Life with kids on Sydney's Northern Beaches
Nine out of 10 parents think their kids eat their lunch, but three quarters of kids admit this isn’t always happening, according to a recent study.
The research found that one in three kids throw their sandwiches out so they don’t get in trouble for not eating them – with primary students more likely to take a bite and put the rest back, while high school students tend to throw anything they don’t like away.
Flannerys Mona Vale naturopath Caroline Robertson says it’s disappointing to see such waste and encourages parents to involve their children more in lunch box packing.
“If you can get kids excited about healthy eating, they’ll start making better choices,” says Ms Robertson.
“That also means introducing them to healthy options which appeal to them,” she says.
“A lot of children’s eating habits stem from what they see at home – so it’s important to foster a good culture around buying, preparing and eating food.”
Ms Robertson shares her top five healthy lunch box ideas that children are sure to enjoy – and eat:
1. Spelt bread and ancient grains: Ancient grains include spelt, farro, amaranth, buckwheat, millet, quinoa and wild rice. They are grain alternatives for those eating wheat or gluten-free and offer serious nutritional benefits. Spelt is particularly popular with children because it tastes just like regular sliced bread.
2. Preservative-free processed meat: If forgoing the ham or salami sandwich isn’t an option – try a natural, preservative-free processed deli meat like Lewis & Son. It’s free from gluten, with no artificial flavours, colours, preservatives, fillers, phosphates – or any other nasties – and containing no onion, their salami is also certified FODMAP Friendly.
3. Seaweed Snacks: Did you know that seaweed is actually a vegetable? Crunchy with a delicious savoury flavour, seaweed is loaded with vitamin K, fibre and iodine to help regulate metabolism. Kids love it.
4. Coyo yoghurt: A delicious allergen-free yoghurt alternative full of probiotics to nourish the digestive system, without the added artificial nasties.
5. Healthy chips: Just make sure to go for bags of chips that are made on good quality oils – we love the coconut oil crisps.
The latest NSW chief health officer’s report, which focuses on children’s eating habits highlights that more than 95 per cent of children (aged 5 to 15 years) are not eating enough vegetables.
Ms Robertson says it’s important that kids get enough fruit and veggies in their lunchbox and suggests small organic apples, or chopped veggie sticks dipped in hummus, as lunch box staples.
Flannerys has recently opened on Park Street, Mona Vale. It’s believed to offer the biggest range of products, fridge space and bulk offerings in the nation and has a café, local organic and hormone-free meat (from Brookvale Meats), over 300 unpackaged bulk wholefoods, free naturopathic advice, herbal dispensary, vegan-friendly and paraben-free cosmetics, a rescue beehive in-store, gluten-free products galore, plus all the regular health food supplies.
12-14 Park Street, Mona Vale; flannerys.com.au