3 Easy Food Swaps for a Healthier Lunchbox and Pantry
Good news: eating healthier doesn’t have to mean drastically changing your child’s diet.
In fact, making a few easy swaps for healthier food options that contain less sugar, sodium and have a high fibre content, for example, will improve their overall health and energy levels – and the best part is, they’ll hardly notice the difference!
Here are our top three food swaps for a healthier lunchbox and pantry for your child.
Swap out white bread, swap in wholegrain
While this food swap may feel like a no-brainer, the type of bread you choose for your child’s lunchbox can have a large influence over their energy and mood levels throughout the day.
Choosing breads or wraps with wholemeal or wholegrain high up on the ingredients list are a much healthier choice, as they have a lower glycaemic index (GI). As these grains take longer to digest and release energy, they will help your child to maintain a stable energy level, and stay fuller for longer.
Also look for higher fibre options (7g+ of fibre per serve is considered by the Food Standards Code as an ‘excellent’ source of fibre), and watch out for bread with high sodium levels (around 400mg of sodium per 100g is considered to be a healthy level).
Swap out savoury biscuits, swap in rice cakes
While they tend to be a lunchbox hit, savoury biscuit snacks and chips can often contain more nasties than nutritional value for your child. Not only are they high in salt –a high sodium intake is linked to high blood pressure, a known risk factor for cardiovascular disease– but they are often fried or baked in unhealthy oils.
Among some of the much healthier options to add into your child’s lunchbox are low-salt, low-trans fat snacks such as rice cakes, unsalted air-popped popcorn or a handful of unsalted nuts. Not only will they provide more sustained energy levels for your child – they’re also just as delicious!
Swap out fruit bars, swap in fruit cups
Not all fruit snacks are created equal. On average, a standard serving size of leading fruit bars and snack contains more than 13g of added sugar!
By swapping in a lower-sugar fruit snack into your child’s lunchbox, such as SPC’s NEW 25% Less Sugar Fruit Cups, you can ensure that your child receives the essential vitamins and minerals of fruit, with only up to 8.3g of total sugars per serve.
SPC’s 25% Less Sugar Peaches, Apricots or Fruit Salad served with greek yoghurt also makes a delicious after school snack, delivering a dose of protein and calcium alongside the goodness of SPC’s Australian-grown fruit.
Food Standards Code Australia & New Zealand, Sodium and Salt. https://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumer/nutrition/salt/pages/default.aspx
Heart Foundation Australia, Dietary Position Statement: Salt & Heart Healthy Eating. https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/getmedia/7fdc9882-713b-405f-8e54-8de413e0b44d/190729_Nutrition_Position_Statement_-_Salt2.pdf
Based on supplied nutritional information from leading fruit snack brands.