St Peter's R.C. Primary School

Healthy Lunch Advice

Many parents and carers seem unsure about preparing the best lunch for their children.  School dinners are a perfect solution.  With nutrient based food standards as well as a wide variety of healthy and enjoyable options (including vegetarian choices), at just £1.40 per child for Junior children, and free to all Infant children, with no preparation at home required, it is certainly worth considering.  Some families may be eligible for free school meals for their Junior children as well, ie those families receiving income support or job seeker’s allowance – please contact Greenwich Education Benefits (0208 854 8888) for more information.

Please click on the link to see our School Lunch Menu:  School Lunch Menu

However, if packed lunches are your preferred choice here are some tips:

  • Make packed lunch rules – eg no sweets – and stick to them.  No deviations or little treats!
  • Have a healthy lunch formula.  A good one is that every lunch must include a sandwich or savoury, a piece of fruit and a yoghurt or milk-based, low fat dessert.
  • Give your child water (if possible) or well-diluted fruit juice.  Water will be much more appealing if you can make sure it stays cold – it might be worth investing in a good lunchbox sized flask.
  • First of all, invest in proper packaging.  There’s nothing quite as unappealing as a soggy packed lunch.  Fruit and vegetable sticks that are still fresh when the dinner bell goes are far more likely to hit the spot.  Buy different-sized plastic containers with snap-on lids (make sure your child can open them!) and a lunchbox/carry case with space for an ice pack so the contents stay chilled.
  • Let your child come up with ideas for what he/she wants – but make sure suggestions fall within your healthy lunch formula (above).
  • Leftovers from supper the previous evening can be tasty and hassle-free.  Try to plan your evening meal with the next day’s packed lunch in mind.  Have one basic leftover ingredient – eg rice, cous cous, pasta and add cubes of cheese, cooked meat, tuna sweetcorn, beans, whatever you have in the fridge or store cupboard.
  • If your child wants crisps, suggest alternatives such as crackers or crispbreads.  You could spread a low-fat soft cheese or hummus on top to make a tasty snack.
  • Buy different sorts of bread for sandwiches, rolls or wraps – eg pitta, bagels, granary – and steer clear of white bread.
  • Low-fat soft cheese and fruit (try strawberries, kiwi fruit or banana) make great sandwich fillers.
  • Tomatoes and cucumber slices make sandwiches soggy.  Instead go for grated carrot or shredded lettuce (choose a variety with crunchy leaves, such as Iceberg or Cos).

Finally, why not include a pack of raisins (or measure out a small handful from a bigger bag and put them into a small plastic container).  You can also do the same with dried fruits such as apricots.

More information can be found on these websites:

http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/childhealth6-15/Pages/lighterlunchboxes.aspx

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/parents/packed_lunches