Breakfast…… It is important to encourage breakfast. A good night’s sleep followed by food in the morning helps your child to stay active and concentrate at school. It also means your child is less likely to be too hungry during the morning.
A healthy lunchbox a day keeps the yawns away…..
It may come as little surprise to learn that according to recent research in Ireland that the most popular items in a lunchbox are a sliced white bread sandwich with a filling of ham, cheese or chicken; crisps, a chocolate bar or biscuit; and a yoghurt or cheese snack. While, there’s nothing wrong with any of these foods on an occasional basis, if a child eats them every day, they will not get the range of nutrients they need for good health and energy. As a child gets older they can develop tendencies for sugar and savoury cravings leading to morning jaunts to the local sweet shop before school starts. Let’s prevent this. The key to a healthy packed lunch is nutritional balance and a wide variety of foods.
School lunches…… a packed lunch from home is a great way for your child to learn about healthy food. Allowing and encouraging kids to participate in meal planning and food preparation can empowers them with a wonderful interest in food and provide them with great skills later in life!
Snacks….. are an important part of a healthy diet for active children.
Make snacks nutritious, not just high in energy. Fruit and vegetables: Fill up their lunchbox with small apple, satsuma, pear, grapes, berries, celery sticks or peeled carrot sticks with Irish soft cheese which makes a delicious, filling snack that kids love. Also consider small bags of dried fruit. Mixed fresh fruit Salad, puréed fruit, chopped, sliced or a fruit & veg. smoothie.
Variety…… is the spice of life! Mix things up a little with the kids’ food, try new things. Sandwiches don’t always have to be centre stage in the lunch box. Savoury muffins, wholemeal wraps, pitas, oatcakes, rice cakes and cracker breads are all great alternatives.
Protein……Good examples are lean cooked free range or local chicken, turkey or beef; cooked fish and prawns; boiled eggs; seeds, seed butters, pulses and hummus, vegetarian sausages or cubed seasoned cooked tofu Fish: cooked or canned boned salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines and tuna, which all make great sandwich fillings especially blended with a little crème fraiche, pates, savoury dishes and salads.
Foods to limit…. both at home and in school lunch boxes include:
– Processed or packet meats such as salami, ham and luncheon roll
– processed cheese
– Crisps and salty nuts
– Sweet and sugary biscuits, muesli bars and breakfast bars
– Fizzy drinks, cordials, sweetened juices and soft drinks. Encourage them to drink plain water!
– Sugary yogurts
Get moving……Physical activity is an important part of good health. Try to encourage your child to do something active each day, such as a hobby, play a game or be involved in sport. Get out and move with them……. kids love when Mammy & Daddy are up for a bit of fun!
Eggs contain important brain fats called phospholipids. Phospholipids along with essential fats from chia or hemps seeds enhance your mood, mind and mental performance.
‘Eggcado’ Chopped Boiled Eggs with ripe Avocado & chives
Quick Kids Breakfast or Lunchbox sandwich filling for a wholegrain wrap or pitta
Vegetarian Nut & Dairy free, no added sugar
A good source of dietary fibre & essential fats.
Ingredients: 2 free range eggs 1 medium ripe peeled avocado 1 tsp. of olive oil Salt and pepper A Pinch of minced fresh chives ½ tsp. of True organic hemp seeds shelled or True milled chia seeds
Boil water in medium saucepan until hot. 2. Put eggs in saucepan in hot water for about 8 minutes until eggs hard boiled. 3. Rinse boiled eggs in sieve under cold water then peel eggs quickly. 4. Mash peeled boiled egg with oil and salt and pepper in a small bowl. 5. Add Avocado and seeds then mash away until roughly chunky smooth. 6. Sprinkle chopped chives on mashed egg. 8. Serve mashed egg in small Tupperware container sealed with teaspoon or as a sandwich filler.