This is a sponsored post, brought to you by Mayver’s.
A perfect school food day.
With just a week or two of school holidays left, the thoughts of parents everywhere turn to what we should be feeding our kids so that they are at their best physically and mentally each day. As many of us know, this can be easier said than done when you are juggling a million different things each day. So in order to make things a little easier for busy parents, here is a fail safe guide on what a perfect school days’ worth of food looks like, with as minimal prep time as possible.
Breakfast can be a tough one, especially as kids get older and it is a struggle to get them out of bed. As a general rule of thumb something is better than nothing at all which means a slice of toast, piece of fruit or smoothie are all reasonable choices.
Ideally a protein rich option will help to keep busy minds and bodies sustained until recess. In food terms this translates into an eggs, a smoothie with Greek yoghurt (check out my favourite recipe below) or wholegrain toast with a protein rich spread such as Mayver’s 100% peanut butter.
One of the biggest issues with school lunchboxes is that they end up being packed with carbohydrate rich foods – fruit, snack food, white bread and wraps and lacking in the protein rich foods such as meat, fish, dairy and nuts that are nutrient rich choices that will also help to keep kids full throughout the day.
Try this lunchbox formula with your lunches to give your kids a perfect balance of protein, good quality carbs and fibre – one vegetable such as cucumber, carrot or tomatoes; one piece of fruit; a protein rich snack such as cheese and crackers, roasted broad beans or yoghurt along with a sandwich or wrap with some cheese, lean meat or tuna. Older children may also need an extra snack – homemade banana bread, or small packets of popcorn, or wholegrain snack bars can work well here.
Hungry kids need nutrient rich yet filling options for their afternoon snack or you will find them overeating and then ruining their dinner. Start with a fresh fruit or vegetable followed by a protein rich snack such as a toasted sandwich or wrap; sushi roll with brown rice; smoothie; snack plate with a tub of Goodness to Go Mayver’s Peanut Butter or homemade treats such a peanut butter balls or bites or frozen yoghurt cups.
The afternoon snack is a great time to include some nutrient and protein rich nuts or nut spreads in the afternoon snack when there are no allergies as these are nutrients kids miss out on with so many schools requiring nut free lunch boxes.
Keeping the evening meal simple and light is the key to nutrition success for adults and children alike. While we often lean towards pasta and rice based dishes, unless your child is especially active and involved in sports for more than an hour or more each day, a nightly meal of a palm size serve of protein (fish, chicken, eggs, beans or meat) and 2-3 vegetables or salad is all they need. Think cutlets and veges, chicken pieces and salad or mince with a couple of tacos or a handful of pasta to keep dinner balanced yet time efficient and simple for the busiest of families.
The choice of whether to include dessert each night is one for individual families to make but if you do choose to include a small dessert after meals, aim for roughly 100 calorie snacks. Some options include a piece of fruit, a small yoghurt or a child sized ice-cream which clock in at just 60-100 calories per serve.
Recipe: Peanut Butter Banana Breakfast Smoothie
1 cup milk
1 small banana
2 tbsp. Mayver’s Peanut Butter
½ cup Greek yoghurt
Handful spinach leaves
A few drops vanilla essence
½ cup ice
1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.