Gladstone GP Superclinic dietician Megan Leane recommends a balanced diet for the back to school lunchbox. She is pictured with Tayla Sackley, 10, Ethan Sackley, 12, Kayla Sackley, 14, and Toby Marr, 10.
Gladstone GP Superclinic dietician Megan Leane recommends a balanced diet for the back to school lunchbox. She is pictured with Tayla Sackley, 10, Ethan Sackley, 12, Kayla Sackley, 14, and Toby Marr, 10. Mike Richards

Don't forget breakfast in the back to school rush

FRUIT, grains, vegies and healthy sandwiches - lunch boxes need to have a good variety of nutrients. For most parents this is common knowledge when sending their children back to school.

But the most important meal of the day, which can often be neglected, is breakfast, Gladstone GP Super Clinic dietician Megan Leane advises.

Ms Leane said even something small like a piece of fruit was important before starting the day.

"I think cereal or toast is a good option, as long you're not choosing the bright coloured ones or those coated in chocolate - talking Froot Loops or Coco Pops," she said.

Ms Leane gave some helpful tips when it came to the daily lunch menu.

A nice grainy food such as Ryvitas or multi-grain bread sandwiches with ham or cheese or egg and lettuce is a good choice.

Fresh fruit or fruit tubs are also encouraged as are nuts (if allowed at the school) or muesli bars, crackers and cheese, and yoghurt.

"And there's nothing wrong with a salad," Ms Leane said. "Carrot sticks, things like that in a zip-lock bag."

For children with dietary requirements, Ms Leane said it was important to identify other alternatives.

"For example, if the child can't have normal milk, swap to a soy or almond milk to give them the calcium they need."

And when the lunch pack is ready to roll, keep it fresh with an ice-pack or frozen bottle of water.

Snack ideas:

  • Carrots and celery with dip
  • Muesli bars
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Fruit
  • Yogurt
  • Healthy home-made biscuits or muffins
  • Grainy crackers and Vegemite



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