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Please help - what constitutes a healthy childs packed lunch?

(16 Posts)
newnametoday1 Mon 09-Jun-14 09:03:46

I always try with my daughter (age 8 and active) for "healthy" packed lunches. But she is a fussy eater and will just leave stuff she does not like. There is no issue with "food police" at school this is just an attempt to make her lunch box more healthy (and interesting). Please can someone:

1. let me know what constitutes a healthy lunch box
2. find me previous thread on here that may have the answers (can't find one) or
3. suggest a good book with ideas that they have used (the reviews of ones I have found are not good)

Normally we have sandwich, yoghurt, maybe fruit smoothie, dairylea dunkers (occasionally) and poss some fruit. She does not like humus or similar or rice.

A radio show I listened to the other day made me think that the dunkers and a yoghurt were devil food and I am at a loss what to make. She is not a great meat eater either. Thanks so much.

574ejones Wed 11-Jun-14 10:25:14

I think the lunch you are giving her sounds relatively healthy, especially if the sandwiches are protein packed (egg, cheese or peanut butter). I would add in some carrot sticks or cherry tomatoes as well as some fruit, but there is nothing wrong with yoghurt or dunkers as part of a lunch.

Spottybra Wed 11-Jun-14 10:38:48

My 4yr old takes;
Marmite sandwiches on wholemeal bread
1 bag of multipack space raiders
1full fat yoghurt (avoid fromage frais because my understanding is that there is more sugar on fromage frais)
2 pieces of fruit such as a satsuma and small apple, or grapes and a small banana
Some cheese cubes and a couple of biscuits for cheese
A small piece of cake (normally homemade)
1 bottle of water. I wash it out and before I go to bed I fill it about 1/8th with water and pop it in the freezer overnight. In the morning I fill it with water. The ice keeps the water cool until lunch. I have overdone it and its still been frozen at lunchtime on occasions. It's a learning curve.

No SN. He just likes the same thing everyday. We may change something once a new term starts but he's still only 4yrs and likes routine.

Singlesuzie Wed 11-Jun-14 10:50:00

I pack variations each day.

This is a total list but obviously dont pack all this every day.

Carrot sticks
Weetabix cereal biscuit type thingy

On sandwich/bagel/cracker/pancake/wrap i put butter(except for wrap) cheese (if no babybel) and ham/sliced chicken.

I try to vary it and also when we go shopping i get him to keep his eye out for things he might like.

IWillYeah Wed 11-Jun-14 10:55:59

My kids have:

- sandwich/bagel/roll with ham or cheese or hummus and cucumber
- a yogurt ( yes, a sugary Froob or petit filou - but theyre small and convenient!)
- cereal bar OR some crackers & cheese OR digestive biscuits OR homemade mini muffin/banana bread
- piece of fruit
- juice/smoothie

They wont eat salad and dont like pots of pasta/rice etc at lunch time.

Maybe not the 'perfect' healthy lunch but perfectly reasonable imo.

LadyintheRadiator Wed 11-Jun-14 10:57:31

Personally I don't really like buying things like Dunkers because they're expensive, I consider them a bit junk-ish - my DC like them and I will occasionally get a pack, I'm not a food snob just don't think they're for every day.

My 6 year old has a cheese sandwich and an apple every day, he doesn't like variety but eats well at home so I have stopped trying tbh.

My 3 year old has a sandwich, two types of fruit and a yoghurt, she has a bigger appetite on her preschool days but as they have things like crackers durin snack time I for want to give her more starchy/carby things.

wfrances Wed 11-Jun-14 11:09:18

ds 10
has a wholemeal ham salad roll
bottle of water
jelly pot
small chocolate bar club/penguin/rocky ect

i think thats balanced enough for him, if hes got loads of sport/pe he asks for 2 rolls

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 11-Jun-14 11:14:28

Dds usually have, a sandwhich (one slice of bread) with ham, salad, chicken or tuna.

Handful of plain popcorn or unsalted crisps

Hummus or seeds

Cucumber and pepper sticks

Alpro yogurt or home made muffin/banana bread/fruit scone/fruit flap jack.

Fruit- usually berries or apple or grapes or mango


They are 7 and 3

Sometimes I do a pasta salad or include a chicken drumstick or a cold sausage or a plain salad.

RonaldMcDonald Wed 11-Jun-14 11:22:53

No idea I can tell you what mine get

2 slices of bread made into ham sandwiches <naice ham> crusts off
<the other one has a cheese sandwich>
a fromage frais squeezy yoghurt
a pear/apple/satsuma/grapes

for break they have a banana
they drink water

Same everyday except they sometimes get a packet of raisins as some form of crap treat

lljkk Wed 11-Jun-14 11:35:41

My kids hate anything but the exact same things every day. So only need one "healthy" option, don't over complicate this if you don't have to.

Blackjackcrossed Wed 11-Jun-14 12:30:34

Curry/pasta/stew/bacon sandwich/leftovers - attempts at introducing salad has failed so far.

Depending on how much veg is included in the above they may get carrot/cucumber/peas/cauliflower/edamame sometimes fruit if we have it and it's lunchbox friendly.

Homemade cake or biscuit

They don't like getting the same thing twice in one week.

SooticaTheWitchesCat Wed 11-Jun-14 12:36:34

Today my girls had a tuna sandwich, chopped cucumber red pepper and mini tomatoes, grapes, some fruit flakes and a cheese string and 2 finger KitKat with a bottle of water.

Sometimes they will have chicken goujons or pasta or a bagel.

PrettyReckless Wed 11-Jun-14 12:42:11

Sandwich - egg, tuna, naice ham, cheese jam
Wraps with any of the above
Oatcakes with cheese (Stoke on Trent oatcakes are a firm favourite)

1-2 pieces of fruit
Cake/biscuit/chocolate if we have it in <rare>
Cucumber sticks or Cherry tomatoes

pregnantpause Wed 11-Jun-14 12:49:28

I have two dc. They're tastes vary - one has

Jam sandwich ( not healthy I suppose. But she eats it)
Oat bar
A slice of malt loaf

So not exactly healthy, but I've tried alternatives and they don't get eaten

My youngest has

Bread and butter
Two pieces of fruit ( a peach and blueberries today)
Cheese cubes

She won't eat sandwiches, so the xheese cubes, tomatoes and bread and butter make a deconstructed sandwich.

Singlesuzie Wed 11-Jun-14 12:54:07

I am glad to see these responses as i am pretty ignorant about food and was basically letting DS take the lead wrt what he gets for lunch. Glad to see i'm not getting it badly wrong. smile

survivingsummer Wed 11-Jun-14 12:56:14

Your packed much sound fine to me OP! No point varying it too much if you know it will get eaten smile

I don't have much time in the mornings because we both work most days so rely on convenience foods so the DC get:

Sandwich (salami/cheese/tuna or peanut butter)
Pack of rice cakes or Oddities/crackers
Cereal bar (sometimes)
Babybel (sometimes)
DS always has an Apple and carrot sticks
DD always has dried fruit or grapes, tomatoes, olives, carrot sticks

We're not allowed chocolate of any kind!

Is interesting reading what others put in a lunchbox. I do also feel a bit frustrated with the lack of variety but they wouldn't eat a lot of other foods and both my kids hate the school meals!

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