Kids' lunch snacks review

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  • Updated:1 Jan 2005

05.Lunchbox example

To get a better idea of the nutrition impact of different snacks on a kid’s daily diet, we took a look at the lunchboxes of two active 10-year-olds, Jackson and Daniel. On an average day, they look like this:

Jackson Daniel max. recommended for whole day (age 10)
Food in lunchbox Juice drink Water
Cheese sandwich Egg sandwich
Apple Banana
Chips Popcorn
Cheese dipper Fruit yoghurt
Fruit bar Muesli bar
Energy (KJ) 3242 2523 9000
Saturated fat (g) 16 8 25
Sugar (g) 64 39 110
Sodium (mg) 1002 539 2300

On the surface they both look healthy enough, but Jackson’s lunchbox could be improved by making just a few small changes:

  • The sweetened juice drink and fruit bar combined mean that Jackson’s lunchbox has almost double the sugar of Daniel’s, which isn’t great for his teeth. Changing the drink to water and only providing a fruit bar occasionally would make a difference.
  • The cheese sandwich, chips and cheese dipper in Jackson’s lunchbox together contribute a lot of sodium, and double the saturated fat, of Daniel’s lunchbox. Switching the dipper for yoghurt, for example, would keep the calcium but cut back on the salt and sat fat. Swapping the chips for popcorn would also help, and provide more fibre at the same time.
  • Both boys could benefit from having their sandwich fillings varied, perhaps including salads and lean meats or dips like hummus, as an alternative source of protein.

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