FOR something we all grew up eating, packing a school lunch in this day and age can be a bit of a minefield.

With ever-changing guidelines for nutrition, many of the things parents ate at school no longer make the cut.

But Toowoomba Accredited Practising Dietician Anna Reeves said one of the biggest mistakes parents make is giving their children too many options.

She said it tended to overwhelm kids, who often open everything but only eat their favourite parts.

She recommended keeping it simple, starting with a sandwich, wrap or leftovers.

Add a piece of fruit and, if they can eat it, a dairy product like a milk popper or Greek yoghurt with muesli or fruit.

She said most kids prefer fruit over vegetables, but things like celery and carrot sticks with some peanut butter or hummus were appealing to some, but people needed to be aware of rules around nuts in the school.

Other vegetables that were perfect for lunch boxes included capsicum, cucumber and baby carrots.

Grain breads were preferable to white breads, but she said if your children scowled at the sight of brown bread, perhaps try introducing it by making sandwiches with one slice of each to get them used to the texture.

And contrary to popular belief, the odd sugary treat wasn't going to make your child obese as long as it was once a week or less and they are active.

But before you even start thinking about the lunch box, there was one message she wanted to impart.

"[Children's nutrition] is extremely important, particularly starting the day with breakfast and then frequent meals throughout the day because if their blood sugar drops, it makes it hard to concentrate," she said.

FRESH FOOD: Dietician Anna Reeves recommends limited but tasty options each day in the lunch box.
FRESH FOOD: Dietician Anna Reeves recommends limited but tasty options each day in the lunch box. Nev Madsen

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