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Eat Better

Lunch Boxes

Packed lunches and picnics make it easier to make healthier choices. It puts you in charge of the foods and drinks you and your family have.

Packing a lunch helps reduce the temptation to snack on high sugar and/or high fat food and drinks. 

What To Put In A Lunch Box

The key to a healthy packed lunch is to plan ahead and keep it varied. Try and include a mixture of the foods groups below.

Dive Deeper

Lunch Box Top Tips

  • Try and change what your child takes in their lunch box during the week. This way they won't get bored and will get a mixture of different healthy foods. 
  • Sometimes young children are creatures of habit and want the same each day, just try and use a good variety of healthier food types. When they tell you they are bored, or you notice they are not eating it all, try out some new ideas. 
  • Children often like a colourful lunch box or bag. This doesn’t have to be expensive - a self decorated plastic container can do the job. You might invest in a box with compartments that make it easier to separate out different foods and snacks.

Schools will usually have rules about what can and cannot be taken in for lunch and snacks, so make sure you check this. Don’t forget to choose the right portion size for your child's size, age and activity level.

Visit Healthier Families - Lunchbox ideas and recipes for some great ideas for quick and easy nutritious lunch boxes.

 

Food Safety

On hot days keep lunches in the fridge for as long as possible. You can buy ‘ice packs’ to help keep them cool. 

You could freeze a drink, to defrost over the morning, to help keep the lunch box cool at school.

 

Free School Meals 

All children in Year Reception, 1 and 2 will receive free school meals. 

From Year 3, children whose parents or carers get one or more of the following may also be able claim free school meals;

  • Universal Credit (provided the family has an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400)
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guarantee element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (with no Working Tax Credit) and an annual income of no more than £16,190
  • Working Tax Credit run on – paid for four weeks after a claimant stops qualifying for Working Tax Credit

To apply for free school meals you will need to fill out a form, this will be available at your child's school. 

For support you can contact the Free School Meals Team on 01603 222518, via Norfolk County Council or by email admissions@norfolk.gov.uk.

Anyone can find themselves and their family in need of help for lots of different reasons.

Find out more here if you are struggling

Who can Help?

If you are concerned about your child’s weight or eating habits and feel you need support then you can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520 631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

If you are 11-19 you can text ChatHealth on 07480 635060 for confidential advice from one of our team.

To speak to other Norfolk parents and carers, you can join our online community forum below.

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