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This is what the perfect lunch box for school should look like: Expert shares five food rules to follow

A food expert has revealed the five food rules to follow for the perfect lunch box, as parents across the country prepare for the new school period later this month.

Katie Fowler, of the Australian Healthy Eating Program The healthy mama, said there are several things to remember when packing a nutritious, tasty and balanced lunch – but the most important thing is to prepare in advance.

“Preparing with a list, food items, and good preservation methods is the most efficient method for busy parents,” said Katie.

So what should the perfect lunch box look like?

A food expert has revealed the five food rules to follow for the perfect lunch box, as parents across the country prepare for the new school period later this month (a perfect lunch pictured)

A food expert has revealed the five food rules to follow for the perfect lunch box, as parents across the country prepare for the new school period later this month (a perfect lunch pictured)

The first thing to do for the perfect lunch box is to load the five food groups needed for a balanced meal - these are fruits, vegetables, complex carbohydrates, proteins and dairy products (stock image)

The first thing to do for the perfect lunch box is to load the five food groups needed for a balanced meal - these are fruits, vegetables, complex carbohydrates, proteins and dairy products (stock image)

The first thing to do for the perfect lunch box is to load the five food groups needed for a balanced meal – these are fruits, vegetables, complex carbohydrates, proteins and dairy products (stock image)

What is in the perfect lunch box?

* Fruit

* Vegetables

* Complex carbohydrates

* Protein

* Dairy

1. Charge the five food groups

The first thing Katie said you should do for the perfect lunch box is load the five food groups needed for a balanced meal.

These are fruits, vegetables, complex carbohydrates, proteins and dairy.

“Since most children are in school five days a week, their lunch box is a big part of their daily food intake, so it’s essential to ensure that multiple food groups are covered,” Katie told the publication.

Nutrition Australia recommends that you divide your food groups into four different components of the lunch box: in the main article the snack based on fruit or vegetables, the second snack and drink.

When it comes to the perfect lunch box, Katie said that a good fruit and vegetable-based snack would be something like carrots and grapes, while your other snack could be raspberry swirl muffins or cheese with crackers.

The nutritionist said that an ideal main meal for a school-age child would be something like a tuna pasta salad, and this is good because it contains vegetables, grains, and proteins.

The second rule of preparing a good lunch box is organized in advance and may involve the kids in making lunch (photo)

The second rule of preparing a good lunch box is organized in advance and may involve the kids in making lunch (photo)

The second rule of preparing a good lunch box is organized in advance and may involve the kids in making lunch (photo)

2. Prepare in advance

The second rule when preparing a good lunch box is organized in advance.

A good meal plan means that you have everything at hand to make the perfect lunch.

“Involving your kids in the school lunch cooking process can be the difference between an empty lunch box that comes home and a full one,” said Katie.

Even if you only used up the leftovers the next day, she said you could get them to spoon portions of lasagna into portions ready to enjoy the next day.

The nutritionist said an ideal main meal for a schoolchild is something like a tuna pasta salad, and this is good because it contains vegetables, grains, and proteins (photo)

The nutritionist said an ideal main meal for a schoolchild is something like a tuna pasta salad, and this is good because it contains vegetables, grains, and proteins (photo)

The nutritionist said an ideal main meal for a schoolchild is something like a tuna pasta salad, and this is good because it contains vegetables, grains, and proteins (photo)

Think of storage

What does the ideal sandwich for school lunch contain?

* WHOLE WHEAT OR SORRY BREAD: Slow-release carbohydrates help stabilize blood sugar.

* PROTEIN: Lean meats, salmon, tuna, egg, or tofu help with alertness and stamina.

* HEALTHY FATS: Things like sunflower seeds, avocado and pumpkin seeds increase satiety, help stabilize children’s moods and increase their concentration.

* VEGETABLES X 2-3: Foods like bell pepper, carrot, mashed potatoes and cucumber contain fiber, vitamins and minerals that children need to keep their immune systems healthy.

If you want your kids to eat all their lunch and go home satiated, Katie said you should definitely think about how and where to keep their food.

“To keep food fresh and tasty in the heat, try adding a frozen drink in a zip-top plastic bag as a replacement for an ice block cooler,” she suggested.

Alternatively, you can freeze their water bottle and put it in the container.

Choosing the right type of container will also make a major contribution to keeping food fresh.

You can even use multiple containers with smaller lids to keep food like fresh fruits and vegetables separate from their sandwiches.

4. Try healthy sweet treats

Not many kids will not enjoy some sweet treat in their lunch box at 11am.

But these don’t have to be lollipops, a chocolate bar or cookie.

Katie recommends making your own healthy sweet treats instead, such as raspberry swirl muffins, Turkish delight bites, and choc fudge.

All Healthy mom recipes can be made with healthy swaps including cocoa and dark chocolate.

There aren't many kids who won't enjoy some sweet treat in their lunch box at 11am, but you can make your own healthy versions (photo)

There aren't many kids who won't enjoy some sweet treat in their lunch box at 11am, but you can make your own healthy versions (photo)

There aren’t many kids who won’t enjoy some sweet treat in their lunch box at 11am, but you can make your own healthy versions (photo)

5. Avoid allergy foods

Finally, Katie said you should avoid foods that can cause or be banned from allergies, such as peanuts.

“A major ban on most school lunchboxes is crazy,” said Katie.

“This includes any kind of food that has a nut trace – such as certain cakes, peanut butter sandwiches, etc.”

You can give your child a ‘nutty’ flavor with something like a muesli bar instead.

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