DOHA: A child’s school lunch box should contain a healthy mix of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, says a nutritionist.
These foods provide children with the energy required to remain active throughout the day and help their concentration and development, says Haneen Hassan Hamous, nutritionist at Al Wakra Hospital.
“A child’s school lunch should be easy to make, delicious and easy to eat. It should also contain a mix of items that can give the child energy to carry them through the day.”
According to Hamous, it is important to offer children healthy options in their lunch box, including fresh fruits, crunchy vegetables and a combination of proteins, carbohydrates and dairy products.
Hamous says a healthy lunch box should also include fresh fruits like apples and bananas, crunchy vegetables like carrots and celery, protein such as lean meat slices, hardboiled eggs or peanut butter, dairy products such as cheese, milk or yoghurt, whole grains such as bread or crackers and water or sugar and preservative-free juice.
She recommends freezing water bottles the night before for hot summer days and says fruits and vegetables should be chopped in small sizes to make them easier to eat. She also recommends dried fruits like raisins, dates and apricots as a healthier alternative to candy.
She says it is important to note that whole grain varieties of breads and cereals are digested slower than more processed white varieties, making them a good option for keeping children fuller longer. However, children can have a slice of pizza, or maybe a pastry, once a week for variety.”