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provided by Matthew Ballenden, dad to Isabella & owner of the Fresh Earth Food Store, an organic health store and vegetarian restaurant with a  great online store.  

Lunch boxes are a priority in our book because the home is where a childs nutritional foundation is made. The home is where the child is taught how to eat, what to eat and the connection between themselves and the food they eat. Creating tasty, happy lunch boxes is so easy. Involve your child in the process and give them options to choose from.

Please be aware that actual time for eating lunch at most schools only lasts for 15-20 min and is filled with distractions. Make sure the lunch foods you pack are easy to eat, packed in easily opened packages, and don’t require peeling or special tools.

Things to take note of while packing a lunch box for your kids:

  1. Invest in a good quality lunch box with different compartments to separate the food.
  2. Pack a little ice pack with the lunch box to keep the food cool
  3. Kids are more likely to eat fruit or vegetables when they have been cut up for them.
  4. Plan your lunch box the night before to avoid the last minute panic
  5. Involve your child in putting their lunch box together by giving them options
  6. A healthy lunch box is a balanced lunch box, which means little to no ‘pick-a-pack’ food (food in packets from manufacturers with loads of preservatives and no goodness.
  7. If your child wants the same thing day after day, go ahead and pack it, as long as the overall meal is nutritious and you are sure your child eats it. Kids don’t like a lot of change in what they eat. Did you know that it takes 10 to 12 introductions to a new food before a child is usually willing to even taste it?
  8. When choosing bread for your childs lunchbox read the ingredients carefully. Stay away from preserved breads and buy bread from small scratch bake bakeries.
  9. Keep the food as close to nature as possible It can be tricky to come up with new lunchbox ideas day after day.

Here are some more lunchbox ideas examples that you can try:

Lunchbox idea 1:
Sliced apple (squeeze a little lemon juice to stop it going brown)
Cheese and Cucumber Wrap
Mixed nuts, raisin and mango pack
Water

Lunchbox idea 2:
Carrot sticks and baby tomato
Brown English muffin pizza
Dried fruit balls dipped in carob or chocolate
Carrot and apple juice (2/3 apple 1/3 carrot)
Water

Lunchbox idea 3:
Banana
Dried organic mango strips
Avocado and hummus with cheddar cheese sandwich on a low GL brown bread
Mary-Anns Seed bar
Homemade ginger beer (sugar free)

Lunchbox idea 4:
Celery & cucmber sticks
Chunky cream cheese dip
Cooked mielie
Potato Salad
Natural corn nachos
Carob Cocoons (Free Food)
Homemade lemonade (sugar free)

Lunchbox idea 5:
Sliced watermelon
Mini Vegetable fritters
Banana bran muffin
Water

Lunchbox idea 6
Mixed dried fruit and nut mix
Egg and Cucumber sandwiches
Oat Crunchie
Apple Juice

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