Canteen Services are only available for the Secondary students. Parents, however, are allowed to buy food items from the canteen for the younger children.
Here are some suggestions for Primary & Nursery lunch boxes:
The early and middle primary years are ones of slow and steady physical growth. Very low fat or restricted diets are not recommended – a healthy, balanced approach to eating and activity is suggested for all children.
Children need a wide variety of foods for a well balanced diet. Offer a range of foods from the following groups:
- Breads and cereals
- Meat, fish, chicken, eggs, legumes
- Fruits and vegetables
- Milk, cheese and yoghurt
Packed lunches from home are a great way for your child to learn about healthy food and help with preparation. Packaging can sometimes be tricky for little fingers – make sure your child is able to unwrap the food in their lunchbox.
Wholegrain for energy
The first thing that needs to be considered when packing a lunch is a good source of carbohydrate for energy. For most children, this will be a sandwich, or from cracker biscuits or rice and corn cakes. It is known that wholegrain varieties of breads and cereals are digested more slowly than processed white varieties and are likely to keep children fuller for longer, so choose wholegrain wherever possible.
Protein and veggies
Aim for your child’s sandwich to contain a good source of lean protein. The protein portion will keep your child full, help to maintain concentration levels through the afternoon lessons and help prevent the rush to the fridge when they get home. Also try to add some sort of salad to their sandwich. Salad and vegetables add fibre and bulk, which also helps to keep him or her full. Some options that will not make sandwiches too soggy include lettuce, grated carrot, celery or capsicum and cucumber circles.
Fruit for fibre
Always add one piece of fresh or dried fruit to your child’s lunch box. Children will eat fruit if they are hungry and there are no other more appealing “junk type” options available.
Water to drink
Active children need plenty of fluids. Encourage water as the main drink. Fruit juices, flavoured waters and full strength soft drinks are very high in sugar and should not be consumed on a daily basis. You may freeze water bottles the night before for hot summer days.
Failing to include a snack in your child’s lunch box runs the risk of them swapping their fruit for more appealing packaged options. A more realistic approach is to include one, small nutritious snack. Unfortunately, it does seem that many parents are over filling their children’s lunch boxes with snack food. Aim for one small (~20g or <400kJ snack food) in your child’s lunch box each day. Other nutritious snack choices include reduced-fat flavoured milk, cheese sticks, yoghurt, cheese and crackers, mini-muffins and low-fat cookies.