Kiddies love things in colourful packets decorated with their favourite character. They’re super convenient on the go but many aren’t very healthy and they also create unnecessary waste.
Daycare centres and schools are starting to embrace the ‘nude food’ revolution by adopting a ‘packet and wrap-free’ food policy, which is great for the environment and a good way to get healthier foods into your child’s diet. However, choosing nude foods that toddlers will eat can be tricky. Here are some tips to help you get more healthy options in their lunchbox.
Flavoured milk can be high in sugar, so blending plain milk with a dash of flavouring like fresh fruit reduces the sugar load. Pour some of the family’s milk into a small drink bottle to cut down on packaging.
Buying large tubs of yoghurt is more economical than buying single-serves. A small sticker on a reusable container can remind you of expiry dates. Try cutting a block of cheese into shapes and storing in a tightly sealed container. Adding some crackers can make a great school snack for your little one and save you money.
Fresh fruit is perfect as it comes in its own edible packaging. If using canned fruit, choose ones in natural juice and place into reusable containers. Squeeze packs are very popular, but it’s important to offer lumpier foods encourage chewing action to help develop their muscles.
Fresh crunchy vegetables like beans, snow peas or chopped carrots with cheese or hommus make a great naked snack.
Commercial vegetable chips are not suitable as they have high salt and fat contents. Vegetable juices are also not a good option as they contain no fibre and are usually sweetened with fruit juice, adding more sugar to your little one’s diet.
Grains and Cereals
Wholegrain crackers, biscuits, muffins and snacks like popcorn are more nutritious and can be coupled with a healthy spread such as avocado, cream cheese, hommus or smooth peanut butter. Remember to be careful of choking hazards.
Mini packets of biscuits (plain or sweet) don’t offer much as they provide a hit of instant energy that usually runs out quickly.
Boiled eggs are convenient because they come in their own environmentally friendly portable case. Small sealed containers of baked beans or hommus also travel well. Canned tuna is a great addition to lunch; you can buy a large tin and add to cooked rice with a few vegetables.