With kids getting back to school comes the usual dilemma of what to put into their lunchboxes.

Research shows that low sugar foods and snacks can help with:

  • Avoiding tooth decay and extra trips to the dentist
  • Better behaviour – kids with low sugar lunchboxes are more likely to sit still, focus and learn. Those with high sugar intake are more likely to exhibit hyperactive behaviour and physical aggression
  • Avoiding malnutrition – kids with low sugar diet are more likely to have sufficient nutrients from ‘healthy foods’ that they consume compared to those that consume excessive sugary, processed foods that lack nutritious qualities
  • Avoiding sugar crashes, where blood sugar spikes and then quickly falls, which may result in shakiness, sweating and poor behaviour.

Which foods to avoid?

  • Sweet beverages, including Juice, soft drink and flavoured milk – packed with sugar and often additives.
  • Chips – high in sugar, salt and preservatives
  • Fruit and jelly cups – sugary syrup disguised as fruit
  • Fruit leather/straps – dried fruit with added preservatives and concentrated sugar content
  • Flavoured yogurt – often with high sugar and flavour content added
  • Biscuit and dip combos, such as Nutella – high in sugar, palm oil and preservative content
  • Muesli bars – high in sugar, syrup and dried fruit
  • White bread – highly processed with high sugar and salt and low fibre content
  • Breakfast drinks – some contain as high as 23 grams of sugar per serve, which is more than a chocolate bar!

 

Which foods to include?

  • Water – best to quench thirst
  • Full cream milk, cheese and plain yogurt – high in calcium
  • Fresh fruit – full of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, fibre and water
  • Plain popcorn, water and rice crackers – minimal sugar and flavour additives
  • Wholemeal bread – less sugar and high fibre content