Start your summer lunches right

Ready to get your healthy eating habits back on track after the summer break?

If you and your family members take packed lunches to school or work, why not think about how to make lunchtimes even better this year?

Healthy lunchboxes are a great way to get your family eating healthy and delicious foods every day. And no, they don’t need to be boring!

Given your kids will eat a third of their daily intake of nutrients at school, it’s definitely worth making lunchtime count.

There’s a plus side for grown-ups too. By creating lunchboxes that you look forward to eating, there’ll be no excuse to buy a takeaway meal or skip lunch either.

All it takes is some forward planning, a bit of family team work and of course some summer lunchbox inspiration.

At MyHealthTest, we unpack healthy lunchbox ideas for school and work #family #lunchboxes Click To Tweet

Step by step guide to healthy summer lunchboxes

Include frozen fruit in healthy summer lunchboxes

The great thing about lunchboxes is you can fill them with wholesome, nutritious foods that will keep your family feeling fuller for longer. This also reduces the risk of that mid-afternoon craving for a sugary snack.

Here are our top seven tips to creating healthy summer lunchboxes.

1. Plan and shop in advance

Let’s face it, weekday mornings are hectic in most households. Plan your lunchboxes for the week on the weekend and shop for ingredients in advance. That way, you’ll have everything you need on hand. Stick your weekly lunchbox plan on the fridge and everyone can help to pack their own lunchbox.

2. Work out your lunchbox routine

Some people like to pack their lunchbox each morning, others the night before, and some prefer to do more advanced meal planning at the start of the week. Find out what works best for you. Having a plan and a regular routine are important to being able to enjoy a healthy, delicious lunchbox every day.

3. Get creative

Move aside soggy sandwiches and brown bananas – it’s time to get creative! Leftovers from last night’s dinner can often double as a perfect lunch option for the next day. Some meals even taste better the next day. Pasta, stir fries and homemade pizzas make excellent leftovers, and they’re quick and easy to get lunchbox-ready in the morning rush.

Move aside soggy sandwiches and brown bananas, try these healthy #lunchbox sensations #family #backtoschool Click To Tweet

4.  Buy in-season

The best thing about planning meals in advance is you can buy “in season” and enjoy tastier seasonal fruits and vegetables that cost less. Buy fruits and vegetables that are in season and on special each week. You can also buy in bulk and save. For example, buy a whole bag of oranges instead of one or two, and chop them up for single sized servings for the week ahead.

5.  Create bite sized healthy snacks

Portion up seasonal fruits and vegetables into smaller snack-size portions for the week ahead. Why not buy a whole head of celery and cut it up into portions for dipping into a healthy hummus or tzatziki? You can chop, wash and chill your celery in advance. Be sure to include lots of colourful snack size fruits and vegetables in lunchboxes every day. You can keep containers of pre-cut vegetables (in water) or fruit in the fridge that are easy to grab and go.

6. Try something new each week

Trying something new each week will help to keep your lunchbox interesting and fun. Why not get started with some easy to prepare vegetable rice paper rolls? Wrap finely sliced cucumber, carrot, snow pea sprouts and rice noodles in rice paper wrappers. Serve with sweet chilli sauce. What’s not to love?

Healthy lunchbox ideas for school and work
Is your #lunchbox ready for a makeover? Check out these healthy summer #lunchbox ideas Click To Tweet

7. Keep it cold

For food safety, it’s important to keep the food in your lunchbox cool. To do this, include a small flask of frozen water. It’s a healthier alternative than a juice box, and it’s great to have cold water on a hot day.  You can also add frozen fruit as a fun alternative to regular fruit, which will help keep your lunchboxes cold. Sliced orange and grapes freeze beautifully.

Get packing

We hope we’ve given you loads of summer lunch inspiration and you’re ready to plan some lunchboxes full of nutrition, colour and flavour.

Now you’ve got your healthy lunches on track, stay on top of your wellbeing all-year-round with a subscription to our Diabetes HbA1c Test Service.

Over to you – Have you got a healthy lunchbox idea that works well in your family? We’d love for you to share this with us on our Facebook page.

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