At Marriott Primary, we like our pupils to be as fit and healthy as possible. If you need any support or advice in regards to your child’s health please contact our Public Health Nursing service for schools on 0116 215 3230.
The school nurse service run monthly face to face drop-ins for parents to access should they wish support with their child’s health. Please ask reception for details and to book appointments.
Parents can also access support via www.healthforkids.co.uk website or via the parent text messaging service where you can get confidential advice on 07520 615381.
How to create a healthy packed lunch
As a healthy school we insist that children bring in healthy packed lunches Fizzy drinks, chocolate, crisps and cakes should therefore not be included.
The key to a healthy lunchbox is to include a balance of appropriate foods from the four main food groups -
1. Breads and cereals
2. Fruit and vegetables
3. Meat and alternatives
4. Milk and dairy products
Foods in the fifth food group, containing fat and sugar, should be eaten in moderation. A packed lunch should provide a range of important nutrients for children. Including a wide variety of foods in a lunchbox will provide this range of nutrients and prevent children becoming bored with the same foods. Most importantly, children should look forward to and enjoy their packed lunch in school.
Here’s how you can do it:
- Make packed lunch rules - eg no sweets - and stick to them. No deviations or little treats!
- Have a healthy lunch formula. A good one is that every lunch must include a sandwich or savoury, a piece of fruit and a yoghurt or milk-based, low-fat dessert.
- Give your child water (if possible) or well-diluted fruit juice. Water will be much more appealing if you can make sure it stays cold – it might be worth investing in a good lunchbox-sized flask.
Top tips for healthy packed lunch ingredients
- First of all, invest in proper packaging. There’s nothing quite as unappealing as a soggy packed lunch. Fruit and vegetable sticks that are still fresh when the dinner bell goes are far more likely to hit the spot. Buy different-sized plastic containers with snap-on lids (make sure your child can open them!) and a lunchbox/carry-case with space for an ice pack so the contents stay chilled.
- Let your child come up with ideas for what he/she wants – but make sure suggestions fall within your healthy lunch formula (above).
- Leftovers from supper the previous evening can be tasty and hassle-free. Try to plan your evening meal with the next day’s packed lunch in mind. Have one basic leftover ingredient – eg rice, couscous, pasta – and add cubes of cheese, cooked meat, tuna, sweetcorn, beans, whatever you have in the fridge or store cupboard.
- If your child wants crisps, suggest alternatives such as crackers or crispbreads. You could spread a low-fat soft cheese or hummus on top to make a tasty snack.
- Buy different sorts of bread for sandwiches, rolls or wraps - eg pitta, bagels, granary - and steer clear of white bread.
- Low-fat soft cheese and fruit (try strawberries, kiwi fruit or banana) make great sandwich fillers.
- Tomatoes and cucumber slices make sandwiches soggy. Instead, go for grated carrot or shredded lettuce (choose a variety with crunchy leaves, such as Iceberg or Cos).
- Finally, if your child wants a healthy snack for break-time, why not include a pack of raisins (or measure out a small handful from a bigger bag and put them into a small plastic container). You can also do the same with dried fruits such as apricots.
Only around one in a hundred packed lunches in England meet children’s nutritional needs. A balanced diet is about eating lots of different foods to get the nutrients you need.
Download a guide to a good packed lunch for Foundation Stage children and check our top tips for older children below.
Play the Amazing Lunchbox game here