When it comes to packing a lunch box for the little people in your family, remember that healthy choices will set them up for a bright future. That also includes their dental health. Decay is on the rise and what we offer can make a big difference.
Using the ‘pick and mix‘ chart below can help put together a healthy and delicious lunchbox in a fun way. Chose something from each column to create your combination.
- Fresh fruit (1-2 serves a day) although healthy and an essential part of a balanced diet, fruit can be high in sugar and acids, excessive fruit consumption can lead to tooth decay. Consider cutting up larger pieces, this may make the fruit more comfortable to eat, especially if your child has wobbly teeth!
- Fresh crunchy vegetables
- Dairy foods; or dairy alternatives
- A meat or meat alternative food.
- A grain or cereal food
- Tap water.
Pick and Mix chart
|Fruit||Vegetables||Dairy/Dairy alternatives||Meat/meat alternative||Grain||Water|
Consider adding a healthy dip like hummus or tzatziki to accompany the veg
Milk (dairy or alternative)
Cheese sticks, cubes or slices.
grilled red meat
a boiled egg
a noodle dish
|Take a water bottle and refill throughout the day, frozen is a good idea|
Things to be avoided
Occasional treats are fine, but some items do not belong in a healthy lunchbox. Avoid the following in your child’s lunch
- Sweet drinks fruit juices, fruit drinks, cordials, sports drinks, energy drinks, flavoured waters, flavoured mineral waters, iced teas and soft drinks or even flavoured milk,
- Dried fruit bars and ‘straps,’ e.g. roll-ups
- Dairy desserts (custards), chocolate bars and muesli bars (most are relatively high in sugar, check the labels)
- Certain sandwich fillings should be moderated, chocolate spreads (Nutella), jams and honey, for example, high in sugar.
- Be careful of ‘oven-baked’ chips or crisps, they are marketed to sound healthy but often contain the same amount of salts and sugar as the fried versions.
- Avoid artificially sweetened drinks, although sugar-free they encourage a preference to sweet tastes and are also quite acidic; this can lead to tooth decay