Healthy Food and Drink Choices

Children's energy needs for a busy day at school require them to eat a variety of foods. Factors that determine the amount children eat include age, sex and physical activity level. Children will have the best chance of getting all the nutrition they need if they are offered a variety of tasty and healthy foods every day which reflect the Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents.

Over their schooling life children can consume up to 2500 meals. Therefore it is crucial that these meals are nutritious, whether brought from home or purchased from the school canteen. All meals should reflect healthy food choices.

Suggestions when making lunches at home:

  • Choose a variety of foods
  • Include bread, wholegrains, rice, pasta or noodles
  • Include milk, cheese or yoghurt
  • Include some meat, fish, chicken, eggs
  • Go for 2 (fruit) and 5 (vegetables)
  • Choose water as a drink
  • Keep 'junk' food away from school

Some healthy snack ideas are:

  • Rice cakes and reduced fat cream cheese
  • Fresh fruit pieces and yoghurt dip
  • Plain popcorn
  • Small tub of yoghurt
  • Cheese stick or triangle
  • Muffins with fruit
  • English muffin and cheese
  • Fruit bread
  • Scone- plain, fruit or pumpkin
  • Pikelets
  • Small sandwich
  • Crispbreads and spread
  • Wholemeal crackers and cheese
  • Keep food fresh and safe to eat by packing a frozen drink or an ice brick.

Jenny Hill
College Nurse

Resource: Department of Health