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.

fruit and veg lunchbox

  • 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

FruitVegetablesDairy/Dairy alternativesMeat/meat alternativeGrainWater

Apple

banana

mandarin

orange

passionfruit

melons

pineapple

grapes

berries

nectarines

cherries

apricots

kiwi

other

 

Corn cobs,

carrots,

capsicum,

cucumber,

celery,

snow peas,

cherry tomatoes
A salad

Consider adding a healthy dip like hummus or tzatziki to accompany the veg

Veggie slice

Popcorn

 

 

Milk (dairy or alternative)

yogurt

Cheese sticks, cubes or slices.

 

 

Chicken strips

tuna

grilled red meat

falafel

a boiled egg

baked beans

 

 

Wraps,

sandwiches

a noodle dish

sushi

homemade muffin

crackers

corn thins

rice cakes

 

 

 

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 lunchBack to school lunch ideas | Jacaranda Dental

  • 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

Just remember, the less processed, the better!

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