With the final term of the school
year due to start on Monday, NSW Health is reminding parents and carers to
consider healthy food options for their children’s lunchboxes.
Executive Director of the Centre
for Population Health, Dr Jo Mitchell, said parents and carers can take small,
inexpensive steps to making their children’s school lunch healthier.
“Replacing unhealthy foods like
sugar sweetened drinks and salty snacks with healthier options like fresh
fruit, cheese and milk or water can lead to big changes on how kids view food,”
Dr Mitchell said.
“Children need the right fuel to
stay healthy and perform their best and good habits that are formed early are
likely to continue through life.”
Dr Mitchell said research has
shown that rates of overweight and obesity in children has stabilised in NSW,
but it is still a cause for concern.
“We know that obesity in early
life has immediate health impacts and is linked to a range of health concerns
through to adulthood.
Some healthier options for the
school lunchbox include:
- Wholegrain wraps and sandwiches with fillings such as
cheese, meat, egg or tuna and salad;
- Tub of yoghurt with fresh fruit;
- Chopped veggies and hummus dip;
- Reduced fat cheese and wholegrain crackers; and
- Fresh and easy to eat fruit such as bananas, grapes,
mandarins or a cut-up orange. Pasta salad and
It’s best to avoid occasional
foods such as sweet or savoury biscuits and chips in the lunchbox and make sure
packaged snacks such as muesli bars or air popped popcorn come with a Health
Star Rating of 3.5 stars or above.
the weather heating up, it’s also important to remember to pack a frozen
drink bottle or freezer brick inside the lunchbox next to foods that should be
In 2018/19 the NSW Ministry of
Health has allocated $25 million for the prevention of childhood obesity.
For more information on healthy
school lunchbox choices go to the Healthy Kids website. www.healthykids.nsw.gov.au