Packing vital fuel

Nikos Jakubiak
Nikos Jakubiak
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As parents, we all want to help our children grow into healthy and happy adults. Providing nutritionally balanced meals and minimising junk food isn’t always easy.

Often parents are confused as to what constitutes a healthy diet. After all marketing campaigns create all sorts of buzzwords and if you are not an expert, it’s easy to fall for the jargon. Children too are a target group for companies selling products with little nourishment.

As we head back to school let’s look at lunch box choices. The foods and drinks you include will be what their body uses as building blocks and fuel. Lunch provides nourishment during what is probably our kids’ most active part of the day, physically and mentally. Their growing body, developing brain and every other organ benefits from their diet. It’s also about forming future habits. Help them get vital nutrients by following a few basic ideas, without stretching your budget. Include a food from each of the following food groups and be sure to vary the choices through the week; 1) Starchy carbohydrates (wholegrain breads, pasta, rice, potatoes, or cous cous) 2) Protein rich foods (cooked meat, tinned fish, cooked eggs, or pulses) 3) Fruit (encourage different ones) and 4) Milk and milk-based products (plain yoghurt, cheese). Sugary drinks are unnecessary. Your food choices for children should always go beyond what is tasty, trendy or what is on offer.