. Both are packed with essential vitamins and minerals.

Fluids are important for children - up to six cups of fluid should be encouraged daily. Milk and water are the best options. Straws and brightly coloured drinks bottles can make rehydrating more interesting.

Remember that sandwiches containing meat or other foods that require refrigeration should be kept as cold as possible until lunch.

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