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Creating Healthy lunches for your children...

One of my biggest hopes for my site is to get you excited about creating healthy lunches for your children.

Snack & lunch makes up 1/3 of your child’s daily nutrient intake so be sure to include all the essential’s for their healthy growth & development.

During my time in Dubai I was lucky enough to be interviewed with Gary Rhodes, Celebrity Masterchef, live on Air on Dubai Eye radio, a career highlight for me!

The people from across the UAE called, texted & tweeted during the live show to ask about healthy school lunches. There were so many great tips I couldn’t wait to share them with you…

If you missed the interview here are a few of the questions that people phoned in…

Q. How do I replace the packet products in my child’s lunchbox? Rather than purchasing packet yoghurts which are expensive & loaded with sugar buy a plain yoghurt & add fruit. Replace packet cookies & cakes with homemade oat bars where you can use natural sugars from dates, honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar in smaller quantities. Replace crisps its rice cakes & cheese so you have a combination of carbohydrate & protein. Add some pumpkin or sunflower seeds for extra protein & minerals. Bake on the weekend with your children - get them involved.

Q. What are the correct portion sizes for my child? Every child is different & have different energy intake requirement according to age, weight, exercise regime etc. As a general requirement your child’s lunchbox should contain approximately 40% carbohydrate, 30% protein & 30% good fats. More breakdown on these in my coming blogs…

Q. Are sports drinks good or bad? The majority of sports drinks on the market are full of sugar which does not replace lost fluids but gives your kids a spike in their blood sugar levels. Water is your child’s best hydration fluid. Second to water if they have really sweated is 1/2 tsp salt & juice of half a lemon diluted in 1 litre of water. Electrolyte replacements would be a third alternative if they have participated in an endurance event or an event over a longer duration.

Q. How can I get my child to eat vegetables when they don’t like them? Vegetables can be blended into sauces for pasta, pizza bases, soups. For smaller children veggies can be cut into fun shapes or made into smiley faces to make it fun for them. Frittatas & crustless quiche are a great way to get veggies into your kids - full of protein, vitamins & minerals. These can be made into muffins so handy for the lunchbox! Even a homemade brownie can have sweet potato or zucchini added to it! See pinterest for some great recipe ideas.

Q. What about lunchbox food hygiene - any tips? Cold food should be kept cold - ensure food is kept in an insulated container with an ice brick that will stay frozen until lunchtime.Hot food should be kept hot - use a thermos container for leftovers & soups - pour boiling water into container before adding hot food to heat it first. A good thermos should keep the food hot until lunchtime. Throw leftover food away - do not put back in refrigerator for later or the next day! Other lunchbox tips will follow in my coming blogs… Feel free to contact us with any questions you want answered.

#HealthyLunches #kids