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Nutritionist shares her top tips for eliminating hidden sugars from lunch boxes

Evoke.ie logoEvoke.ie 16/09/2018 Claire Murrihy
a person sitting at a table with food © Provided by Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Limited, t/a dmg Media Ireland Making nutritious lunches that your children will actually eat can be something of a challenge.

After all, you want them to be healthy but you also want to make sure that they don’t end up throwing it in the bin!

Unfortunately, even when you think you’re giving your child a healthy lunch, there are hidden sugars that can scupper even the most diligent of parents. 

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Research from Celtic Pure Irish Spring Water has found that 40% of Irish parents have no idea how much sugar their children are consuming each day. 

And despite 51% saying they actively avoid purchasing products that contain artificial sweeteners, nutritionist Elsa Jones says the key is to be educated on what they’re eating.

As an ambassador for Celtic Pure’s new Irish Spring Water Hint of Fruif range, Elsa said: ‘

‘Check food and drink labels for sugar content to make healthier choices, keeping in mind one teaspoon of sugar weighs four grams.

‘Choose sugar free where possible, this is always the best choice and try to limit artificial sweeteners as they aren’t a good alternative to sugar.

Related: What mums should pack in their kid's lunchbox (Birmingham Mail)

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‘The research from the Celtic Pure Irish Spring Water Index shows almost a third of parents surveyed (30%) do not know the difference between a fruit sugar and an added sugar so there is further discussion to be had with parents around this.’

She advised parents to ensure that children are drinking as much water as possible, saying that the new Hint of Fruit range is a great compromise to fruit juices or squashes that kids enjoy so much.

On what to put into a child’s lunchbox, she said:

a woman holding a tray of food © Provided by Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Limited, t/a dmg Media Ireland ‘Swap your fruit juice for a water with a hint of fruit and choose one that contains no added sugar or artificial sweeteners like Celtic Pure Irish Spring Water Hint of Fruit.

‘Sandwiches are a lunch box staple and try to choose a wholegrain bread that has at least 2g of fibre per slice.

‘Include a portion of quality protein such as chicken, tuna, ham off the bone, or cheese. Good quality protein is important for maintaining stable blood sugar levels and concentration.’

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A post shared by Elsa Jones Nutrition (@elsajonesnutrition) on Aug 24, 2018 at 1:02pm PDT

She also encouraged parents to plan ahead and if possible, partly pack lunch boxes the night before.

Setting your child a challenge – like trying to eat as many different-coloured vegetables as possible. 5-a-day the rainbow way!

Celtic Pure Irish Spring Water Hint of Fruit also comes in a full size 500ml range and is available in four delicious flavours:

Lemon & Lime; Apple & Elderflower; Strawberry & Watermelon; and Orange & Raspberry, sold individually or in 6 pack Multi-Packs for convenience.

Related: 89 Insanely Easy Lunchbox Recipes (Delish)

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