What your child eats at school has a huge effect on their learning ability and general development. Preparing a healthy lunchbox with the right nutrient content means they will be able to make the most of their education by staying focused and enhancing brain function. These 5 nutrients are important for your child, but don’t sweat it, by including certain wholesome foods you can get a well rounded lunch with just a few items!

Protein

protein

Your child is growing at an exponential rate, both mentally and physically. Making sure they are getting enough protein is important for the optimal functioning of every cell in their body. Protein will also help with recovery if they face any injuries. You can amp up the protein content of your kid’s lunchbox by adding some:

  • Chicken Bites
  • Chickpeas/Hummus
  • Eggs
  • Tuna

Omega 3

omega 3

Think of omega 3 fats as the ultimate brainfood. A daily portion of healthy fats will keep your child focused and boost their brainpower and creative abilities. There are also studies to suggest that omega 3 can improve children’s behaviours and reduce anxiety. The main lunchbox sources of omega 3 are:

Good Sugars

good sugars

No, we don’t mean chocolate and lollipops. Kids are constantly running around, meaning they need a constant supply of energy to use. Carbohydrates should make up about 50% of a healthy balanced diet for children. Naturally occurring sugars can be found in:

  • Any fruit, especially bananas and grapes
  • Milk
  • Natural Fruit Juice
  • Raisins
  • Yogurt

Zinc

zinc

Zinc helps kids grow, but it’s also one of the most important nutrients for building and boosting their immune system. This is especially important when they start going to school because of the interactions they have with so many other children. Some of the best lunchbox sources are:

  • Milk
  • Nuts
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Spinach
  • Yogurt

Calcium

calcium

The foundations for a lifetime of strong and healthy bones are built during early childhood. You need to make sure your child is getting enough calcium to support their very rapid growth. Their packed lunch should include:

  • Broccoli
  • Dairy Products (Milk, Yogurt, Cheese)
  • Spinach
  • Tahini

For more great packed lunch and recipe ideas to keep your child healthy and happy, check out our editor’s choices here.