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Healthy treats

Monday, 19th January, 2015

Seven-year-old Demi Chrisakis is all ready to pack a healthy lunch box for her first day of Year Two at Morgan Street Public School. Seven-year-old Demi Chrisakis is all ready to pack a healthy lunch box for her first day of Year Two at Morgan Street Public School.

By Erica Visser

With the beginning of the school year right around the corner parents are getting ready to stock up on snacks but are you putting the right things in your child’s lunch box?

Local Health District Community Dietician Heidi Drenkhahn gave some top tips for getting it right.

“One of the main things we encourage is that the lunchbox contains at least one serve of fruit and one serve of veg,” she said.

“The fruit is usually easy as kids tend to like it and you can just throw in an apple or banana but getting the vegies is tricky.

“But it’s important to include it because once kids are school-aged the same goes for them two (fruit) and five (vegetables) a day.”

Ms Drenkhahn said there were a number of way to incorporate vegies your child’s lunch box including;

* Vegie sticks such as carrot or capsicum

* A salad roll

* Mini corn on the cob (can even be put in lunch box frozen to defrost during morning)  

* Celery sticks with cream cheese inside them

“When it comes to making healthy options more appealing, you could cut your fruit and vegies into different shapes to mix it up a bit each day,” Ms Drenkhahn said.

“Water should be the main drink but milk is okay as well ... try to avoid foods that have lots of added sugars and especially salts.

“The types of foods kids eat affects levels of concentration and energy. If they’re having more whole foods you’ll see an improvement there.”

Seven-year-old Morgan Street Public School student Demi Chrisakis was looking forward to helping pack her lunch box for her first day of Year Two.

“I take a sandwich for lunch. We have a fruit break when I eat an apple,” Demi said.  

Websites such as www.healthykids.nsw.gov.au or the Cancer Council’s “Eat it to Beat it” program can provide additional information for parents.

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