3 lunch box must-haves with The Healthy Mummy

Kinderling News & Features

For a lot of us, prepping school and day care lunches is daily chore we’d rather avoid. No matter how many Instagram accounts we follow with beautiful ideas, it doesn’t seem to help.

Moreover, one of the most common problems for parents is when the lunch box comes home uneaten! How can you make it easier?!

Enter The Healthy Mummy, aka. Rhian Allen! She written an amazing book, Healthy Kids Lunch Boxes, on making healthy lunches, inspiring us all to do better.

Listen to Rhian on Kinderling Conversation:

For Rhian, preparation is key. “If I don’t have all that planning stuff done, it’s going to make things harder for me,” she says. “It’s really about planning it and making sure you’re back in control.”

With preparation, you can also ensure that sugar is out of the equation.

 “Sweet things are everywhere, so I think that if you can try to get kids to understand that you can make healthy sweet things, that’s a step forward,” Rhian explains.

Many of us are used to cooking and baking with caster sugar, so instead think about what healthy, natural sugars we can use, as the body processes these so much better.

Rhian says it’s also important to work with the kids and ask ‘Will you eat this?’ And if the answer is no, ask them to help you discover what they will eat.

For a healthy, nutritious lunch box, she recommends getting these three types of food in:

1. Protein

As parents we need make sure they’re getting enough basic nutrition for the six hours they’re at school per day to help them grow. And often a soggy sandwich is not so appetising, but there are ways to work around it. For example, choose a healthy bread with fibre and nutrients, and put the filling in.

What protein do they like? Is it cheese, egg, turkey or ham? Put it in a separate container if they don’t like food touching. Deconstructed sandwich, don’t try to force it.

2. Calcium

See if you can get in some milk or cheese, or even a healthy choc smoothie, without any sugars. There are healthy versions of everything to make.

3. Healthy snacks

“If I don’t have that, I panic!” says Rhian. Snacks are their little grab, what kids are most likely to eat during the day. The temptation is that parents can end up going to the supermarket and getting processed snacks.

One great win is raspberry swirl muffins, from Rhian's cookbook. There’s no white sugar, using raspberries with chia seeds and honey instead. wholemeal flour. Kids love it and you can even chop them up to pop onto skewers with extra raspberries and bananas to make it fun!