Mums, Dads & Grandparents, schools out, and you now have a chance to introduce the kids to a healthy diet and this will ensure they succeed in their up coming exams and tests. Remember healthy eating plays an important role in developing the kids learning abilities. Below are few notes taken of the Zespri Kiwi website and there is enough information and tips on how you can put all this Healthy Snacking & Eating into practice without resistance from the kids. Click here for more information on the benefits of kiwi for brain development and etc.
KID Z is the official ambassador of the Zespri Occupy Lunchbox movement for nutritional change and she is passionate about delicious kiwifruit and healthy eating. She hates a badly packed lunch full of crisps and sugary drinks and much prefers her mom packing a balanced lunch break meal. Click here for more information of Zespri Kids Section
KID Z cannot help but tell everybody about the goodness of kiwifruit – its nutritional properties, its great taste and how much fun it is to ‘Cut, Scoop, Enjoy’. Watch out for her in the Zespri Occupy Lunchbox web ads or on the Zespri Website at: http://www.zesprikiwifruit.co.za/kid-z/
Packing the ultimate lunchbox with Zespri Kiwifruit: A quick tip sheet
Did you know that at school, children consume approximately 1/3 of their daily nutritional requirements through eating at break times and lunch? Whether you’re a child or adult, a nutritious lunchbox can help boost energy levels and enable concentration. Include each of the following –
- Fruit and Vegetables – full of vitamins, minerals and fibre (these are important for good digestion and keep us fuller for longer). Vegetable sticks made from cucumber, carrots, peppers and cherry tomatoes are ideal for little fingers. Grated carrot, sliced cucumber, avocado and crunchy lettuce are good to include in sandwiches. Strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, blueberries, apples, pears, melon, naartjies/oranges and kiwifruit contain less sugar than bananas, mangos, grapes and dried fruit e.g. raisins. Foods high in sugar can cause energy highs and lows and poor concentration levels, whereas foods with lower sugar content provide energy more gradually. A Zespri Kiwifruit provides an abundance of nutrients such as Folic Acid (needed for normal body growth and development), and exceptionally high levels of Vitamin C required for healthy teeth, bones and strong immunity.
- Make sandwiches using whole grain bread, rolls, and flat breads, wraps which contain less sugar, more fibre and more nutrients than white varieties. A pasta salad using wholegrain pasta or noodles with salad vegetables and low fat mayonnaise with a lean protein (e.g. chicken or fish) could also add variety.
- Growing children have an increased demand for protein required for developing muscles and organs and building strong immune systems. Include lean meat (e.g. chicken, turkey), eggs, peanut butter, canned fish, grated or sliced cheese, reduced fat cream cheese, biltong. Sausages and processed meats such as ham and salami are high in salt, saturated fat and preservatives.
- Dairy products such as milk, cheese (e.g. cut into sticks of grated) and yoghurt are an important part of a child’s diet – be sure to include it in the school lunch. Cow’s milk provides a concentrated source of energy (saturated fat) which growing children need and is an excellent source of protein, calcium and Folic acid. Calcium is vital for healthy bones and teeth, and is easily absorbed from dairy products. Look for reduced fat varieties (not skimmed) for older children (approximately 2 years+ if they have a healthy diet and are growing well). Reduced fat dairy contains much of the same nutrients as full cream varieties, while its best to avoid flavored milks and dairy desserts as it is high in sugar.
- Shop bought biscuits, cakes, breakfast and muesli bars, chocolate bars, fruit bars tend to be high in sugar, saturated fat and low in nutrients whilst crisps and crackers also tend to be high in salt. Foods high in sugar and saturated fat can contribute to children becoming overweight or obese. Making your own muffins, bread and biscuits is a great way to include more nutritious foods. Carrots, squash, pumpkin, oats, nuts and seeds, feta work well. Unsalted/unsweetened popcorn also makes a great addition to a lunchbox.
- Always include a bottle of water. Water keeps your child hydrated during the day and helps provide mental and physical energy. Drinks such as fruit juices, sports drinks, soft drinks contain high levels of sugar. Freeze water bottles on a hot day – this keeps the lunch box and your child nice and cool.
Handy tip list:
Handy tip – Children who help choose and prepare their own lunch are more likely to eat it
Handy tip – Wash and dry salad vegetables thoroughly to avoid “soggy sandwiches”
Handy tip – Avoid chocolate spreads, jams and honey in sandwiches as these are high in sugar.
Handy tip – Don’t forget a spoon when packing yoghurt, tubs of fruit or a kiwifruit.
Handy tip – Use either an insulated lunch box and include a small freezer block or freeze a bottle of water and put it in the lunchbox to keep the food cool. This helps prevent the growth of harmful germs and food poisoning.