Preparing the perfect packed lunch

How healthy is your child’s lunch? When you’re preparing their packed lunch, there are a number of things you can do to encourage a healthy, balanced diet.

Firstly, make sure you include a variety of foods. Try to include something from each of the following groups:

  • Carbohydrates – for example bread, bagel, wrap, pasta, rice
  • Dairy – for example yoghurt, milk, cheese
  • Protein – for example chicken, tuna, egg, hummus
  • Vegetables – for example carrot or cucumber sticks, pepper slices
  • Fruit – for example grapes or a satsuma, or dried fruit like raisins

You also need to include a drink – water is always the best option!

Prepare the lunch with your child in mind – remember, their tummy is much smaller than yours, so think about the size of the portions and don’t include too many items.

Make packed lunches fun by using animal pastry cutters to cut out the sandwiches, and involving children in the preparation.

Useful links

  • What is a portion? This guide shows you how much of each of the main food groups counts as a portion for children aged between one and five
  • Lunch box ideas from Leicestershire Nutrition and Dietetics Service

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Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust runs a confidential secure text messaging service for parents of children aged 0-19 years called Chat Health. The service operates Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm, excluding bank holidays. All texts will be responded to by a public health nurse (health visitor/school nurse) within 24 hours. Outside of the service working hours, you’ll receive a message back to inform you that your text will be responded to once the line reopens.

Should you require urgent health advice in the meantime, please contact your GP, visit an NHS walk-in centre or call NHS 111. For emergencies, dial 999 or visit A&E.

Leicester City: text 07520 615381

Leicestershire & Rutland: text 07520 615382

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