You can lower your risk of cancer by eating a diet full of healthy foods, being physically active every day and maintaining a healthy body weight. Studies show being overweight, physically inactive and not eating a balanced diet rich in fruit and vegetables cause nearly one third of all cancers. A healthy lunch box provides children with the right fuel to support active, growing bodies, and can help them to maintain a healthy lifestyle into adulthood to reduce their risk of cancer.
1. Need a lunch box formula?
main lunch that includes carbohydrates for energy – sandwiches, wraps, rolls, warm leftovers or salads based on grains such as pasta, rice or quinoa. Visit NSW Healthy Kids for some lunch ideas
nutritious snack from the 5 food groups
piece of seasonal fruit, or tinned fruit in natural juice
water bottle and a small low fat milk (less than 300 mL). These can be frozen to help keep foods in the lunch box cool. Sweet drinks such as juice, cordial, sports drinks, flavoured mineral waters and fizzy drinks are high in sugar and are not recommended
- +1 extra snack for active, growing bodies. Every child is different and may need an additional snack depending on their activity level or rate of growth. Choose a nutritious snack from the 5 food groups.
Aim to only have ‘occasional’ foods such as snack food bars, sweet or savoury biscuits, cakes, donuts, flavoured popcorn, chips or chocolate in the lunch box once a week.
2. Easy, breezy, freezy!
Make healthy muffins, fruit scones, fruit pikelets, frittatas and mini quiches ahead of time. Individual portions can be wrapped in plastic and frozen so they are ready to be put straight into the lunch box. Other foods that are suitable to freeze include cooked meats, mashed boiled eggs, low fat cheese and baked beans. You can even make sandwiches ahead of time and freeze! Visit Cancer Council NSW or NSW Healthy Kids for some easy recipes.
3. Winter warmers
Heat up last night’s left over soup, stew, stir fry or curry and pop into an insulated food flask. There are some great products that will keep food warm until lunch time and it will cut down on the time spent on lunch box preparation in the morning.
4. Stocked and ready to go!