This post is brought to you in collaboration with Uncle Tobys.
The battle of the lunchbox - do you fight it at your home too?
Each weekday, like millions of other mamas across Australia, I am up at the crack of dawn preparing healthy lunchboxes for my kids prior to school. I carefully vary my additions every day and try keep it all simple and appealing. There's always a wholegrain sandwich filled with meat or cheese. Then there's a piece of fruit, either whole or chopped in a container to entice my not-so-very-adventurous eaters. Lastly, I pack something home-baked and wholesome; some yummy cookies or a slice of cake with 'added benefits.' (AKA fruit, vegetables or nuts.) Plus a muesli bar.
I have always viewed lunchtimes as the very best time to introduce the goodness of as many food groups as possible to my kids. Pretty early on in the picture, I noted that my children were typically fresh, hungry and more willing than at any other time of day, to consume whatever was on their plate at this midday meal.
I can't say that trend has continued into the school years however.
While it's not difficult for me to put a decent lunchbox together to this day, it is certainly a whole different story when it comes to getting my kids to actually eat what I've packed when they're away from home. (I'm sure you will agree on this too!) Despite my laborious efforts day after day, my bathroom wastebasket continues to spill over with mouldy sandwiches carelessly flung there by my kids. It's a nationwide phenomenon referred to as the 'boomerang lunchbox.' I am not alone in the lunchbox wars though and a recent survey has proven it.
|One of several mouldy sandwich culprits in this household.|
In the first major study into Australian kids' lunchboxes, (the Uncle Tobys Fuel for Thought Report), it has become apparent that many Aussie parents are struggling to keep their kids fuelled for the day. Almost half of the parents surveyed in the study reported that their child came home each week with at least one uneaten lunch.
Not a great thing for little learners.
Nutritionists have long-touted the benefits of regular snacking and the importance this plays in providing the necessary fuel for bodies and brains. It seems our kids are suffering from long stints between meals during school days. In fact, 45% of parents are providing unhealthy snacking options just to get kids through their day, instead of healthy ones.
In light of this study, Uncle Tobys have recently overhauled their entire muesli bar range to bring them to a healthy 4 Star Rating. Muesli bars are a fantastic choice for kids to nibble between meals and now Uncle Tobys has made theirs even more appealing.
The new range of Uncle Tobys Muesli Bars taste fantastic with an overall reduction in the sugar content and an increase in whole grains. Specifically, Uncle Tobys Chewy and Yoghurt Muesli Bars now have more whole grains, while the sugar content of the Yoghurt range has been reduced significantly. My kids love them too.
So how can we make sure our children consume their lunches? Well, according to the experts, start by including the right choices in their lunchboxes.
Apparently, the most successful lunchbox offerings are those that have your child's input: Offer your children a selection of the right options and let them make their choices from those presented to them.
It's well-known that kids who have played an active role in the preparation of their food are more likely to consume their efforts.
To make a successful lunch together, keep it simple and get your kids involved in the planning of their food choices for recess and lunchtimes. Consider offering up to four options that are nutritious and invite your children to decide according to their tastes.
Make fruit and vegetable options appealing. Past experience has proven peeled or cut fruit in containers has far more chance of being consumed than a piece of fruit in its natural 'whole' state. Finally, make sure food containers and wrappers are easy for children to open.
I've been tossing an extra muesli bar into the kids' lunches for a few weeks now to keep them fuelled.
In addition to adding an extra source of fibre to their diet, I'm appreciating the convenience in these hectic end-of-term weeks. You can find the new and improved Uncle Tobys Muesli Bars at your supermarket. Learn more about Uncle Tobys on their website.
Do your kids have boomerang lunches?
How many lunches come home each week untouched in your household?
Win one of three, 10 pack cases of
Uncle Tobys Muesli Bars to kick-start healthy snacking habits in your children!
Each case contains 60 bars valued at $40 each.
Three followers of Six Little Hearts will have the opportunity to win one of the three prizes.
Total prize pool $120.
Please note, due to the Christmas season, there may be a small delay in receiving your prize if you are a winner!
Giveaway ends January 15, 2016.
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