Australian parents have criticised a mother’s attempt at making a ‘healthy’ lunchbox for her five-year-old daughter, saying that their child’s school wouldn’t have allowed for half the products.
The mother, who lives in Perth, was looking for some guidance on whether her child’s lunch was appropriate, so she posted a photo of it inside an insulated pink lunchbox.
‘Is this okay for a kindy half day? My daughter’s a weird picky eater. Not sure if this is enough or if it’s healthy enough,’ she wrote alongside the photo on Facebook.
The lunchbox consisted of a white bread sandwich cut into squares, a handful of popcorn and chocolate chip cookies, a whole orange and a juice box.
The mother, who lives in Perth, was looking for some guidance on whether her child’s lunch was appropriate, so she posted a photo of it inside an insulated pink lunchbox (pictured)
What are the smart swaps you should make?
* Pick real butter over margarine.
* Choose full fat dairy instead of low fat.
* Choose organic meat over regular meat.
* Pick seasonal vegetables over those that are out of season.
* Choose plain yoghurt over fruit-filled, sugar-laden options.
‘The fruit should be cut up? In kindy they might not let them have poppers or cookies. And that wouldn’t be enough for my kids. But you know your situation best. That’s just my thoughts,’ one woman said.
‘I’d save the treats for home. Schools and childcare are all about nutrition. There is no nutrition in chocolate or poppers only a sugar rush,’ said another.
‘Not being rude but do some research into how much juice is actually in a popper.’
A third added: ‘I would be adding something else in like veggie sticks or a yoghurt pouch. If she has an extra busy or physical day she might want more food. You are better off sending too much than not enough. If there are leftovers she can eat it for afternoon tea’.
Others pointed out that popcorn can be a choking hazard, and as kids aren’t always eating around adults it might be best to keep it at home.
Some parents were more forgiving about the extra sugar in the lunchtime package and said as long as she’s eating, everything is fine.
Some parents were more forgiving about the extra sugar in the lunchtime package and said as long as she’s eating, everything is fine (stock image)
‘Everyone has a different idea of healthy. If that’s good for your child and you know she’ll eat it then it’s perfect. Great job,’ said one mother.
‘It’s weird to me that people are even commenting on the contents. This kid is getting fed and is cared for, literally nothing else matters. Nothing,’ said another.
The original poster had read through the comments and dutifully taken all of the positives and criticism from it.
‘Thanks everyone. I swapped the orange for a banana and took out the juice. She’s a grazer but a picky one,’ the mother replied.
According to Australian nutritionist Lee Holmes the ‘perfect’ lunchbox will be filled with plenty of different, natural colours, have separated dry and wet ingredients and plenty of fruits, vegetables and protein.
Nutritionist and former English teacher Lee Holmes revealed how to pack the perfect lunchbox – and it all comes down to including as many different ingredients as possible
What does the ideal school lunch sandwich contain?
* WHOLEGRAIN OR SOURDOUGH BREAD: Slow release carbohydrates help to stabilise blood sugar levels.
* PROTEIN: Lean meat, salmon, tuna, egg or tofu will help with alertness and endurance.
* HEALTHY FATS: Things like sunflower seeds, avocado and pumpkin seeds increase satiety, help to stabilise kids’ moods and boost their concentration.
* VEGETABLES X 2-3: Foods such as capsicum, carrot, mashed potato and cucumber contain fibre, vitamins and minerals kids need to keep their immune systems healthy.
‘A nutritionally-balanced lunchbox should contain an array of food from various food groups,’ Lee told FEMAIL previously.
She recommends plant-based treats like fresh juices and smoothies, chopped-up vegetables and hummus and seeds, as well as blueberries and strawberries over jelly and rich jams.
‘Use different types of fruits and vegetables, seeds, coconut flakes, full fat calcium rich dairy foods, protein rich foods such as meats, eggs, seed butters, pulses and tuna and oily fish,’ she advised.
They will need some form of carbohydrates and healthy fats to ensure they stay full through the long day.
Things like sunflower seeds, avocado and pumpkin seeds can increase satiety, help to stabilise kids’ moods and boost their concentration.