I have always been interested in healthy eating, so I was very happy to be asked to write about packing a good school lunch.It wasn’t something I had spent much time thinking about recently, if I’m honest, as when our kids were little, my role was solely to go out once a year and buy the cute lunch boxes which my husband then filled. Lunch boxes don’t feature much in my life now, either, as I generally enjoy lunch in the boarders’ dining hall at school, so I was fascinated to spend some time reading about current thinking on constructing a decent lunch for one’s offspring.
Long gone are the days when a brown bread sandwich and an apple was thought to be a decent meal – nowadays there is much discussion online about strategies to prevent the bread from going soggy (generally by avoiding contact with sliced tomatoes) and a lot of angst about food issues and allergies and what should and shouldn’t be hidden in lunch boxes.
Some experts advocate not allowing children to share lunch with each other rather than banning particular foods, which can be impossible for a school to monitor.On the whole, however, the articles I read seemed to focus on nutritional balance and I liked the idea that the fewer packaged items in there, the healthier it was likely to be.I was also shocked at the proportion of sugar in some of the so-called ‘health’ bars and pleased that a piece of fruit still features as superior to any packaged junk food.
I hope some of the articles I have listed below are of interest and use to you.
Dr Julie Harris
Director of Teaching and Learning
Always keen to hear from an expert, I enjoyed the four dieticians’ children’s lunch boxes described here:
Four dieticians give us a peek inside their kids' lunch boxes
Some useful ideas to vary what goes in the lunch box:
Ten days of lunchbox living recipes
And for those keen on avoiding meat:
21 vegetarian lunch ideas for kids
20 vegan packed lunch recipes