Tips to make school lunches healthy and affordable

Cabarita mum Leesa Burt knows how to fill daughter Charli's lunch box with healthy food without blowing the budget.
Cabarita mum Leesa Burt knows how to fill daughter Charli's lunch box with healthy food without blowing the budget. Mairi Manley

WHAT to put in your kids' school lunch boxes is a constant conundrum.

It's often a challenge to come up with healthy options without breaking the bank.

There's no greater expert on the subject than the health-conscious parent of school-aged kids.

And Cabarita mum Leesa Burt has got it under control.

"I have three girls and it's a challenge to provide them with something they like that is also healthy and affordable," she said.

"You can't go wrong with wraps.

"You can put anything in them and vary the contents from day to day.

"I often make salads on their own using seasonal vegetables and fruit.

"I always shop for specials.

"With yoghurt, for example, I will buy when they are on special and freeze them.

"You can do this with seasonal fruit, also."

Instead of Muesli bars, Mrs Burt bakes banana bread with choc chips.

"That way I know how much sugar they are getting," she said.

"I like to know what's going into my kids' bodies."

These days, there's no "rabbit food" stigma in feeding your kids salad.

"You can make some very interesting combinations like Caesar salad or Greek salad," Mrs Burt said.

She also swops chips with popcorn and often use carrot sticks and hummus.

"There's a huge variety of fruit and vegetables these days," she said.

"Blueberry muffins, strawberries, rockmelon and the list goes on.

"I am very fussy about the food I feed my kids, so I go to the Farmers' Market at Murwillumbah each Wednesday morning.

"I want quality and freshness and I find the produce from Murwillumbah lasts longer.

"It doesn't have to cost the Earth to feed your kids interesting, tasty and healthy meals for school.

"It does take organisation and a bit of diligence.

"Having a helpful husband also helps."

Topics:  nutrition school lunches

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