Lunchbox: Being Sugar Smart
Wow. That summer absolutely flew by! Can you believe it’s back to school time already? We know some parents will be jumping for joy as it is hard to constantly keep your little ones amused. However, back to school can also be a bit of a stressful time; buying uniforms, books, school bags. You’re probably giving lunch boxes some attention too. We all want our children to have nice, wholesome lunches during break at school, but often don’t really know what to put in them. There is nothing worse than seeing the lunch come home uneaten; you want them to enjoy their food and get all their nutrients but at the same time, don’t want to just give them junk food.
We also find this a challenge. We took some time over our fizz break today to exchange lunch box tips which we use for our own lunches and our kids, and how to be sugar smart. Check them out below:
· Craig: As I face a commute in the morning, I need to be out the door without any hassle. I try and make all the lunches the night before so at least one job is done when we wake up in the morning. I find the kids enjoy leftover dinner the most. I send them in a little bit of left-over cold wholemeal pasta usually. That way, they get carbohydrates, nutrients from whatever veg I added the night before and feel full until home-time.
· Rachel: It is hard to get the balance. I like sweet things but try not to snack on them too much during the day. I find that packing yoghurt feeds my sweet tooth enough so I don’t need to munch on chocolate throughout the day. I also always go for products that have naturally occurring sugars rather than artificial ones. I also recommend buying a little cooler lunch box. This way everything stays fresh until lunch.
· Barry: My kids are grazers – it can be hard to get them to eat a whole meal in one sitting so I try and provide as much mix as possible within their lunch boxes. Luckily, none of them are allergic to nuts so I usually add some trail mix, chopped carrots and a mini sandwich. I encourage them to drink milk Monday-Thursday at school and allow them one SodaStream drink on a Friday. They know this is their treat.
· Georgia: Organising lunch even just for me in the office can be a huge chore! I always want something that is quick, nutritious and satisfying. Like Craig, I tend to bring in food from home that is left-over from the night before. I use the pasta -spinach rule though – this means I add half the pasta I normally would for a single portion and add extra spinach to bulk the meal up. I still feel full but not bloated. A favourite treat of mine is Sparkling water with lemon and lime juice squeezed in. Light and refreshing! I also eat a lot of fruit.
· Sinead: Having a big breakfast is important for me – gets me out the door and into work in the morning. I always try not to eat the same things for lunch. As I am gluten – free, making lunch can be a bit of a nightmare. I don’t really want to have any sorts of bread so often have a rice based dish for lunch or will make a quick vegetable stir-fry the night before and pair it with rice noodles. The most important thing for me is to feel full to avoid snacking until dinner later. If I feel that sugar craving coming on, I do try to have a small piece of fruit instead. Friday is my chocolate day.
· Debbie: Lunch for me is never at a fixed time. Sometimes I don’t get around to having it until maybe 2 or 3 due to meetings or calls. Because of this, I make up a SodaStream drink in the morning, with one of our Free from flavours (Apple-Peach is my favourite) and add ice cubes to it. That way, when I finally get round to having my lunch, my drink will still be cold.
· Adam: I’m a sandwich man through and through! I often mix it up with different flavour combinations or bread types. I often eat at my desk so don’t want anything too messy. I pack my sandwiches in brown recyclable paper though, it keeps them fresh (not soggy)! I try and get as much protein into my diet as I can though so incorporate lots of eggs and chicken. I do like tweet things though but limit myself to 1 biscuit or 1 treat size bar.