The best kid’s food for school

Recipes: The best kids food for school

Everyday recipes for children that boost energy and help them concentrate in class.

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Extensive experience with school breakfast clubs and improved lunchtime plans have shown that children who eat a balanced diet in the morning and during the day are in far better shape mentally and physically to get the most out of school.

An extra ten minutes in bed is NOT going to stand you or your kids in better stead than something decent to eat at the beginning of the day.
•If time is tight, try just a banana and a small yoghurt to provide energy and a good mix of nutrients – even whizzed into a smoothie if that’s the deal-breaker with your child!
•Ideal breakfasts include oats and protein dishes like eggs. For inspiration and tips check out our Five best family breakfasts.
•Make sure you’re not skipping breakfast whilst running around after everyone else. You’ll feel better for eating and you’ll be setting a good example for your children.

Well-prepared hot lunches at school can provide a better balance of nutrients and flavours for your child’s diet, but if packed lunches are unavoidable, try to keep them varied and fresh.
•Pre-packed snacks will cost more and are more likely to be filled with hidden fats and sugars.
•Try carrot and cucumber sticks in a pot if your child gets bored of apples, and a thermos flask of soup or even pasta instead of sandwiches five days a week.
•Proteins help keep your child feeling full for longer and have a slower sugar release than carbs – try egg, tuna, lean ham, cheese or chicken.
•If you want to persuade your child to try school lunches read our School dinner or packed lunch? article, and for ideas to get the whole family enjoying packed lunches more often, check out 5 brilliant packed lunch ideas.


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After school
Older children and those who eat dinner late with the family will need something to keep them going after school. Make sure there’s always a bowl of fruit out and encourage kids to snack on this whenever they like. Other things that will keep them going without too many ‘empty calories’ include wholemeal pitta and houmous, and yoghurt.

Savvy tip
A substantial meal in the evening is a good idea because you don’t know how much your child ate of his or her lunch when they were eating at school. Younger children should eat by 6pm so their body has time to digest the food before bedtime. Even picky kids can enjoy hearty food, check out Fussy eaters: five dishes to try.

Pass it on – good brain food
Carbohydrates are the brain’s favourite fuel – bread, cereals (not sugared), pasta, couscous, rice, root vegetables and things like baked beans. Vitamin C has been shown to increase IQ – citrus fruits, strawberries, sweet peppers and leafy greens.

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