dried fruit or sliced vegetables with a bit of hummus or dip can help keep kids healthy and focused all day
Back to school – lunchbox makeovers
For many Australian kids the start of a new school year is fast approaching – which means that for many mums and dads, it is time to start thinking about nutritious and delicious options for school lunches.
David Davis, Victoria's minister for health, asserts that a discussion about healthy lunchboxes – and healthy eating habits – should be an important part of every family's back-to-school plans.
A good diet, he explained, along with regular exercise, is the "foundation of good health".
The Australian Department of Health and Aging has a number of simple tips to encourage kids to eat healthy foods, including more fruit and vegetables.
At breakfast, it is easy to add fruit and yogurt to crushed ice in the blender for a delicious fruit smoothie, or simply slice a banana or some strawberries over a bowl of high-fibre cereal served with either milk or yoghurt.
When it comes to packed lunches, fresh fruit like apples are an easy, portable option, while re-sealable bags can be packed with grapes or cherries.
Alternatively, dried fruit or sliced vegetables with a bit of hummus or dip can help keep kids healthy and focused all day.
In the evening, mums and dads can get cooking – quite literally – on the vegetable front by adding fresh, seasonal produce to stir-fries and casseroles, or by mixing pumpkin, carrots and parsnips in with potatoes and sweet potatoes to create delicious roasted wedges.
The Victorian government has recently pledged $3 million toward a new Healthy Eating Advisory Service, which is one of several preventative health initiatives aimed at children.
Davis also announced slight changes to the latest edition of the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating, which offers new guidelines on dairy and meat servings, as well as changes to serving sizes for breads, cereals and other carbohydrate-rich foods.
Of course, there are times when school-age kids might need an extra nutritional boost – either to make up for something that is missing in their diet or to help improve their concentration and brain power in the classroom.
Chewable supplements for kids with a fresh, fruity flavour can be a fun way of helping your children have the essential vitamins and minerals they need to support learning – including omega-3 fatty acids, zinc and iodine.