Fruit & Nuts

A variety of fruit come into season in winter, including citrus, papayas, pears and melon. These lovely morsels of goodness are packed with antioxidants and are a natural source of fibre. Pack a handful of fresh fruit into your children's lunchboxes along with an assortment of roasted, unsalted nuts. If your child is not a huge fan of fresh fruit, pick up a Very Berry Roll or Very Berry Protein snack pack from the Checkers Simple Truth range. Checkers is now offering delivery services to select areas in Joburg, so you don't even have to leave the house to stock up on all your lunchbox essentials!

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Boiled Eggs With Healthy Veggie Snack Fingers

Boiled eggs are a great source of protein for little ones. If your fussy eater doesn't mind a hard-boiled egg, add one to their lunchbox with an assortment of celery sticks, chopped carrots and a dipping sauce of hummus, smashed avocado or chunky cottage cheese. Bulk up the protein content by tossing in two slices of turkey or chicken loaf. This is finger food at its best and should keep the kids going during cold days at school or home.

Pick n Pay's Livewell range features a super tasty beetroot hummus that the kids are sure to love. Order it online the next time you do your weekly click and shop.

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Cinnamon Banana Bran Muffins

Kids love muffins and we all know how important it is to include fibre in our diets - especially for little tummies. Vamp up the classic fibre-rich bran muffin with a generous sprinkle of cinnamon. Cut down on the sugar content by adding a smashed banana into the mixture. Or, grate an apple into the batter to create a lovely cinnamon apple flavour.

Encourage the kids to join you in baking their lunchtime treats. Baking has been proven to be a great sensory activity for kids, as it allows them to get their hands dirty while learning a new skill. Get the kids and yourself a neat 12-hole muffin pan with silicone cupcake holders from takealot.com before they go back to school.

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Butternut Mac And Cheese Cupcakes

Macaroni and cheese is always a winner. Spice up your children's lunchbox with a few butternut mac and cheese cupcakes. We promise these aren't as difficult to make as they sound. Simply roast half a butternut squash in the oven for 45 minutes. Then, cook the macaroni on a medium heat for 6 - 12 minutes, and prepare a basic cheese sauce out of flour, butter, milk and cheddar cheese. Scoop the roasted butternut out of its hard outer skin, and smash it up with a fork. Add the smashed butternut to the cheese sauce, cooking it down to form a thick gravy. Lastly, add the macaroni to the gravy mixture, mixing well. Scoop small portions of the butternut mac and cheese mixture into a greased muffin pan and sprinkle the tops with extra cheese or bread crumbs. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the cheese has melted.

Tip: If your mixture is too runny, beat up an egg and add it to the mac and cheese. This will help solidify your cheesy cupcakes bites.

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Cheesy Pizza Quesadillas

Pizza for school lunch? Absolutely. Trick the kids into thinking that they are tucking into a gooey slice of pizza by substituting heavy wheat laden bases for wholewheat tortilla wraps. Use a basic marinara sauce to start out your faux pizza. Add grated cheese, chopped ham or a veggie medley to the base. Then top with a second tortilla wrap. Sandwich the pizza in a toaster press or in a deep griddle pan.

Food Lover's Market stock wholewheat wraps and other assorted health products at their stores located around Joburg. Stop by their mega store at Stoneridge Centre to find the perfect melting cheese for your little one's pizza treat.

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Chicken Noodle Soup

Winter wouldn't be the same without a hearty chicken noodle soup. Don't just brew up this delightful meal when the kids are under the weather. Soup packs a nutrient punch and keeps little bellies full for longer. Use whatever recipe you have, making sure to add as much vegetable content as possible. Boost the healing properties of your broth by sprinkling in a pinch of turmeric and grated ginger.

Get your little darling a funky winter flask from Polly Potters Toy Store available on Takealot.com. This vacuum flask will keep their soup warm until lunch without any messes.

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Need more recipe inspiration for fussy eaters? Check out our article on toddler-friendly dinner recipes!

