Posts Tagged ‘fun’

Back to School – Healthy Packed Lunch Ideas

Monday, August 20th, 2012

We all know how difficult it can be to come up with different, healthy and fun lunch box ideas – and that is why we end up packing up the same lunches over and over again! Packed lunches, just like any other meal, should have a balance of ingredients to fit in with healthy eating guidelines.

To help avoid packed lunch boredom, Nutritional Concepts has some simple ideas to make sure your child’s packed lunch packs a few surprises as well as a healthy, nourishing meal in the middle of the day:

  • Offer a variety of foods throughout the week. Just like adults, kids can get bored with having sandwiches everyday for lunch. Why not try using the same fillings, but add excitement by changing the bread e.g. pitta bread, bagels or tortilla wraps.
  • Make sure food looks good as well as tasting good by adding different colours and textures. Forget about your typical lettuce and tomato salad. Instead try a pasta salad or potato salad. Cook and drain the pasta or potatoes and mix with a little mayonnaise or olive oil, then add some cut up vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers and carrots. If you like you can also include some sliced turkey, chicken or ham. If you decide to pack a traditional sandwich, try cutting the bread with fun shapes using a cookie cutter.
  • Sometimes kids, especially younger ones, don’t like to eat a whole sandwich or bowl of food. Instead you can try preparing cut up cubes of cheese, grapes, baby tomatoes, carrot sticks and mini crackers. Finger foods are really very appealing for all ages!
  • Always include a drink in the lunch box to make sure they don’t become dehydrated during the afternoon. Water, fruit juice and milk are all healthy choices.
  • Make sweet stuff, such as chocolate, biscuits and cakes an occasional treat rather than everyday items.

Overall, as well as something to drink, a healthy packed lunch should contain:

  • One portion of vegetables or salad and one portion of fruit (fresh, canned or dried can all count).
  • One portion of a milk or dairy item such as milk, cheese, yoghurt or a yoghurt drink.
  • One portion of meat, chicken, fish, eggs, peanut butter, beans or other protein source.
  • One portion of a starchy food, such as bread, pasta, rice, noodles or potatoes.

Keep Food Healthy During the School Holidays

Monday, June 20th, 2011

The school holidays are fast approaching and they can be associated with a lack of routine which can mean that there are more opportunities to eat more food more often. Here are some tips to avoid over-indulging in fatty, sugary, salty and pre-packaged foods that can be tempting alternatives during the holidays.

  • Encourage your kids to maintain their school-eating schedule. This can help to stop grazing between meals. Try to stick to a nutritious breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as healthy morning and afternoon snacks.
  • When packing the swimming gear or getting ready for the walk to the park, throw in some fresh fruit and vegetables to help with the hunger pangs.
  • Encourage your kids to drink more water, rather than fizzy drinks.
  • Focus on more activity to help counteract any increased food intake.
  • Keep kids occupied as much as possible. Boredom can play a big part in snacking, overeating and drinking.
  • Help make mealtimes fun. Let your kids help to plan and prepare a meal.

Go Green for St. Patrick’s Day

Monday, March 14th, 2011

Do you usually wear green on St. Patrick’s Day? It is a fun tradition, but this year take it a step further and make an effort to eat green foods as well. It is easy to come up with some green foods to try but here are some ideas to get you started.

For breakfast prepare a spinach omelette, by scrambling eggs and added some fresh or thawed frozen spinach to it. Or maybe try some pancakes with some sliced of green apple or kiwi.

How about having a green salad for lunch? Add some chicken or ham and cheese to make it more filling.

For dinner, try some grilled chicken and potatoes with a big serving of steamed broccoli.

Why not keep the green theme for dessert? Try some green sugar free jelly or fruit salad made with mostly green fruit would be another great dessert idea.

Halloween Treats

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Halloween Treats


  • 100g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 free-range egg, lightly beaten
  • 275g plain flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

 To decorate

  • 400g icing sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp water
  • 2-3 drops food colouring


Preparation time: less than 30 minutes

Cooking time: 10 to 30 minutes

Preparation method

1.      Preheat the oven to 190°C. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

2.      Beat the butter and sugar together in a bowl until combined.

3.      Beat in the egg and vanilla extract, a little at a time, until well combined.

4.      Stir in the flour until the mixture comes together as a dough.

5.      Roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface to a thickness of 1cm.

6.      Using Halloween-style biscuit cutters, cut biscuits out of the dough and carefully place onto the baking tray.

7.      Bake the biscuits for 8-10 minutes, or until pale golden-brown. Set aside to harden for 5 minutes, then cool on a wire rack.

8.      For the icing, sift the icing sugar into a large mixing bowl and stir in enough water to create a smooth mixture. Stir in the food colouring.

9.      Carefully spread the icing onto the biscuits using a knife and set aside until the icing hardens.