The Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) is encouraging all parents and carers to consider healthy food options for their children’s lunchboxes.
WNSWLHD Acting Health Promotion Coordinator for childhood programs, Sarah McKay, said ‘It can be overwhelming for parents and carers to know what to pack in their kids lunch boxes.’
‘There are lots of mixed messages out there and a lot of reasons why parents and carers struggle when it comes to packing a healthy lunch box. Some reasons include; having a fussy eater, not knowing what to pack, time constraints or budgets.’
‘Children can eat up to one-third of their daily food intake at school so it’s important to pack nutritious food to help children stay healthy as well as concentrate, learn and play. Research has shown obesity in early life has immediate health impacts and is linked to a range of health concerns through to adulthood.’
The WNSWLHD runs the Live Life Well @ School program which promotes a whole of school approach to healthy eating and encourages families to pack fruit, vegetables and water for ‘Crunch n Sip’ breaks in the classroom.
‘A healthy balanced school lunch box should contain water and a variety of core food groups; grain, protein, vegetables and fruit. Wholegrain wraps or sandwiches and fresh whole fruit are great easy choice.’
In addition to the Live Life Well @ School program, we are encouraging parents and carers to jump online and have a look at the free dietician-developed websites such as the Make Healthy Normal healthy school lunchbox page or the Cancer Council NSW Healthy Lunchbox builder.
‘These websites are a great resource to help parents and carers pack a healthy lunchbox for their children. They inform parents and carers about what types of food to include as well as provide plenty of ideas and recipes’ Sarah said.