Dietitian approved lunchbox ideas for your kids

It’s that time of year again – back to school madness – and nothing is more daunting than the task of packing a lunchbox. Most schools have at least a few rules about what can and can’t go into a lunchbox, and teachers aren’t afraid to tell you when you get it wrong!

Unfortunately, about 75% of the salt Australians are consuming is hidden in packaged foods that we eat everyday – and this is especially true for kids.  Lunchboxes can be full of salt bombs, and the scary part is that you might not even realize where they are hiding.

The best way to reduce the amount of salt you and your kids eat is to reduce the amount of processed foods you eat. Now this may seem hard – which is why I’ve put together this list of 8 foods that are lower in salt and perfect for lunchboxes.

Boiled eggs – Eggs are nutrition powerhouses! They are great as a snack on their own, or mashed up on a sandwich.

Veggie sticks and tzatzikiSome dips can be packed full of salt, but in general, tzatziki is one of the lower salt types. Why not try making your own? We’ve got a quick and easy 5-ingredient tzatziki recipe here . Chop up veggies like carrots, celery or cucumber into sticks and you have a delicious lunchbox friendly snack.

Fruit – this one is pretty self-explanatory! Fruit is full of vitamins, minerals and fibre (as well as being naturally low salt). There are so many different types, so check out what is in season and throw it in the lunchbox as the perfect snack.

Low fat yoghurt – another low salt snack packed full of protein to keep your little one going for longer. Go for low fat, plain natural or Greek yoghurt. If you want to add a little extra flavour, try some chopped up berries or other fruit.

Sandwich – You may or may not know that many go-to sandwiches can unfortunately be packed with salt. But that doesn’t mean you can’t try a salternative. It’s usually the sandwich filling that blows out the salt content, so try something less salty – like avocado and shredded roast chicken. Look out for bread (or wraps) with less than 400mg of sodium per 100g. If you need help reading a label, we’ve got you covered here.

Air popped popcorn (no added salt of course) – most popcorn is swimming in salt and butter, but you can get healthier varieties. Look for air popped plain popcorn – still delicious but with much less salt. You can always pop your own as well!

Homemade slices – store bought slices are often full of added salt. If you make your own you can control how much salt goes in! Try our low salt veggie and feta frittata or our tuna and corn fritters.

Frozen smoothies – Make these ahead of time and whack them in the freezer. Pop them in the lunchbox and they will keep the rest of the food cool while defrosting just in time for lunch! Try combinations like banana, low fat milk and oats.