A Healthier Lunchbox

Written by: Nada Alragum

  1. Water instead of juice. Water Vs Juice

Most children do not get enough water during the day, especially during these days since there are plenty of alternatives such as canned juices, flavored milk and soft drinks!

These alternatives do not only make your child drink less water, but also provide him with high levels of unhealthy sugars, colorants and preservatives. Make sure that your baby drinks from a steel refillable bottle; avoid plastic bottles that are naturally harmful to the environment. Let him choose the bottle with his favorite shape and drawings, show him where the water dispenser in his school is from the first day so that he can refill his bottle, and explain to him the importance of water in moisturizing the body and providing it with the needed freshness during the day.

  1. Healthy bars win over chocolate: Chocolate Vs Healthy Bars

Most mothers believe that giving children a chocolate for school is a good option that provides them with energy and vitality. This is a very false belief because the sugar present in these chocolates exceeds the need of the child. It will increase the sugar in his blood in an abnormal way. He will feel very energetic in a very short time then this energy drains and disappears quickly, and the child becomes exhausted and hungry again. The right alternative is to make homemade sweets, whether fresh or baked with natural ingredients like granola or oat with dates and dried fruits. There are hundreds of wonderful recipes that are easy to make on the internet and that suit every child’s taste with his favorite ingredients.

  1. Cereals are better than bread: Grain Vs Bread

Cereals such as rice, nuts and porridge

I know that offering such choices to a child in Kuwait is a big challenge because we are simply not used to prepare our meals at home on a daily basis. The Asian community is famous for this, and they always take with them their home-made food that includes very healthy ingredients everywhere they go, while we prefer to give our kids wrapped croissants and sandwiches to school every day! I suggest homemade sushi rolls with ingredients that the child loves, not necessarily raw fish. Choices are endless for sushi since it is a very easy meal to eat and prepare: Stuffed rice balls, delicious porridge, grape leaves, white rice with vegetable sauce, oat cookies and home baked nuts and many others.

Perhaps with a little more education and awareness, more people would realize the superiority of whole grains like rice balls with different fillings, whole grain porridge, homemade sushi, stuffed vine leaves or even rice and vegetable stew Vs refined breads and pasta.

  1. No for candies / yes for fruit: Fruits Vs Candy

Fruits are natural sweets since they contain natural proportions of sugar that suit the human needs to produce energy. The options surely suit the taste of each child. In addition, fruits contain many beneficial nutrients and fibers in a perfect balance that gives the child the ideal ratio of sugar to supply him with the required energy.

Pack smart, because the containers that we pack the food in for our kids are just as important as the food inside them! Most plastic containers interact with the food and can release harmful toxins into the food that will be inadvertently eaten by our loved ones. Better alternatives to us and to the environment, would be stainless steel, paper packaging & reusable cloth wrappers.

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