Cheese is always a good option for lunchboxes and snacks. This delicious dairy treat can be used as a topping, a sandwich filler or simply eaten as a quick snack. It is packed with protein, calcium, phosphorus and other important nutrients.
Maretha Vermaak, the registered dietitian at Rediscover Dairy says, “Cheese can make a significant contribution to your daily nutrient requirements. From the protein that supports healthy bone and muscle development and repair of body tissue; to the dental protection we get from the calcium and phosphorus by having cheese directly after a meal. As parents who are concerned about good nutrition for our growing children, it is great that cheese is also so completely delicious.”
Packed with goodness
If you understand the benefits of cheese, you will be able to better plan and shop. Natural cheese is a fermented food. While its exact origins are unknown, there is evidence from Ancient Rome and Ancient Egypt that the goodness of cheese has been recognised for thousands of years.
Value is often top of mind when it comes to choosing a cheese. Fortunately, the range of cheese available means there is something to fit every budget. It’s also possible to buy specials or bulk blocks of harder cheese, such as cheddar or gouda, that you can grate and freeze for easy use.
Processed cheese spreads can be stored in the pantry until they are opened. Some varieties of cheeses, including sliced processed cheese, have longer shelf lives in the fridge. It’s always important to check the labels when it comes to storage and understanding the nutrient content of a food item.
For more practical lunchbox ideas
Cheese is a nutritious and convenient option when you need to quickly prepare daily meals, snacks and lunchboxes. There are many benefits of cheese. Glass jar cheese spreads are healthier options than many other bread spreads. Grab-and-go sliced or portioned cheese products are a great way to control portions.
- Plan for lunchboxes – plan before you shop, and pack lunchboxes before the morning rush
- Involve your children – in preparing their school snacks and lunches. They learn about nutrition and how to share chores, and you can have fun together
- Mix it up – it may seem easier to keep doing one thing but embracing a variety of lunchbox foods encourages your children to try new foods as they develop and prevents boredom and lack of interest in eating their school lunches
- Aim for balance – growing children benefit from a variety of nutrients. Include protein sources such as cheese, milk and yoghurt, as well as carbohydrates such as bread and crackers, in their snack packs. Don’t forget to add fresh fruit and veg.
- Hydration is essential – dehydration can have adverse effects on your child’s performance at school. Water and milk are top choices. Rather avoid sugary drinks.