We spoke to Scott Gooding, personal trainer, celebrity healthy chef and father of 8 year old Tashi who is passionate about all Australian kids having access to healthy school lunches.
“As a parent you have a very small window in which to positively influence your kid’s relationship with food before they fly the nest and make their own choices. It’s a privileged position to be in and one that should be embraced,” says Scott.
Scott’s tips for ensuring your child’s lunch box is a healthy one:
- Supermarket shelves are packed full of snacks targeted for kids’ lunches which are inherently bad for their health. Check the ingredients, if there are words you struggle to pronounce or more than five or six items in the list, pop it back on the shelf.
- Ensure your kid’s lunch box is full of ‘real’ food – food that is close to its natural state – include some fats and protein to keep them fuller for longer and to avoid the carb crash post lunchtime. A quick and healthy lunch box idea is some cooked veggies (carrots broccoli) or beans with some home-made sauce mixed in with some Huon Salmon To Go Deli Bites – the salmon provides a good source of protein and good fats.
- Whilst perusing the aisles, think about whether you could have ‘caught’, ‘picked’, or ‘foraged’ the product – this screening will ensure you’ll eat food close to its natural state.
- Sugar, sugar, sugar…it’s in nearly all convenience and processed foods and comes in various disguises. Learn the different names for sugar to ensure your children don’t have excessive intake.
- Don’t go for low-fat items – removing fat from products simply removes potential health benefits, taste and mouth-feel – all of which have to be replaced – usually with sugar and additives.
- Avoid highly processed foods which have little nutritional value.
- Knowledge is power! Read-up on which foods are ideal for optimal health, you’ll very quickly learn which ones to avoid.