What some dietitians put in their kids’ lunchboxes 

Ever wondered what the health professionals pack for their child's lunch? We peeked in some dietitians’ kids’ lunchboxes to find out. 

Packing a healthy, varied lunch for your children can be a daily challenge, especially when it comes to encouraging your kids to eat the contents. Why not take some inspiration from mums who are also dietitians. 

Keep it streamlined

"I try to keep it simple," says Jodie Sheraton, accredited practising dietitian (APD). "Nothing too fancy or time consuming. I make sure there is a sandwich or roll for lunch, a piece of fruit, a dairy food like cheese or yoghurt, and another carbohydrate food for extra energy to play. Drinking water is always encouraged over the day for adequate hydration."

Add a healthy snack 

"I always pack a piece of seasonal fruit, some vegetables - sometimes I cut them in a fancy design - or grated carrot in a roll," says APD Tanya Lewis. "Half a sandwich is always eaten, along with either baked beans, boiled egg, pre-made egg slice, popcorn, or home-made pikelets. I also include at least one serve of dairy, such as cheese, milk or a yoghurt, and now and again a square or two of dark chocolate."

Choose a treat day

"My philosophy [about treats] is simple and practical, as it's also important that they eat their lunch," says APD Lisa Renn. "On Tuesdays and Thursdays it's a small packet of sweet or savoury biscuits. There is always one to two serves of fruit, some of which often comes home. I give my older child nuts in high school, but the primary school doesn't encourage it. Occasionally, I'll add a muesli bar - I look for ones that are low in fat and sugar and  higher in fibre. I use grainy bread for sandwiches. Leftovers are ideal, too. I make chicken and lettuce wraps, or taco meat and salad wraps, or leftover home-made pizza. They get rice cakes or rice crackers, which are not that great, but they do eat them and they are easy to pack. Occasionally, I'll put in a carrot or other veggie sticks."
carrot and celery sticks

Include home-made treats

"I include wraps with chicken or cheese, grated carrot and lettuce. Sometimes it's just cheese, at my daughter's request," says APD Simone Austin. "Seaweed rice crackers are popular. I like to include a home-made treat: a small cupcake, thin slice of  banana cake or cookie. I put in two pieces of fresh fruit, although one piece often returns. If we're organised, for a treat we make some sushi rolls."

Pack for the situation

"I pack three lunches every day for my three children," says APD Natasha Murray. "It depends on what each child prefers; I have one who is refusing to eat cheese at the moment. There is always a piece of fruit - depending on what is in season, and a yoghurt. The little one usually has leftovers from the night before (they heat it up at childcare): she loves pasta and rice-based dishes. Otherwise, it's a cheese sandwich. The big girls will usually have a sandwich on multigrain bread, with either cheese or ham and lettuce. One daughter also likes a salad with a small tin of tuna. I try to bake on the weekends so they can have a mini muffin, but otherwise they may have a few water or rice crackers. They also love raw carrots at the moment. Occasionally, I'll include a low fat, low sugar cereal bar or a boiled egg. I also let them have a lunch order once a fortnight."
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