At Bliss Charity School we support healthy eating and good hydration. Both help children to concentrate, learn and to develop lifelong healthy habits. This information sheet gives guidance on packing up a school lunch for your child. “Brilliant Lunchbox Basics” tells you what to include daily in your child’s lunchbox and “Lunchbox Limits” tells you the foods we are asking not to be provided. Our aim is for every child to have a healthy lunch at school, but ultimately from this guidance, we hope that children will learn from their lunchbox contents how to select healthy foods as they grow older and begin to make their own independent choices. Thank you for supporting this important goal.
Brilliant Lunchbox Basics – Include daily
Starchy food – This could be bread of any type used in sandwiches or rolls or it could be pasta, couscous or rice used in a lunchbox salad or other main dish. Try wholemeal when possible.
Protein – Add a protein food as a filling for sandwiches or ingredient in a lunchbox salad or other main dish. Examples are chicken, turkey, ham, tuna, salmon, egg, Quorn or houmous. Cheese is a good sandwich filling but perhaps not every day – using these other protein foods helps deliver a wider range of nutrients.
Vegetables – Aim for 1-2 vegetables in the lunchbox each day. Include cucumber, tomatoes, carrot, sweet peppers, celery, salad or sweetcorn.
Fruit – Include 1-2 portions of fruit. Popular choices are apple, banana, orange, grapes, kiwi, pear and berries. Try dried fruit like raisins and apricots or fruit bars containing 100% dried fruit.
Dairy/dairy alternatives – Try one option from this group in the lunchbox each day. This could be cheese (including processed cheese), yogurt, dairy free yogurt or dessert.
Drinks – Pack a drink of water. Add flavour with a slice of lemon, orange or lime. Try and move away from squashes to plain water; start this by making squashes very dilute.
Providing these lunchbox basics should provide a filling lunch but if your child has a big appetite, you could include some fruit or malt loaf, cereal bars, scones, teacakes, flapjacks, plain pancakes of fruit cake.
Lunchbox Limits – Please do not provide
Whilst we recognise that all food groups can be enjoyed in a balanced diet, we suggest that these foods are not provided in a school lunch box. We wish to help children develop life-long healthy habits and so want to help children move away from these unhealthy choices:
Sweets including sweets from fruit concentrate (fruit strings/ fruit winders)
Chocolate including chocolate bars and chocolate spread.
Crisps, sweetened popcorn or sweetened rice snacks.
Fizzy drinks, juice drinks or sports drinks.
Nuts or peanut butter (due to the risk to those with allergies).
Suggestions and Tips
Suggestions for Sandwich fillings:
- Tuna with sweetcorn
- Chicken breast and tomato
- Houmous with red pepper
- Cheese and tomato or cucumber
- Egg and cress (mash hard boiled eggs with a small amount of reduced fat mayonnaise)
- Ham and cream cheese
- Roast chicken and stuffing
- Roast chicken/ turkey and cranberry
- Cooked cold sausage and tomato
- Spread bread with houmous instead of butter and add a filling of cold roast chicken
- Quorn slices with salad
- Pasta or couscous salad
Children’s Food Trust: http://www.childrensfoodtrust.org.uk/
The British Dietetic Association – Food Facts: https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/home
Change 4 Life: https://www.nhs.uk/change4life-beta/cards