Quick Tips for Foolproof Lunchboxes

Quick Tips for Foolproof Lunchboxes

Contributed by Eve Persak, Nutrition Advisor, MS RD CNSC CSSD

It’s that time again – summer holidays are coming to a close and it’s almost time for the little ones to head back to school. Break the midday meal monotony and expand your lunchbox repertoire with these tips that’ll keep the kids – and adults! - happy and well nourished:

Don’t leave anyone out 

Just as a teacher takes the roll call, make sure all food groups are present and accounted for in your lunchboxes. Research suggests that fruit and cereal products usually predominate, but vegetables often go missing. Try to include bite-sized veggies such as baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, edamame, single-serve roasted seaweed sheets, and baked or dehydrated veggie chips. 

Implement the ‘one new thing’ rule

It’s common for little ones with picky palates to ask for the same food day in and out. To breathe life into a stale menu and encourage food exploration, aim to rotate just one new item each week - even if it’s a simple switch from apple to pear or mozzarella to cheddar cheese.

Be a realist – not an optimist.

Parents often build a lunchbox with items they hope their child will eat, rather then the items he or she prefers. If your child doesn’t eat it or ask for it at home, the odds are slim that he or she will even open the package at school. So, stick to you child’s ‘sure things’ and top up with just one wild card item from your wish list.

Drop in a drink

When it comes to lunches, we usually address hunger, but overlook thirst. Hold off on drinks with artificial additives and excess sweeteners, or carbonated beverage that may explode when opened. While plain old water will suffice, it’s good to include natural alternatives such as coconut water, cold-pressed organic fruit and vegetables juices, for an added nutrition boost. 

Take care with perishables

Don’t take yogurt cups, hummus, cheeses, eggs and meats out of packed lunches just because they spoil easily. These protein-rich items just need to be kept in an insulated box or bag. Tip: Freeze boxed or bottled beverages overnight and put them into your lunch box. The chilled drink serves as a built-in ice pack, keeping the other items cool. Plus, it will thaw over the morning hours, so a nice chilled refreshment can be enjoyed at lunchtime!

Whatever your health goal, Eve is here to help. She is available for private nutrition consultations, bespoke corporate talks or The Kitchen Edit, where she reviews your pantry to help you lead a healthy, nutritionally-balanced life. If you have any enquiries or would like to sign up for a consultation, please contact COMO Shambhala Urban Escape Singapore at +65 6304 3552 or singapore@comoshambhala.com