Coming up with healthy lunch box ideas that keep them interested through the school term is a challenge.
There's nothing wrong with occasional treats, but to keep children strong, alert and free from illnesses related to poor diet, the NHS recommends that all packed lunches should contain a mix of starch (bread, pasta, rice and potatoes), protein (fish, meat, egg, peas and beans), dairy (cheese, yoghurt), vegetables/salad, and a portion of fruit.
I'm not a nutritionist, but I do enjoy trying out new ways to keep healthy mealtimes interesting, so here are four healthy lunch box ideas.
Veg and rice
Mix some cooled brown rice with a handful of cooked veg (including peas or beans) and a spoonful of tomato sauce. Pack with a little pot of reduced fat grated cheese, some salad and a piece of fruit for a tasty, balanced meal.
Fajitas kids make at the table
A wholemeal flatbread wrap, a pot of light cream cheese, strips of fresh peppers and cooked chicken for a treat they can put together themselves at the table.
Raw veg dippers
Wholemeal pitta bread, a little pot of houmous and fingers of fresh veg and salad to dip.
Vitamin packed dessert
A pot of fresh yoghurt and a swirl of honey. It's simple, fun and something they can help prepare themselves in the morning.
These ideas were created for a feature in the Nottingham Post's Weekend magazine, which you can pick up from newsagents around Nottingham this morning.