Top Tips for Packing Koality Lunchboxes
After 6 months of home-learning and summer holidays-at-home, school lunchboxes are making a comeback in most households in September, as the majority of UAE schools will be welcoming pupils as they start the new Academic Year.
There will be excitement and some apprehension – and with all the safety restrictions, how can we ensure healthy, nutritious lunchboxes that help keep tummies happy, ensure brain health, and keep immune systems at optimal levels?
Tip 1: Choose the right lunchbox and cooler
Making sure you have the right lunchbox is the first step. Does it have compartments to separate dry and wet foods so that nothing gets soggy? Do you have a small cooler bag to keep the cold items in this hot UAE summer heat? A freshly packed lunchbox will be better received than one that is damp and all jumbled up.
Tip 2: Color and variety
Color and variety will help create visual appeal when the lunchbox is opened. Color also gives us a range of all the essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that we need for optimal health. A good philosophy is to eat a rainbow! Try and ensure some soft, crispy and crunchy foods with lots of texture to encourage a wide range of palates.
Tip 3: Balance carbs, proteins and healthy fats
Aiming to provide a well-balanced lunchbox that includes carbohydrates for energy, protein for muscles and growth, and healthy fats for brain development is essential. Aim for low GI carbohydrates for sustained energy like high fiber veggies (carrots, celery, cucumber), crackers, rice cakes and muffins. Add a sweet touch with fruits and fruit rolls. Protein and fats are often together like mini-quiches, cheeses, tuna cakes, cold cooked sausage and even leftovers are good!
Here’s an example: Some carrot and apple pieces with hummus in a container for dipping, a Babybel cheese, some Koala Picks Bread Bites or crackers and our Blueberry Muffin.
Tip 4: Plan for success
Planning is critical. Opening an empty cupboard and fridge doesn’t help you pack a healthy lunch box, and increases your stress levels! Planning a week of lunchboxes and getting your shelves stocked with healthy snacks and lunchbox items will ensure your children get a healthy meal. One easy way to plan is to get your subscription to Koala Picks delivered each week. Filled with a range of healthy items, from savory, sweet, fruity and veggie, and some of our healthy snacks for after school treats like Choco Oat Cookies and Beetroot Brownies!
Tip 5: Get the children to help!
It’s a researched insight that getting children to help with their food will increase their receptiveness to eating the meals. This will also apply to lunchboxes. Get them involved! Younger children can help choose which fruits and veggies are included, or help put their snacks in the right places. Older children can even help prepare some of the snacks, like cutting some cucumber or carrot sticks. It also allows moms to chat to their children about which foods are healthy and what foods they like.
We hope these tips have helped, and we hope that your school year (and lunchboxes) are a great success!