Healthy school lunches are critical to your child’s mental, physical and emotional development and can affect their concentration, cognitive processes and even their behaviour. A balanced lunch is essential to keep their energy levels up and provide the nutrients they need for the rest of the day.
Without a nutritious lunch, children will feel tired and sluggish, probably not getting a lot done. They will lose their motivation and the will to try their best. Without even realising that hunger is causing it, they will likely suffer from headaches, irritability and fatigue. School children who regularly skip lunch also tend to be deficient in vitamins A, D, E and K and several essential vitamins.
Not just any lunch is good enough though. Unhealthy foods high in sugar and saturated fats will give them an energy boost but then backfires when they come off the sugar high, which causes an energy slump and all the side effects of not having eaten at all – which all get in the way of learning. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, lean meat and dairy foods are the things your child needs to eat for lunch to benefit their school performance.
Here are some of our favourite recipes for healthy school lunches that will give your child (and your budget!) the boost they need, and all the ingredients are available at your nearest SPAR.
Nutty Sandwich Spread
Your kids will go nuts for this super easy and healthy sandwich filler alternative
70g dried pear snack pack
125ml macadamia nut butter
3ml ground cinnamon
1ml caramel essence
25ml SPAR pure honey
15ml Squillos chocolate milk powder (optional)
1. Chop the pears in a food processor on high speed for 2-3 minutes.
2. Blend all the remaining ingredients.
3. Store in a cool place in a sealed airtight container.
This kid-friendly school salad with viennas, cheese and nuts is packed with flavour and crunch that your kids will love!
Small bunch of grapes (+-20 grapes), either cut in half or left whole
4 SPAR Chicken Cheese cocktail viennas, cut in half or left whole
1 celery stick, cut in 2cm pieces
¼ cup SPAR natural whole nuts
2-3 shredded parsley or mint leaves
15ml SPAR Greek-style Tsatsiki dip
80-100g SPAR Gouda cheese, cubed
SPAR honey to drizzle over
1. Combine all the ingredients and divide into containers.
2. Drizzle honey over the top and make sure the lid is well sealed.
Homemade Cheese Spread
Making your own cheese spread means there are no added preservatives, making it healthier for your little learners.
125ml SPAR full-cream milk
250g Berg processed cheddar cheese, grated
Flavouring of your choice, such as biltong powder or a finely chopped spring onion
1. Warm the milk in a pan until it is hot but not boiling.
2. Add the cheese and stir continuously until you have a smooth molten mixture.
3. Add your flavouring of choice and stir well.
4. Pour into a jar or container and allow to cool completely before covering and storing.
*As it has no preservatives, this cheese spread should be enjoyed in a reasonably short time.
*This cheese spread can be refrigerated without affecting spreading ability.