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Load up a healthy lunchbox!

Cancer Council is lifting the lid on Aussie lunchboxes, with research showing many packed lunches are alarmingly low on veggies.

 

Lunch boxLunchboxes: do you love or loathe preparing them?

 

Whether it’s packing school lunch for your kids or your own lunch for work each day – research shows many meals contain the recommended serves of fruit, but not enough vegetables.

 

We all have time, financial, emotional and practical pressures that can make balancing the weekday lunchbox a difficult task – but a few simple changes can make all the difference to our daily health and wellbeing.

 

1. GO FOR NUDE FOOD

Swapping out packaged snacks, often high in saturated fat, salt and sugar, for an apple, banana, carrot or celery is easy – and takes the same amount of time to prepare. Cherry tomatoes, cucumber, carrot sticks and a healthy dip, celery or a small salad are quick, easy and healthy veggie options for the everyday lunchbox.

 

2. BALANCE THE LUNCHBOX

A balanced lunchbox should contain one serve of lean protein, wholegrains (like bread, wraps, rice and muesli), one or two pieces of fruit, vegetables, low-fat dairy and plenty of water to keep you and your kids hydrated.

 

3. REACH FOR THE STARS

Use the Health Star Rating Scheme when shopping to ensure any packaged goods placed in a lunchbox are the healthiest possible. The Health Star Rating Scheme features ratings from half a star up to five stars and includes nutritional information about saturated fat, sugar, sodium and energy content in food products.

 

When choosing packaged products like cheese, crackers, popcorn, grain-based bars or fruit tubs, use the health star rating to pick the healthiest possible.

 

Look for muesli bars with whole grains and lower sugar levels, buy diced fruit in juice rather than syrup, choose popcorn over chips and sweet biscuits, and avoid salted crackers.

 

A little more time and thought into the preparation of each lunchbox can result in more energy for your day, a boost of happiness, and will work wonders for your long-term health.

 

 

Words by Cancer Council Queensland, image used under license of Shutterstock.com

More information about Cancer Council Queensland and living a healthy life is available at cancerqld.org.au or 13 11 20.