Simply The Best In Fresh 

Checkers want you to live better, so that you can live longer. That's why they have developed the Simple Truth Range - a variety of health food and cleaning products which are free of artificial colourants, flavours, sweeteners and have no added MSG. Featuring pantry essentials, cooking oils and tasty snacks, this range is ever growing to include more of your favourite food goodies. Checkers Simple Truth cleaning products are eco-friendly and biodegradable. So, hop on the Simple Truth band wagon if you are serious about kicking sugar, wheat or dairy to the curb and helping the environment.

Here are some of our favourite Simple Truth snacks and staples:

Checkers Simple Truth

Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownie

Reduced sugar, gluten-free and vegetarian friendly, what more could you want in a sticky dark chocolate fudge brownie? Next time you have a hankering for chocolate, pick up one of these. It's an almost guilt-free indulgence. But, beware these are super rich, so pace yourself!

Smooth Roasted Peanut Butter 

We know that some people prefer crunchy peanut butter to smooth, but there is just something so satisfying about the Checkers Simple Truth smooth roasted peanut butter. With no added sugar or salt, this preservative free sandwich spread is super healthy. With its natural fat and high protein content, this is the perfect snack for kids and adults. Spread over apple slices with a sprinkle of cinnamon, and you're in peanut butter heaven.

Unsweetened Almond Milk

Unsweetened almond milk can be hard to come by. But, not at Checkers. Their UHT unsweetened almond milk is suitable for vegans, or anyone looking to start increasing their plant-based consumption. As it's locally made, Checkers Simple Truth almond milk is less costly than imported versions. So, get yourself on the organic bandwagon and drink up those almonds.

Purple Sweet Potato Noodles

Not a fan of zucchini noodles? Neither are we. We much prefer Simple Truth's vegan sweet potato noodles. Egg-free and vibrant with colour, these noodles go well with a hearty lentil bolognaise sauce or veggie stir fry. If sweet potato doesn't float your boat, they also have turmeric noodles and Moringa noodles to get you slurping.

Raw Honey 

The health benefits of raw honey have been proven time and time again. A natural anti-inflammatory, honey is nature's cure to the common cold. Checkers Simple Truth honey is locally sourced wild blossom honey. 100% pure, unfiltered and unheated, this is the ideal pantry staple. Spoon a little into your tea or pair with one of the famous indulgent cheeses at Checkers. Yum!

Oh My Goodness! 

Cooking healthy meals for the kids day in and day out can be tedious to say the least. That's where the Checkers Oh My Goodness! range comes in. Endorsed by Gordon Ramsay himself, this range of pre-made meals and snacks are free from MSG, added sugar and salt, and contain no added artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. However, there is no skimping on flavour here. The kids will love the natural sweetness of berries included in their fruit rolls, yogurts and gluten-free cereals. Get rid of all the usual nasty stuff and feed the kids natural goodness instead.

Banting Revolution

Banting took over the food world a few years ago. While most of the hype has died down, there are still a good number of Banting devotees out there. To help you keep your carb intake down, Checkers developed a range of Banting friendly salad dressings, marinades, cured meats and seeded breads. No need to worry about hidden sugars in your condiments or snacks!

Checkers Simple Truth

Health Connection Wholefoods

If the Simple Truth range, Oh My Goodness! and Banting Revolution weren't enough to kick start your journey to the healthy life, then check out Health Connection Wholefoods on shelves at Checkers, which includes rolled oats, quinoa, chia and pumpkin seeds and almond flour. These are all you need to perfect your gluten-free baking. These healthy alternatives also make breakfast a whole lot easier. So, rather than picking up that sugar loaded petrol station muffin, prepare yourself a jar of overnight oats or chia pudding.

So, there you have it! All of the essential Checkers Simple Truth health products you should add to your shelves. Happy, healthy eating!

Click here to find your nearest Checkers store in Johannesburg.