Spill the beans... on cheap, nutritious back to school lunchboxes

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  • mozzy10
    mozzy10 Posts: 138 Forumite
    nzmegs post is the only post I have seen here with healthy choices...

    Who the heck thinks cakes are healthy???

    Dropping wheat from my diet has cleared up my IBS and I have gone from being pre-diabetic to normal.

    Don't be too quick to scoff at someone who is only trying to help!
    nzmegs wrote: »
    If you really want your kids to be healthy and properly full up after their lunch - not high on sugar and carbs - try the following ideas:

    sliced ham, chicken or meat with a pot of full fat mayonnaise, a pot of berries with real whipped cream, full fat greek yoghurt with a sprinkling of chopped nuts, chicken legs or thighs with the skin on, a small pack of mixed nuts, sliced avocado salad or avocado dip with vegetables.

    Don't give them wheat based products like cakes, bread, wraps, rolls and the like. You are setting them up for diabetes and stomach complaints.

    Processed foods which are aimed at kids are often full of extra sugars - avoid them. Kids (and adults) need high fat foods with no sugar. Believe me you will see a reduction in poor concentration, bad behaviour and after school hunger.
  • Fire_Fox
    Fire_Fox Posts: 26,026 Forumite
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    edited 30 August 2012 at 2:55AM
    Violetta wrote: »
    I always try to have a tub of mini breadsticks in the cupboard , so when I run out of bread for sandwiches (or is that just me) I can pop a handfull of those in a pot & another tub with some philly light or similar cream cheese. The click & lock plastic tub's are also great for little fingers to open.

    White breadsticks are processed, no nutrients to speak of and the finely ground refined flour behaves like sugar in the body. Maybe keep wholemeal pitta in the freezer for pitta fingers instead? Or granary Swedish toast or rough oat cakes - all are sources of fibre and minerals.
    Declutterbug-in-progress.⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️
  • Fire_Fox
    Fire_Fox Posts: 26,026 Forumite
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    mozzy10 wrote: »
    nzmegs post is the only post I have seen here with healthy choices...

    Who the heck thinks cakes are healthy???

    Dropping wheat from my diet has cleared up my IBS and I have gone from being pre-diabetic to normal.

    Don't be too quick to scoff at someone who is only trying to help!

    There is a perception amongst UK families that a balanced diet is something that includes a balance of healthy and unhealthy or neutral foods, instead of a wide range of wholefoods supplying a balance of each nutrient. The government guidelines are often viewed as the ideal to aim for most of the time, instead of the minimums/ maximums to be achieved every day. :( There is also a lack of understanding about what processed food is, we all forget that there is sugar in yoghurts and drinks; salt in ham, cheese and mayonnaise. It's fine to have these foods as they supply other nutrients but we shouldn't then add in salty crisps or sugary cereal bars.
    Declutterbug-in-progress.⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️
  • busiscoming2
    busiscoming2 Posts: 4,459 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary
    Fire_Fox wrote: »
    There is a perception amongst UK families that a balanced diet is something that includes a balance of healthy and unhealthy or neutral foods, instead of a wide range of wholefoods supplying a balance of each nutrient. The government guidelines are often viewed as the ideal to aim for most of the time, instead of the minimums/ maximums to be achieved every day. :( There is also a lack of understanding about what processed food is, we all forget that there is sugar in yoghurts and drinks; salt in ham, cheese and mayonnaise. It's fine to have these foods as they supply other nutrients but we shouldn't then add in salty crisps or sugary cereal bars.

    I am interested in what you are saying.

    Could you post a couple of example lunchboxes please? Perhaps one suitable for a child and one for a teen/adult. :beer:
  • *Twinkle*
    *Twinkle* Posts: 352 Forumite
    nzmegs wrote: »
    If you really want your kids to be healthy and properly full up after their lunch - not high on sugar and carbs - try the following ideas:

    sliced ham, chicken or meat with a pot of full fat mayonnaise, a pot of berries with real whipped cream, full fat greek yoghurt with a sprinkling of chopped nuts, chicken legs or thighs with the skin on, a small pack of mixed nuts, sliced avocado salad or avocado dip with vegetables.

