Rethink your lunchbox favourites

Seemingly healthy lunchbox fillers can be more unhealthy than you think

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Back to school is fast approaching and if your thoughts are turning to filling your child’s lunchbox, you might want to rethink a few of your go-to staples.

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A Which? study has found that out of 30 cereal bars, 16 contained more than 30% sugar. Even cereal bars specifically targeted at children proved to be high in saturated fat, the Telegraph reports. One bar had nearly four teaspoons of sugar – more than a small can of cola!

Popping a small bag of sweets in your children’s lunchboxes could also point the way to future obesity. A study by the University of Wisconsin found that children who could resist sweets were less likely to be obese adults, would perform better at school and could handle stress better. Researchers tested their theory by giving 4-year-olds one sweet, with the promise of another if they didn’t eat the first one.

Obesity has also recently been linked to loss of memory. A University of College London study found that in a 10-year study of adults aged between 50 and 60, those who were deemed obese saw a 22.5% faster decline on their cognitive test scores than those who were healthy.

The humble apple has also come under scrutiny. Known for its antioxidant prowess, it’s worth noting that kids will only get all the goodness if they eat the skin, too. Researchers from Nova Scotia in Canada found the peel of an apple has 6 times the levels of antioxidents than the rest of the fruit, making it a better source than other so-called ‘superfoods’ such as green tea.

All out of ideas? Check out our healthy lunchbox recipes for school

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