Lunch box detox

Healthy food swaps for kids

Instead of packing the same old snacks in the lunch box, opt for a nourishing change and try some tasty and simple new meals

Not only are these meals delicious and refreshing, they will also stabilise your energy levels and help to avoid that dreaded ‘3:30itis.’

Naturopath, Katie Jean Boulton, shows some steps to wholesome lunch box nutrition and explains why a balanced lunch and snacks are crucial for our concentration and learning abilities.

One of the most common items sneaking its way into our lunch boxes is sugar. Although sugar is a natural substance, it’s often used as sucralose, which is an artificial sweetener. But there is nothing sweet about the adverse affects sugar can have on our health. Excessive intake has been shown to have quite bitter side effects. Sugar is in fact addictive and exacerbates hyperactivity, spikes blood sugar levels and then drops them rapidly, causing cravings, fatigue and lack of concentration. 

Another ingredient often hidden in our lunch boxes is salt, also known as sodium. This mineral, like sugar, is quite often used in excess, to flavour our food.

This is when sugar is added to mask the saltiness. And when our diet is high in salt, it often has an addictive effect; therefore, we end up consuming more salt as well as sugar. A double-whammy.

Fat is the final ingredient found in our lunch boxes. This one, however, most people are aware of and quite often try to avoid. There are a few different types of fats in our diets. Unhealthy fats can be found in low-fat products and tend to be much higher in sugar and salt. Good fats can be found in essential fatty acids and are beneficial for vital brain function; something we do in fact need while at school and work.

These excessive amounts of sugar, salt and nasty fats in our diet, can actually benefit greatly, allowing our bodies the chance to replace these nasties with healthy yet scrumptious options.

Healthy food alternatives


SWAP THIS: Packaged processed savory snacks 

Avoid sugar and treat your body with valuable nutrients and superfoods. 

FOR THIS: Home made muesli bars / home made healthy nut bites

Healthy ingredients can includealmonds, cacao nibs, raw cacao powder, chia seeds, cinnamon, coconut flakes, coconut oil, eggs, honey, LSA, rolled oats, pumpkin seeds, stevia (natural sweetener), sunflower seeds and walnuts.


SWAP THIS: Apple and generic sweetened yoghurt

It seems healthy, but to avoid crashing energy levels, aka 3:30itis, balance blood sugar levels by having a sufficient, healthy meal and cutting out unnecessary sugar. 

FOR THIS: Fruit salad and yoghurt

Best yoghurt options include: Natural, unflavoured, or Greek yoghurt. Fruit can include: berries, banana, cantaloupe, grapefruit, nectarines, peaches, pears and pineapple.


SWAP THIS: White bread vegemite sandwich

This is high in salt and lacks nutrients. What’s the point in eating a meal that has little positive effect on your body? Spoil your body by feeding it healthy, fresh nutrients found in a variety of salad options. 

FOR THIS: Wholemeal curried egg and salad sandwich.

Salad can include a variety of vegies: alfalfa, baby spinach, beetroot, capsicum, carrot, cucumber, mushroom, red onion, and rocket lettuce. 


SWAP THIS: Packaged sweet biscuits

High in sugar and bad fats. Pleaseyour bodies with essential fatty acids that will enable healthy brain function, memory and concentration.

FOR THIS: Fruit, nut and seed trail mix

Fruit can include: Acai berries, cacao nibs and goji berries. Nuts and seeds can include: almonds, brazil nuts, walknuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds.

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The information presented on this website is not intended as specific medical advice and is not a substitute for professional medical treatment or diagnosis. Read our Medical Notice.