Let’s make 2019 the year of healthy eating!
According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, South Africa was recently listed as one of the countries projected to have the highest number of children with obesity by 2025. A key contributing factor is the ease of access to unhealthy foods compared to the healthier options.
If you think about it, a healthy lunch box can also be a happy meal. Here are four handy tips.
1. Water is the way to go
Fizzy drinks, energy drinks and even some fruit juices are high in sugar content. Let your children choose their own water bottle and fill it with the best form of rehydration on the planet.
2. It’s all in the planning
Take the time to plan. This way, you don’t go for the easier, unhealthy options. You need to stock up on low fat and low sugar options, keeping in mind that your children are growing, so need foods from all the food groups every day: dairy, fruit and veg, protein, fats/oils (the good kind) and bread/starch.
3. Everyone likes variety
The same old sandwich doesn’t cut the mustard. Mix it up and put different foods in each day. We live in a country with an abundance of seasonal fruit. Do a sugar swap: a sweet, juicy peach instead of a chocolate, today, a bunch of grapes tomorrow.
4. Just say no
Your child might try all the tricks in the book to persuade you to give them high-fat snacks and fizzy cold drinks. Resist these manipulations using these tips.
Remember that children are not the same as adults. Their stomach capacity is smaller, so they need regular snacks. They also, generally, are far more active and so have much higher energy requirements.
Most of all, enjoy packing their lunch box. Even better, let them help you and pack yourself one at the same time. First break has never been this tasty!