They were among about 1,500 families to take part in healthy lunchbox sessions offered to 22 schools by the Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) as part of its ‘Live Life Well @ School’ initiative aimed at supporting schools to improve students’ health and wellbeing.
Lunchbox contents can make up a third of a child’s daily nutrients, and WSLHD Centre for Population Health deputy director Christine Newman said packing a healthy and appealing lunchbox could make a big difference in preparing your child for learning at school.
“Finding the time to source, prepare and pack nutritious lunches for kids can be a challenge for many parents but we also know kids can be fussy with their meal choices,” she said.
“When children have healthy food, they are generally more alert and focused. They can sustain their concentration for longer, which means they’re more ready to learn and thrive.”
For more information, visit healthykidswesternsydney.com.au and healthylunchbox.com.au.
TIPS to help build healthier eating into lunchbox time:
• Include something from each food group in the lunchbox – vegetable; fruit; wholegrain bread/cereals, such as a soft wholemeal bread roll or a pita pocket; dairy, such as cheese or yoghurt; and protein rich foods such as a boiled egg, hummus or home-cooked chicken.
• Try to set a good example with your own lunches. They’re more likely to try new foods if they see others eating them.
• Encourage children to help choose and prepare their own lunch.
• Make sure foods are easy for little fingers – for example, chopped or small fruit and veg such as cherry tomatoes, grapes or carrot sticks.
• Children may prefer to play with friends instead of eating. Encourage your child to sit and eat before heading out to play.