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Preparing the perfect packed lunch

When you’re preparing your child’s 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- bread, bagel, wrap, pasta, rice
  • Dairy- yoghurt, milk, cheese
  • Protein- chicken, tuna, egg, hummus
  • Vegetables- carrot or cucumber sticks, pepper slices
  • Fruit-  grapes, a satsuma or dried fruit like raisins

The NHS has a food scanner app that you can use to find healthy food alternatives.

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.

Always check with your child’s nursery or preschool to see what foods are and aren’t allowed in their lunchboxes and for snacks.

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Page last reviewed: 14-05-2024

Next review due: 14-05-2027