Studies show that many children are not meeting current dietary guidelines, for example, children’s average daily intake of fruit and vegetables is less than half the recommended 5 or more portions per day and one in five 4 – 18 year olds eat no fruit at all. Average intakes of added sugars (e.g. from fizzy drinks and confectionery) and salt are also higher than recommended .
The leaflet provides advice on getting the right balance of foods and practical ways to include more fruit and vegetables in lunchboxes, and should be a useful resource for parents and carers, as well as teachers and health care professionals. The packed lunch menus also include the occasional treat or savoury snack, while still providing the right balance of foods, according to the Balance of Good Health model.
The leaflet opens up into a full-colour poster, showing a range of healthier packed lunch ideas. All the menu ideas have been nutritionally analysed and are consistent with the nutrient requirements of children aged 5-11 years. Although not designed specifically for schools, the menus do also meet the new nutrient-based standards for school lunches.
Stephanie Valentine, Education Director at the BNF, said: “With the continued focus on children’s diets and health, there is sometimes a lot of confusion about what it means for children to eat healthily. This new leaflet aims to provide guidance and practical tips to help create healthy and appealing packed lunches for children and should be a useful resource for both parents and teachers”
For further information, and to download copies of the new leaflet, see the BNF website: www.nutrition.org.uk/lunches or tel: 020 7404 6504.
Georgina Bentley | alfa
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