The Winning Lunchbox Formula

ethans-lunchbox

WITH A THIRD OF A CHILD’S daily food intake consumed at school, it’s worth making sure you get the lunch box balance right.

The lunch box formula

A nutritionally balanced lunch box has four key components according to Nutrition Australia, which is based on their recently updated the Healthy Eating Pyramid.

1. The main item
For longer-lasting energy, include a combination of low-GI (glycemic index) carbohydrates, such as wholegrain bread; a roll or flat bread; fruit bread; or crackers. Mix them with a protein-based filling to keep busy kids full and at optimal concentration levels for the entire school day. This includes lean meat (poached chicken, roast beef, lean ham, turkey and for example), eggs, legumes or beans, or nut spreads (provided the school does not have a nut-free policy).

2. A pop of colour
Include whole pieces of fruit; chopped, crunchy veggie sticks; canned fruit in natural juice; or a small mix salad for fibre and an array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

3. A sensible snack
Include a nourishing snack based on a core food (e.g. breads or cereals, dairy, meat) to top up energy levels and avoid the afternoon slump. Sensible choices include either a dairy-based snack, such as reduced-fat yoghurt, cheese, plain milk or milk alternatives (such as calcium-fortified soy), or carbohydrate-based foods including grainy crackers, plain popcorn, wholemeal fruit muffin, or protein-rich foods, such as a boiled egg, hummus or canned fish. Agree to include a treat occasionally. Moderation is key.

4. Hydrate
For optimal hydration, always include bottled water – tap water is fine. Plain milk is also acceptable.

We would love to hear your child’s favourite lunch box meals and snack ideas.

This post was originally published in news.com.au

 

Inspired Series: Rachael Finch on Wellbeing and Motherhood

rachel finch

A down-to-earth mother and advocate for leading a healthy and balanced lifestyle, we ask Rachael Finch how she pulls it all together?

How does you strike the balance between business/family/life?

I think it’s all about balance, time management and prioritising! I think it’s healthy to have a wide selection of doing all of these and there shouldn’t be more of one than the other. So whilst we think it’s all about the kids and yes that’s important and they need your affection and love but so do you, and the career and the family. It’s all about balance.

When I put Violet to bed, I stop and think okay, could I do work or do I need a nap? Which one is going to make me more productive when she wakes up? If I have a nap and then get up an hour before she does and do some work and then I have the afternoon off, I’ll be feeling good, but if I push through that and do work now, I’ll probably be feeling shit the rest of the afternoon. It’s about finding where the balance fits right for you and the right time to do things.

How do you like to work out?

Fitness for me is not about getting loads of gym sessions crammed into my week but more about how I feel and giving my body what it is asking for. On days I have loads of energy, I like to dance or go outside for a long run. When I need a pick me up, I practice yoga or pilates. When I’m short on time, I love doing a quick 30 minute, high intensity circuit which I constantly change. You can find my work outs on rachaelfinch.com.

What does a typical day on a plate look like, what is your philosophy on family meals with a toddler?

I try to ensure each meal is made up of at least 60% vegetables, I cook fairly healthy and easy meals, my favourite is just oven roasted salmon with sweat potato and steamed greens. I like to cook everything from scratch but obviously with my schedule and a young one, that can be tricky. I always make sure I have groceries for at least a healthy meat and vegetable arrangement if I don’t have much time to cook. The staples in my fridge are avocado, salmon fillets, cold press juice, sparkling water and broccoli.

What do you do for your mental and emotional wellbeing?

Good relationships are important, so working on those relationships you don’t realise how much that impacts us. Remaining relaxed and doing things for you and not feeling guilty for getting a massage or going to a yoga class in between crazy schedules. Whether this is sitting somewhere for an hour, reading a book or going to a movie, something that turns you off and relaxes you. Whether that is having a spa treatment, if you can from time to time…just having a little time for you at home with a pampering mask and allowing time for yourself. And just general breathing, I think we all forget to just breath.

Rachael is the ambassador for Blackmores who has just released their Wellbeing Check – an amazing way to assess wellbeing in less than 2 minutes! It’s a great tool that checks mental, physical health assessing things like sleep levels, energy levels, happiness, stress and more!

Image: Instagram/@rachael_finch

 

Simple Ways To Put Yourself First

relaxation

Motherhood is amazing, but it’s also busy, a little crazy, and very often we forget how to balance the “me” with “we” (without feeling guilty or selfish)? Here are 8 simple ways to get back those few moments and put the most important person first – YOU:

1. Take 5. Sit down for just five minutes in peace and quiet. Splendour in the moment and take some calming breaths before returning to reality.

2. Prioritise sleep. This is a big one. Sometimes the dishes and clearing the table can get done in the morning. Getting sufficient shut eye is a restorative process to keep our bodies and brains working at their best.

3. Get social. No, I’m not talking about Instagram or Twitter – I’m talking face to face social! Make a regular time to meet up with your girlfriends without any kids to have lunch, see a movie, or go to an exercise class. Having a strong support network helps ease the stresses of life and ensures you get a good dose of laughter as you swap stories.

4. Exercise daily. Even if it’s just 10 minutes, it’s better than none at all. Being active is important for staying fit, but it also boosts your mood and energy. Some quick workout ideas include jump rope, resistance bands, or going for a walk after dinner to aid digestion.

5. Make your favourite meal. Always cooking what everyone else wants? Once a week cook something that you really want. Ensure there’s lots of vegetables or salad to keep it healthy and fresh – even in your baked goods (nobody will ever notice grated zucchini in chocolate cake!)

6. Have a warm bath. Sometimes all it takes is a little warm water to wash away the day. This is perfect to do before bed to help wind down.

7. Delegate. You can’t do everything by yourself. Workout what tasks you can delegate to others and be sure not to overcommit yourself. It’s ok to say “no” sometimes.

8. Sit and savour. Are you guilty of gobbling toast in the car or even skipping meals altogether? Well stop! Take the time to eat three meals mindfully each day. It will give you the energy for all that you need to do and prevent snacking on sugary treats because you’ve nourished your body properly.