1 Build with starchy foods
The main part of the lunchbox should include starchy foods such as rice, pasta, bread, wraps, couscous, pittas, potatoes or chapattis. Choosing wholegrains and skin-on potatoes will provide more fibre and a wider range of nutrients.
2 Fruit and veg — eat more!
Adults and children should be aiming for at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. As well as providing fruit and vegetable sticks as a snack option, include vegetables in the main dish of the lunchbox. Add mushrooms, peas or tomatoes into a pasta dish, or peppers, sweetcorn or shredded carrot into a wrap, and always include salad in sandwiches.
3 Plenty of protein
Protein is essential for growth, plus maintenance and repair of the body, and should be eaten every lunchtime. Include beans, lentils, pulses, fish, eggs and meat. Use these as sandwich fillings, in couscous, or in a pasta or rice salad.
4 Dairy delights
As well as being a source of protein, dairy foods contain calcium — essential for healthy bones and teeth — so add a yogurt or a piece of cheese. But, as with all snacks, be wary of the sugar content — check the labels and look for those that are lower in sugars.
5 Essential hydration
When it comes to drinks, water and milk should be lunchbox staples, and you could also give your child fruit juice or a smoothie. However, due to the high sugar content, these should be limited to a combined total of 150ml a day and always diluted with water.