The lunchbox swaps that will help improve your child's moods

Did you know that what you put into your child’s lunch box determines if “Gorgeous” or “Grumpy” comes home from school?  Nutritionist Michele Chevalley Hedges gives us the lowdown.

Nutritional research is revealing some promising results on our children’s wellbeing when they begin to eliminate excess, hidden sugar from their diet. Actually, not just our children’s but everyone’s health and happiness- simply from underpinning our lifestyle with whole, real and low sugar foods. Improvements in brain clarity, energy levels, and mood swings are often the first three significant changes people see when they make even minor changes to their current diets.

The World Health Organisation is proposing new guidelines on sugar consumption to increase wellbeing. The new guidelines are suggesting that for optimum health we should consume no more than six teaspoons of added sugar daily. Most Aussie kids are consuming more that 30 teaspoons of added sugar every day- and it is this type of added sugar that is making children feel poorly about themselves.

As parents this is a link that simply cannot be ignored. Reducing added sugars, consuming quality protein, carbs, fats and wholefoods rich in nutrients can help alleviate the self esteem bombs that teens and kids experience. Skin irritations, mood swings, tummy and digestive issues, low energy and poor concentration are significantly improved when a family moves to a low sugar lifestyle. Mums and Dads don’t need to take an extreme approach. If they do the kids will rebel. Make it tasty and delicious for them. Find easy and supermarket friendly ingredients for you. Add so much satisfying food in that your kids do not even realise the low sugar lifestyle change. The first place to do this is in your child's lunchbox. Start by making these swaps in the new school year and watch the difference it makes.

Swap out the sugar in the lunchbox

Let go of this    Swap out the sugar overload for this 
Apricot Fruit Bites (*5.5 teaspoons of sugar in small lunchbox 35gm bag) Real fruit – apple, berries, or banana (1-2 teaspoons)
Mango Flavoured Low Fat Yoghurt and most flavoured yoghurts (7 teaspoons  200 ml tub) Plain yoghurt and add your own fruit (1.5 tsp 200ml tub)
Muffin 97% Fat Free packaged muffin (9 teaspoons  average size 145 gm ) Homemade muffin with real fruit (1-2 teaspoons)
“Fat Free, nothing artificial“ Snakes lollies (5.5 teaspoons ) Energy or Bliss Balls (1 -2 teaspoons)
Solo soft drink and most soft drinks (12 teaspoons) Flavoured mineral water (none)
Chocolate flavoured milk and most flavoured milks (10.5 teaspoons in 500ml) Fruit infused Ice tea in thermos from home (none)
LCM Banana Choc 2.2 tsp in 23 gm Bar Rice crackers with cheese Or Nut and fruit mixture Or Muesli Bar (homemade) (1-2 teaspoons)
All of the above have added sugars from sugar cane, wheat glucose syrup, fruit concentrates. All of the above have low sugar from natural sources- fruit sugar, dairy sugar.

*Sugar measurements are approximate from BY Michele Chevalley Hedge, body+soul

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