As school starts for most children next week, Apunipima Cape York Health Council wants to remind families that healthy lunches are key to providing good nutrition and helping kids stay focused while learning.
Community Nutritionist Kirby Murtha said packing a healthy lunch was easy – the trick is to keep it simple.
‘There’s nothing wrong with a sandwich, some yoghurt and a piece of fruit. And don’t forget to pack water as the main drink.’
- Involve your child in choosing their lunches and don’t be concerned if your child wants the same thing for lunch each day for a while
- If mornings are a rush, make lunches of an evening and refrigerate until the next morning
- Cook a bit extra for your evening meal and use leftovers for the next day’s lunch
- Buy food in large containers and repackage into small reusable containers; e.g. dried fruit, tinned fruit, cheese and crackers
‘It’s also important to be aware of the new health star rating system which aims to help consumers make healthier choices,’ Kirby said.
‘The health star rating is now showing up on many packaged products, including foods which end up in lunch boxes such as muesli bars, crackers and snack food items.’
‘The health star rating can be a quick and easy tool to compare similar packaged products BUT does not necessarily mean those products are a healthy choice overall as the healthiest foods like fresh fruit, vegetables and lean meats aren’t part of the health star rating system.’
The best evidenced based source of general dietary information is from the Australian Dietary Guidelines.
The Apunipima Nutrition team would like to acknowledge Nutrition Australia and Healthy Together Victoria for their great Pick and Mix 1-6 resource.