LUNCH BOX SWAP | Replace less healthy foods with better-for-you choices
DISLIKE / AVOID FREQUENTLY
LIKE / PREFER
|Pre-packed packaged foods – creates rubbish in playground + creates undesirable long term eating habits as kids become conditioned to †˜packages’ and TV characters. Eg Chips, yoghurts, cheese sticks.||Buy bulk and re-pack into little tubs with lids. You can control portion size and keep ingredients real. Eg natural yoghurt with fruit v’s sweetened and coloured †˜Dora Explora’ yoghurt.
|Processed Cheese or cheese in plastic.||Slice or grate different cheeses. Let the cheese †˜breathe’ and allow your kids to taste variety. Eg cheddar, fetta, triple cream.|
|Sweetened yoghurts – tubs, tubes etc||Natural organic yoghurt from a big tub, sweeten it with chopped fruit, honey or frozen berries.|
|Sandwich meats with nitrates such ham, salami, Mortadella||It’s hard not to use these – so do so only once or twice a week. Try and use cold leftovers (eg chick wings, sliced beef or lamb).
|Canned tuna or salmon in oil blend (hidden canola oil)||Canned tuna or salmon in spring water or 100% olive oil. Look for No †˜added flavours’.|
|Smoked Salmon – if it’s farmed remember it could be fed with a meal containing artificial colour, antibiotics, soy derivatives etc.||Wild salmon but price is often prohibitive. There are some better for you brands of farmed salmon such as NZ King Salmon.|
|Rice crackers||Look for organic rice or the more nutrient dense whole grain or seed variations, keep an eye out for low salt, no numbers as MSG/621 + †˜powdered flavours can sneak in.|
|Rice / corn wheels with flavor coatings||As above – so look for organic w/m corn or rice cakes without †˜flavour powders’|
|Certain crackers most contain moderate levels of trans, saturated animal fats or undesirable polyunsaturated oils (eg safflower or rape/canola oils) are used as they are cheaper, make them extra crisp and don’t go off. Check salt and preservatives.||Wholemeal or seeded crackers using healthy fats.[make your own – there are no knead recipes that go thru the pasta machine}|
|Processed packaged sweet biscuits including chocolate biscuits, Oreos etc. May contain unhealthy fats, colours, preservatives, are high in sugar, highly refined.||Really try to avoid. If you can’t – just a small serve (eg tiny teddy – say 3-5) or butter shortbread, digestive style occasionally.
|Muesli Bars –the style of these chewy bars means high sugar, sugar syrups (invert or glucose), humectants, emulsifiers and preservatives. Most have nuts.||Eat occasionally as a †˜fall back’ when out or about rather than a regular lunch box addition. Go for better brands such as †œBe Natural†. Best to DYI as they are easy to make…tho still high in sugar.|
|White or processed bread such as wonder white.||Wholemeal/grain, high fibre, no numbers, added seeds, organic, light sour dough.|
|White wraps – watch for preservatives||Wholemeal, gluten free or organic options|
|Popcorn – sweetened or highly salted or ready to microwave in toxic plastic packs.||DYI in a pan or popcorn maker – salt slightly with sea salt. Ensure GMO free. Buy organic. Sometime food only as filler / little nutrition.|
|Chips – such a hard one as everyone loves the texture and salt. Be well aware of extra high KJ/calorie count, high salt levels, unhealthy oils and artificial flavor additions.||Find a more wholesome brand (ie skin on, cooked in healthy fats, low salt, no other additions) and control serve size. Ie 10-12 chips max. Treat as a sometimes food.|
|Drinks: Juices (inc poppas), fizzy drinks, cordials||Water Freeze it in summer to keep cool.|
Rule of thumb. Keep food REAL
Minimal or unprocessed, with less packaging and less commercial advertising.