How to Make a Healthy Lunchbox

Hi everyone! My name is Danielle Savic and I am a dietitian and paediatric dietitian working for Eat Smart Nutrition and Paeds in a Pod. I will be writing a series of nutrition information to help make sure you’re giving your little ones the best start to life! I help children with allergies/intolerances, special dietary needs, gastrointestinal issues (irritable bowel syndrome and constipation), fussy eaters, weight management (weight loss and weight gain) and much more! As a paediatric dietitian, my main goal is to improve the health of little ones through nutrition. I pride myself on not being the “food police” but to work with your family and make sure the changes we make to your eating suits everyone’s needs.

So… a healthy lunchbox? What does that mean?

For me, a healthy lunchbox is a snapshot of a normal day of eating, but there are three main ingredients to ensuring your lunchbox is providing you with all the nutrients you need!

The three main ingredients for a healthy lunchbox:

  • Fuelling food
  • Muscle food
  • Immunity foods (COLOUR!)

Fuelling foods give us energy to run around and play, to think clearly and do our best work at school and at home. Fuelling foods include:

  • Bread, bread rolls, wraps, pita and lavish breads
  • Crackers and crispbreads
  • Pasta
  • Noodles
  • Rice
  • Quinoa, couscous or other grains
  • Crumpets, scones, pikelets (homemade is best for these)

Muscle foods help keep you strong so your body can handle running around a lot. If we don’t have strong muscles and bones, we might feel tired and sore a lot. Some muscle foods aren’t suitable if you are following a vegetarian lifestyle, but that’s ok! There are plenty of vegetarian-friendly muscle foods. Muscle foods include:

  • Meat, fish, chicken (not appropriate for vegetarians)
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Legumes or lentils
  • Tofu
  • Eggs (may/may not suit your lifestyle)
  • Dairy – milk, yogurt, cheese

Immunity foods are colourful and help ensure our immune system is strong and healthy. We should include immunity foods into all of our meals to make sure we are getting enough micronutrients. Immunity foods include:

  • Vegetables – carrot, lettuce, cucumber, tomato, celery, zucchini, pumpkin, potato, capsicum, cauliflower, broccoli, peas, corn and more!
  • Fruit – banana, apple, kiwi fruit (very good for helping open bowels), mango, pear, grapes, pawpaw, berries, rockmelon, watermelon, peach, mandarin, orange and more!

Your lunchbox should include all three “ingredients” every day! As well as making sure you have fuelling, muscle and immunity foods in your lunchbox, making sure you drink water is super important.

Some ideas for a healthy lunchbox include:

  1. Baked potato with Mexican beans/baked beans with grated cheese and salad + muesli bar + piece of fruit + frozen milk drink
  2. Pita wrap with hummus, grated cheese, carrot, cucumber and lettuce + milk drink + chopped fruit salad + homemade banana bread
  3. Frittata (with lots of veggies!) + 1 orange + creamed rice + rice crackers and dip
  4. Healthy mini pizza + yogurt + homemade fruit slice + two fruits in natural juice

Want to know more lunch box ideas or to book in to see me for individualised support? Email Danielle@eatsmartnutrition.com