Forty three per cent of parents of primary school aged children tend to feel more pressure from schools than the parents of teens at 21%. One third – or 33% – of primary school aged children are more likely to pressure their parents to ensure their lunch is healthy than their older counterparts at 23%.
Fonterra Brands Australia managing director Alex Stevens said the impetus to pack a healthy lunchbox was a positive one, and needn’t be seen as a significant chore.
“Back to school can be a stressful time for parents, as they cope with new uniforms, new books and ensuring their children have a lunch that is not only healthy, but tasty too,” he said. “Nutritious food is essential for growth and mental development, thus packing a healthy lunchbox helps give your child every chance at success.”
Aloysa Hourigan, accredited practising dietitian and spokesperson for Nutrition Australia confirms that a balanced eating plan with a variety of nutrient-rich foods is one of the important ways parents can help ensure their children are healthy and can develop their ability to learn well at school.
“Food eaten at school may provide up to a third of a child’s daily food intake; so packing a healthy lunch box can make a significant contribution to a child’s overall nutrient intake,” she said.
“The easiest way to make sure you provide the right foods in your child’s lunchbox is to include a variety of nutrient rich foods, like milk, yoghurt, cheese; fruit and vegetables, lean meat, chicken or fish, plus wholegrain bread and cereals.”
Dairy Australia dietitian Glenys Zucco advises it is important to offer children foods that are packed with the nutrients they need to grow, and stay healthy, rather than less nutritious foods that provide calories but few nutrients.
“Dairy foods like milk, cheese and yoghurt are packed with 10 essential nutrients children need everyday to promote growth and development,” she said.
Top tips for packing a healthy lunch box that your child will enjoy:
Source: Dairy Australia
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