Packing your child's lunch gives you control over what goes into their body, but including lots of fruit, vegetables and wholegrains isn't the only way you can ensure their lunch is healthy. The packaging your food comes in, the storage containers you use and the drinks you provide for your child can, unfortunately, be sources of toxins. So, here are three ways you can pack a cleaner, safer lunch for you child:
Ditch Canned Goods
Do you use canned goods, such as pulses or vegetables, when making your child's lunch? Unless stated otherwise, cans are lined with bisphenol A (BPA), which is considered carcinogenic and can disrupt hormones. Additionally, food cans tend to made with aluminium, a known neurotoxin, which has been linked to the development of Alzheimer's disease. So, it's best to ditch canned goods and opt for dried pulses, frozen vegetables and glass jars of tomato products.
Wave Goodbye To Plastic
Plastic food containers, storage bags and refillable drinks bottles also contain BPA, but there are some BPA-free plastic products on the market. However, the chemicals used in the BPA-free products may not be any better than BPA, as they can leach chemicals into your child's food that disrupts their endocrine system. So, it's best to avoid plastic altogether, and there are lots of safer alternatives to choose from. Consider sending your child to school with a stainless steel water bottle, pack food in a glass storage container and use reusable fabric food bags for snacks and sandwiches.
Use A Water Filter
Water will hydrate your child better than a sugary drink, but tap water isn't the best water for their health. Tap water can contain bacteria and traces of heavy metals, and tap water in Australia is chlorinated. Chlorine has been linked to birth defects, but filtering the drinking water you give to your child can remove the chlorine and other toxins. You can use a jug filter, which holds around a litre of water and utilises activated charcoal to pull toxins out of tap water, or you can have an under sink water filter fitted to the pipes of your taps. Under sink filters use either steam distillation or reverse osmosis to remove toxins, and you have access to as much filtered water as you want as soon as you turn on the tap.
These three suggestions can be phased into your household one at a time if you decide to implement them. They don't add a lot of time to your lunch prep, and your child just might thank you for prioritising their health one day.