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A Healthy Lunchbox

Ham sandwiches are given to thousands of children every day in packed lunches. Parents have regarded these as a healthy option. So did some schools’ Healthy Eating Policies. Now, however, parents are being urged not to put processed meat in their children’s lunch boxes because of a cancer risk.

A few weeks ago, exactly on the 26th October, the World Health Organisation confirmed that processed meats – such as bacon, sausages and ham – do cause cancer. Its report said 50g of processed meat a day, i.e. less than two slices of the picnic ham most of us use in our kids sandwiches, increased the chance of developing colorectal cancer by 18%.

This is a reason to give up, or at least cut down, on processed meats we give to our kids. Giving sandwich fillers such as ham and salami to children means they get into habits that increases their risk of developing cancer later in life. Healthier alternatives are fish, low-fat cheese, hummus, or small amounts of unprocessed, lean meat such as chicken.


It is possible to pack your child a nutritious lunch box that will actually come home at the end of the day empty and eaten. Below please find a few links providing you ideas for healthy lunch boxes.

50 School Lunch Ideas (Healthy and Easy)

15 Meatless sandwiches that kids will love

10 Super cool school lunch and snack ideas

Kids Healthy Lunch Box Ideas

Parents – Lunch for a month

Kidspot – Ideas for Healthy Lunch Boxes

100 Days of Real Food – School Lunch Roundup

One could also use the Victorian Guide for a Healthy Lunch Box called Pick&Mix. Children should be asked to select one item from each group. A list of foods for each group can be found here. Did you find this article interesting? Why not share it with your friends.