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Pack Lunches For Your Children…

September 8th 2014
By: Melanie

Looking after our children means looking after ourselves and packing a lunch with a healthy set of contents is not just for the kids although that too is a great idea and apparently more than half of children taking a packed lunch to school – that’s a staggering
five billion lunches a year.

If you are planning to start taking a packed lunch to the office it’s clearly a great idea, it saves you money and is often more healthy, but coming up with ideas day after day can be a bit of a challenge.

Just as with the kids it can be tempting to fall into the trap of using packaged, ready-made options but of course, they tend to be high in fat, saturated fat, salt and sugar so defeat the object of being healthier and better for you and can often cost a fair bit too.

A healthy lunch can really help you avoid that mid-afternoon slump by using foods to help balance blood sugar like the B group of vitamins , chromium is also important for this, so include whole grains and lean meats as well as tomatoes, potatoes and onions. Combining protein and fibre with carbs will also help to get you through the afternoon.

So a good set of principles to apply to your lunch box for yourself and the kids might be to:

Fill up with fibre using grains such as barley or pulses (including lentils) all very good in soups, they also help manage cholesterol.  Make sure you try and vary the bread you use by opting for granary, rye, pumpernickel or seeded varieties of wraps, rolls, bagels or pitta. Omit the butter or spread when using moist fillings in sandwiches to help keep fat and calories down. Keep the salt content low  and opt for rice, pasta or potato salads in place of sandwiches at least 2-3 days a week. Make as many packed lunches as you can from the leftovers of the day before this saves time, money and can offer a healthier choice If you really want to be good to your heart make sure you include oily fish once a week –sardines, salmon, trout or mackerel.

Remember to have a healthy snack on hand nuts or seeds are full of stress-busting nutrients, they fill you up and stop you reaching for the Sweets, chocolate and biscuits – in the middle of the afternoon.  A fruit or dairy options can usually satisfy that ‘sweet’ need if it won’t go away.