Heading back to school has been made easier thanks to two resources aimed at helping families pack healthy, filling lunches.
The My Lunch Bag and Kids Pack Your Own Kai lunchbox resources were developed as a collaborative effort between Healthy Families Invercargill, the Heart Foundation, Public Health South, dietitians and parents. WellSouth have also since come on board.
Healthy Families Invercargill manager Jared Cappie said the idea behind My Lunch Bag was for families to have access to low cost, easy lunch box ideas. Based on the My Food Bag concept, the resource contains a list of five lunch ideas, complete with a shopping list, for school lunch boxes.
The lunch suggestions are low cost and contain items that are easily accessible. The approximate prices of the lunches are included in the list.
One lunchbox suggestion includes: a cheese and carrot sandwich, a banana, peanut butter celery stick, and nuts and raisins, while another includes a mandarin, carrot sticks, hummus, a boiled egg and a vegemite and cheese mousetrap.
The suggestions have been designed to include appropriate foods in line with nutrition guidelines.
The Kids Pack Your Own Kai resource is a checklist for youngsters to pack their own lunch, and is divided into three sections – main items, fruit and vegetables, and snacks.
Again, the suggestions are in line with nutrition guidelines.
The idea for the resources came from the Murihiku Maori and Pasifika Cultural Trust, the organisation responsible for the hugely popular Polyfest.
The Trust thought the resources would be ideal for the families they were working with, and, after collaboration with Healthy Families Invercargill and the other agencies, the resources were created.
‘’It is great to be able to work with the community and co-design such a helpful resource. It makes the healthy choice the easy choice for families and also teaches children the fundamentals of their nutrition needs, ‘’ Cappie said.
Murihiku Maori and Pasifika Cultural Trust manager Pauline Smith said having a healthy resource that made life easier for families was fantastic.
‘’When you are busy, it’s so nice to have people do the thinking for you. It’s one less thing for us, as parents, to have to do.’’
Caption: Fraser, 4, and Libby Hodges, 2, show off some of the yummy foods they have in their lunchbox. Photo: Healthy Families Invercargill