Healthy Packed Lunches
Children attending for the longer session need to bring their own packed lunch to eat together with staff and other children at lunchtime. This should be in a named lunchbox, with a coolpack inside.
Please provide a drink in a named bottle for your child.
Any grapes, cherry tomatoes, olives, small sausages must be cut in small pieces to reduce choking hazard. (Grapes should be cut in quarters please.)
In line with Playgroup Healthy Eating Policy and the policies for local schools, this should not contain fizzy drinks or sweets.
We also ask that no nuts or nut products be included in your child’s lunch.
We feel sure that we can rely on our parents to make sure that their child’s lunchbox contains foods that are healthy and that their child enjoys.
More information here.
But we will discuss any concerns about a child’s lunch with parents if necessary.
We will not allow children to swap foods with their friends because of allergies. We will encourage but not force children to eat well and will put all uneaten food back in the Lunchbox for parents to see.
Pack less food
Don’t be tempted to include too much in your child’s lunchbox. Think about what you would serve then at home for lunch.
Often children struggle to eat large amounts and they are always keen to finish quickly so they can play.
Smaller amounts encourage them to eat a larger variety of what you pack.
How much is too much?
Take a look at the guidance on portion sizes for children.
A lunchbox sandwich should be made with just 1 slice of bread, a small roll, or one wrap.
1 portion of fruit or veg for a child is the amount they can fit in the palm of their hand.
A third of a packet of crisps (put into a reusable container).
1 individual pot of yoghurt or a portion (2 tbs) in a reusable container.
Beware of Added Sugar
Sugar is bad for oral health and can cause tooth decay. This not only makes teeth look bad but can also be extremely painful. If not dealt with, rotten teeth may need to be extracted which can lead to further heath issues. In addition, too much sugar can have more immediate effects on our behaviour and concentration levels.
Public Health England recommends that children between the ages of four and six have no more than 19 grams of added sugar per day, that’s the equivalent of 4.5 teaspoons.
Some lunchbox items are high in added sugar so see how much sugar you could cut out if you swap these lunchbox favourites for something else:
- Innocent kids orange pineapple and mango smoothie (17g) vs Water (0g)
- Whitworths Raisins (9.3g) vs Soreen Banana Lunchbox Loaves (5.8g)
- Kiddylicious Strawberry Fruit Wiggles (8.3g), Bear Fruit Yo Yos (8.4g) vs Hartleys No Added Sugar Jelly (0.1g)
- Yeo Valley Little Yeos (7.3g) Munch Bunch Yoghurts(9.4 g) vs Wildlife Choob or Frube (4g)
What About Treats?
It is fine to add an extra treat on occasion – maybe once a week. Given too often and it won’t be seen as ‘special’.
And you should still try to make sure it is a healthier choice.
Some good options include:
- A slice of malt loaf or banana bread, a teacake or low sugar flapjack / cereal bar, rice
pudding pot or sugar-free jelly
- Unsalted pretzels, plain popcorn, seeds, rice or corn cakes with cream cheese, crackers and cheese, vegetable or bread sticks with a dip.
And remember, treats don’t have to be food – why not add a little note, sticker or joke in their lunchbox to make them smile instead?