    Don't give them wheat based products like cakes, bread, wraps, rolls and the like. You are setting them up for diabetes and stomach complaints.

    Processed foods which are aimed at kids are often full of extra sugars - avoid them. Kids (and adults) need high fat foods with no sugar. Believe me you will see a reduction in poor concentration, bad behaviour and after school hunger.

    So when my (then) 3 yr old daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, thats because i had 'set her up for it'? It was just bad luck on our part, NOT because of her diet! She was a child who went through fruit and vegatables like they were going out of fashion, only ever drank sugar free juice and prefered a huge chunk of cucumber to a chocolate bar.......and still does to this day.
    in her lunch box i put a wrap with a filling of her choice, usually cheese and ham, or chicken salad, a box of raisins, one piece of fruit, juice and a yoghurt drink :)
    Skint, but happy (ish):p
  • rachbc
    rachbc Posts: 4,461 Forumite
    I think nzmegs was talking about type 2 diabetes rather than type 1. I'm moving towards a lower carb diet - and feeling better for it. I am including wholegrains such as oats and rice and startchy veg so by no means low carb/ carb free.

    Kids get veg sticks, home roasted chicken, gammon or beef -this used to be in a sarnie but I thinking of moving to wholemeal pitta/ oat cakes or a quinoa based salad, greek yog with cooked fruit compote. I also do a treat of hm choc mouse (70% choc and fresh eggs) once or twice a week.

    Littley is only allow fruit as a snack at school - I'm always amazed that cereal bars are considered healthy - they often have as much sugar as a choc bar!
    People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • zaxdog
    zaxdog Posts: 774 Forumite
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    I loved my lunchboxes as a kid, my Mum is a great cook/baker and even made her own yoghurts :j

    Mine used to generally consist of:

    2 rounds of sandwiches or a massive tub of salad with tofu/cheese/egg

    At least three pieces of fruit

    A pile of raw veggies (usually carrots or celery)

    And prepare for the shock..............a hunk of homemade cake :eek:
  • sassyblue
    sassyblue Posts: 3,783 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    My little one has a wrap or seeded batch bread with ham, chicken or cheese and a bit of salad in it.

    A little compartment with some cucumber slices, mini sausages, mini babybel, grapes or celery etc.

    A tube of yoghurt (can't believe the mess a small yoghurt pot makes when it's shoved back in his lunchbag :eek: )

    A piece of fruit

    Some raisins, flapjack or small cupcake.

    His drink is squash or once or twice a week apple juice.

    I love making his lunches but even though l use a mixture of vegetables and fruit still get bored and would like more variety, l love these lunchbox threads for ideas. :o


    Happy moneysaving all.
  • lilian1977
    lilian1977 Posts: 5,024 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Here are some good ideas - I also have her book but as DS is only 20 months I don't need to really be looking at it yet!

    http://www.annabelkarmel.com/recipes/lunch-box


    http://www.annabelkarmel.com/bookshop/lunchboxes
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  • Fire_Fox
    Fire_Fox Posts: 26,026 Forumite
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    edited 30 August 2012 at 5:59PM
    I am interested in what you are saying.

    Could you post a couple of example lunchboxes please? Perhaps one suitable for a child and one for a teen/adult. :beer:

    Try to look at the whole day as well as the lunchbox (which I appreciate is the point of the thread). I find it helps to look at the number of portions of different foods that should be eaten and you should find there is no room left for foods that should not be eaten. Concentrate on wholefoods, items that have been messed around with as little as possible. Remember a key recommendation is a wide variety of different foods; so whilst wheat is not a 'bad' food it really should not be eaten three times a day (eg. cereal, bread, pasta). Ideally we'd all be eating seven to nine portions of fruit and veg a day so I base all meals around that - this supplies potassium which helps balance out any sodium (salt). Kids/ teens generally like a bit of fruit in their salads for sweetness, and kids often like the 'traffic light' bright colours in a meal.

