A healthy lunchbox is essential to keep children fuelled for a day of learning and play and to support growth and development.
Many schools in Australia are involved in a program called Crunch & Sip. In a nutshell, Crunch & Sip is a voluntary government initiative whereby schools include a small break each day (in addition to morning tea and lunch) where they are encouraged to snack on fruit and vegetables (awesome right?!). Children are also encouraged to have a clear bottle of water they can keep on their desk to sip on throughout the day.
Initiatives like this are a fantastic way to increase fruit and veg consumption in children, however, getting your kids to actually eat them can be a whole different story. Keeping your kids crunch and sip snacks interesting and enticing can mean they’re more likely to actually eat them.
To help you navigate and get creative, we’ve compiled 9 simple, healthy ideas to keep Crunch & Sip fun!
1. Fruit kebabs
Mix and match fruits of your choice on a skewer for a fun, sweet and tasty snack! Get your children in the kitchen to help make and choose their favourite fruit combinations- not only will this be a great learning experience, but the more involved they are, the more likely their lunch boxes will come home empty!
2. Veggie wands with dip
Busy children are more likely to eat their veggies if it’s easy for them. Vegetable wands are perfect for little hands. Offer a combination of different veggies to keep it colourful, like carrot, capsicum, cucumber and celery. If you’re little ones like dips (and assuming your school allows it for Crunch & Sip), this can be a great way to make veggie sticks taste better. Try serving with a hummus, tzatziki or beetroot dip.
3. Edamame beans
A super cheap, quick and easy option that you can grab straight from the freezer in the morning! Edamame beans are a great vegetable source of protein and fibre and contrary to popular belief, frozen vegetables are just as nutrient packed as their fresh counterparts, with a lot of added convenience! You can find them shelled or unshelled in the freezer section of most supermarkets.
4. Frozen pieces of fruit
Especially for those sweltering hot days in summer, frozen fruit is a refreshing and easy snack to add into your Crunch & Sip repertoire that’s sure to be a hit with children. Try some frozen pineapple rings, frozen grapes or orange slices in a small container! As fruit won’t go bad in the freezer, you can also store it for long periods of time.
5. Melon balls
Children absolutely love fun shaped fruit and veg and it’s a hassle-free way of making fruit a little bit more exciting! Melon ballers are cheap and easy to find at most kitchen supply stores and you can use several different varieties of melon to make your child’s Crunch & Sip more colourful.
6. Corn on the cob
Sweet corn is a vegetable, but kids don’t seem to hold that against it! Bite sized cooked corn on the cob is a great finger food to include in the lunchbox! Children enjoy the sweet taste of vegetables like corn, so any flavourings like salt or butter aren’t necessary.
7. Ants on a log
Ants on a log are a fast, healthy and fun Crunch & Sip snack. Three simple ingredients combine for a delicious, nutritious and budget-friendly snack that tastes like a real treat for hungry kids. Combine celery sticks with your choice of filling (nut free e.g. cottage cheese) and top with sultanas or blueberries.
8. Baby cucumbers and carrots
We love mini foods for tiny tummies and baby cucumbers or carrots are some of the cutest! You can buy them pre-packaged in small packs at most supermarkets. Your child will love the novelty of it and it also means less prep for Mums and Dads!
9. Attach a fun fact!
It’s never too early to begin conversations with your child about the benefits of healthy food. Why not attach a cheeky post it note to a piece of fruit or vegetable with a fun fact about the food. Here’s a few to try:
- Orange fruits and vegetables like carrots and mandarins keep your eyes healthy!
- Strawberries are the only fruit that has seeds on it’s outer skin!
10. Fruit Salad
You can combine a variety of chopped fruit into a small container. Fruits like fresh berries, apple slices, kiwi fruit, pineapple, oranges and grapes will make an exciting mix and keep your child interested.
Most of all, don’t be afraid to get creative and try new things!
- For more information on Crunch and Sip, click here.
- What are some of your favourite Crunch and Sip snacks? Let us know in the comments below!
- For more information on Kids Nutrition, click here.