Our environment is a place of fun activities and learning. Children use the most amount of energy during the day, especially when in a state of learning and during physical activity.

A good breakfast alone is not enough to sustain your child through an active day, well balanced nutritious meals are required for optimum functioning.

Whilst you child is attending one of our centre’s, you do not have to worry as we have well balanced on site cooked meals to meet your child’s nutritional needs.

We wanted to provide the below information for you as a reference page to ensure when your child is not at our centre and once they start big school, you can continue to feel safe and secure that they are getting the necessary diety intake for healthy development.

In many cases, primary & high school tuck shops sell foods such as potato chips, chocolates and fizzy drinks – the kind of nutrition that provides calories, but little else of value.

Packing a healthy school lunch with nutritious foods can greatly enhance your child’s energy levels and learning capabilities.

Nutrition and learning

Calorie intake is important during the early hours of the day to prevent hunger and hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar levels). Hungry children have a decreased attention span and cognitive function. Carbohydrate and fat-rich foods supply energy in the diet.

Protein deficiency has been found to lower school performance and decrease mental and physical development.

Essential fatty acids play a huge role in proper brain development and the enhancement of learning.

Adequate fluid intake is essential to prevent dehydration. Dehydration causes listlessness and a decreased concentration span.

Iron deficiency can result in anaemia. Anaemic children exhibit poor cognitive (thinking) function, have a decreased level of alertness and exhibit disinterest in learning.

Vitamin A
Vitamin A plays a role in immunity. Vitamin A deficient children are at an increased risk for infections, leading to an increased number of school days missed.

Vitamin B complex
The B complex vitamins help the body to utilise energy effectively, for optimum cognitive function. B complex vitamins also help to reduce stress levels during tests and exams.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C helps protect children from colds and other respiratory illnesses.

Healthy snack foods for a school lunch

Energy foods
  • Avocado / pear
  • Bread
  • Bagel
  • Banana loaf
  • Bran muffin
  • Potato salad
  • Pasta salad
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Instant cereal / Popcorn
  • Muesli bars
  • Croutons
  • Crunchies
Protein foods
  • 3 bean salad
  • Green peas
  • Quinoa
  • Peanut butter
  • Bean sprouts
  • Boiled egg
  • Cheese slices/sticks
  • Chicken / Turkey
  • Mixed nuts
  • Roast beef / port
  • Fish / Tuna / Sardines
  • LentilsYoghurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • Milk
  • Tofu
Fat (limit in overweight children)
  • Avocado / pear
  • Olives
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Whole grain foods
  • Eggs
  • Use butter as a buffer between bread and fillings
  • Water
  • Flavoured milk
  • Fruit juice (dilute fruit juices with water in overweight children)
  • Tea flask (in winter)
Iron-rich foods
  • Beans and sprouts
  • Chicken, fish and meat
  • Seafood
  • Dried Fruit, such as raisins and apricots
  • Peas
  • Eggs
Vitamin A-rich foods
  • Carrot sticks
  • Peach
  • Mango
Vitamin B-rich foods
  • Wide range of meats
  • Fish / snapper
  • Grains / lentils
  • Avocado
  • Vegetables: spinach, parsley, broccoli, beets, asparagus, romaine lettuce
  • Bell peppers
  • Almonds
  • Vegemite
Vitamin C-rich foods
  • Apples
  • Berries (Strawberries)
  • Broccoli
  • Peas
  • Citrus fruit (Oranges)
  • Grapefruit
  • Papaya

When packing lunch, include a variety of foods from all of the food groups to ensure adequate nutritional intake. Include a variety of tastes, colours and textures in the lunch box to promote interest in the food. Limit your child a certain amount of money each week, to prevent him/her from buying unhealthy tuck shop food. Wrap and seal food to prevent spoilage and sogginess.

Some snack ideas
Include the following alone or with cheese, cottage cheese or yoghurt dips, or peanut butter: celery, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, green pepper, green beans, cucumbers, mushrooms, zucchini. Try pumpkin, banana, or cranberry bread and bran, corn, apple, banana, or blueberry muffins for variety. Make shakes with milk or yoghurt and fruit. Other dairy snacks include yoghurt with fresh, frozen, or canned fruit, applesauce, and/or muesli or dried fruit; and cheese cubes, slices, or sticks.

School lunch is an important part of every child’s daily nutritional routine. Nutrition knowledge and creativity need to be applied when planning school lunches to help ensure an active school day and a healthier, brighter child.

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