    Sandwich-ish
    - Wholemeal pitta, granary bread, rough or cheesy oatcakes, Ryvita. If you keep the bread separate from the filling you can do open sandwiches so get more salad/ veg in but that might not work for really little ones

    - Fillings/ toppings: chicken or prawn and avocado, fish pate - simply canned pilchards or salmon with all the bones in mashed with flavoured soft cheese and sweetcorn. homemade chicken liver pate (will freeze) and sliced tomato, houmous and grated carrot, flavoured soft cheese and grapes/ apple, peanut butter and banana/ grapes, egg mayo spring onion and red pepper.

    - A large portion of one of the mixed salads.

    Substantial one pot salad
    - A modest portion of canned chick peas or butter beans or green lentils OR leftovers of steamed brown basmati rice or steamed pearl/ pot barley. Flavour the rice/ barley cooking water with Marigold reduced salt vegetable stock

    - Two small portions of different proteins because it makes salads more interesting! :p Chicken, frozen prawns, canned pilchards in tomato sauce, canned wild pink salmon, goats cheese/ blue cheese/ cheddar/ feta/ parmesan, hard boiled egg, any nuts or seeds. Occasionally reduced salt ham or bacon or tuna in spring water.

    - at least three salad items/ vegetables/ fruits: one red/ purple (tomato, red pepper, red onion, dried cranberries, red cabbage, black grapes, raisins soaked in red grapefruit juice, fresh cherries, frozen blueberries), one yellow or orange (sweetcorn, yellow/ orange pepper, carrot ribbons, canned ruby red grapefruit), one green (avocado, cucumber, spring onion, Granny Smith apple, baby spinach, cos lettuce, broccoli florets, green grapes). Don't waste energy making kids/ teens eat salad leaves unless they are a strong colour, there is little nutrition in iceberg lettuce and an 80g portion is HUGE.

    - a dressing based on: yoghurt/ soft cheese/ French mustard, tomato paste and garlic, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and olive oil, olive tapenade, pesto.

    Often you can make half the salad the night before and just add the dressing or items that go off easily in the morning.

    Dips & crudites
    - Two of: houmous, lentil pate, guacamole, tomato salsa (Loyd Grossman pasta sauces!), full fat soft cheese dip, etc.

    - At least three different colours of raw veggie sticks (carrot, sliced red peppers, brocolli or cauliflower florets, button mushrooms, celery hearts, asparagus tips, baby sweetcorn, sugar snap peas).

    - Ryvita, oat cakes, wholemeal pitta fingers if wished.

    This can be relatively low in calories or protein so be sure to give kids/ teens something calorie dense like a homemade flapjack or nuts that day.

    Mixed salads
    - Homemade coleslaw (red or sweetheart cabbage, carrot ribbons, red onion). Can add grated cheese.

    - Grated carrot, orange, raisin, sliced almond salad (soak raisins in orange juice)

    - Waldorf salad (celery, Granny Smith apple, walnut, black grapes). Can add chicken.

    All three as a meal or one with a sandwich. All last a few days so can be made in bulk.

    Snacky things
    Mixed nuts and dried or fresh fruit
    Cheese portion and dried or fresh fruit
    Plain yoghurt sweetened with chopped dried fruit or frozen mixed berries, topped with a mix of seeds and Grape Nuts cereal or granola/ crunchy oat cereal
    Homemade flapjacks with dried fruit, natural sugar substitute (xylitol, stevia) and creamed coconut in place of at least half the butter
    Savoury cheese, wheatgerm, jumbo oats and nut flapjacks
    Naughty treat: chocolate 'cornflake' cakes (not too sugary/ diabetic dark chocolate, own brand fruit'n'fibre, any chopped dried fruit).

    HTH. :A
    Declutterbug-in-progress.⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️
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