Tips and Ideas for Parents
Children need lots of energy and nutrients from food, particularly when they’re growing. Try to encourage them to eat lots of fruit and veg (you should aim for at least 5 portions a day) to help ensure they have the required amount of vitamins and minerals. Variety is one of the keys to a healthy balanced diet and this applies just as much to the fruit and veg you eat. The more types of fruit and veg included the better, because different fruit/veg contain different nutrients. Including a range of colours, flavours and textures can help make food more interesting and enjoyable.
- Sandwiches are a popular choice for packed lunches and can be easily filled with a variety of salads. Or a mixed salad could be put in the veg tub, to be eaten with the usual sandwiches.
- Use fruit and veg in different forms, whether cooked or raw.
- Some vegetables taste good grated (e.g., carrots) and some (e.g., carrots, celery, peppers) can be cut into sticks, and perhaps eaten with a dip.
- Have a variety of fruit and veg in a pot and create a ‘salad’. You might like to try a fruit salad of banana, orange, pineapple slices with a sprinkling of raisins and a veg salad of lettuce, sweetcorn, grated carrot, peas or tomato.
- Stir-fries can include fruit and/or vegetables. Save some from the previous evening meal and put in one of the lunchbox tubs.
- Mix cheese (cubes or grated) with a portion of fruit and/or any of the above vegetable items.
- Pack fruit juice in your child’s lunchbox instead of cordial or fizzy drinks. Make sure it’s 100% pure juice with no added sugar. Smoothies (made mostly of fruit) are also a healthy fruit drink.