With its balanced energy content and quality supply of proteins, vitamins, and essential minerals – Pork is the perfect addition to any packed lunch box meal.
Comparably low in fat, and packed full of quality proteins, vitamins and minerals, Pork provides a healthy, affordable, and easy way of improving the nutritional content of any packed lunch. Says Brent Fairlie, CEO of leading supplier of quality Pork products, LYNCA MEATS: “Pork is a great addition to any school lunch for toddlers, children, and adolescents alike. It is easy to prepare, affordable, packs a real nutritional punch, and most importantly, it is incredibly tasty!”
Packed full of goodness
Pork is a red meat that is considered a very healthy food when served as part of a balanced diet. Says Brent: “Pork offers plenty of essential nutrients, including protein, vitamin B12, choline, and zinc. It also contains vitamin D, potassium, selenium and iron. Together, these nutrients help fuel a child’s cell growth and cognition, and helps power the endocrine, immune, and nervous systems. There is no question that eating Pork will help keep your kids physically strong, mentally sharp, and on a good emotional keel. In fact, good quality Pork contains so many nutrients that benefit growing bodies, it should be considered a superfood.”
Pork is high in the following nutrients:
- Protein: Pork, like other meat, is mainly made of protein. Lean Pork has a protein level of roughly 26% by wet weight. When dried, lean Pork has a protein level of up to 89%, making this a protein-dense food. Proteins are made up of chemical building blocks called amino acids. Pork provides all nine essential amino acids required for the growth and maintenance of your body. Your body uses amino acids to build and repair muscles and bones, and to make hormones and enzymes. They can also be used as an energy source.
- Vitamin B12: This water-soluble vitamin is necessary for blood production and brain function and is prevalent in Pork. It helps keep your body’s blood and nerve cells healthy and assists in making DNA, the genetic material in all of your cells.
- Zinc: Zinc is a vital mineral abundant in Pork. It induces a healthy immune system activation.
- Choline: Pork is a good source of choline, which helps your brain and nervous system to regulate memory, mood, muscle control, and other functions. You also need choline to form the membranes that surround your body’s cells.
- Vitamin D: Pork has small amounts of Vitamin D, which helps the growth and development of bones and teeth and can provide improved resistance to certain diseases.
- Selenium: Selenium is abundant in Pork. It is an essential component of various enzymes and proteins, called selenoproteins, which aids in the making of DNA, and protects against cell damage and infections. Selenium is also involved in reproduction and the metabolism of thyroid hormones.
- Thiamine: Pork, unlike other red meats, including beef and lamb, is exceptionally high in thiamine – a B vitamin that helps maintain nervous system, brain, muscle, heart, stomach, and intestinal health. It is also involved in the flow of electrolytes into and out of muscle and nerve cells.
- Niacin: Niacin, often known as vitamin B3, which assists with your body’s growth and metabolism, and it helps keep your skin, nervous and digestive system healthy.
- Phosphorus: Phosphorus is abundant and ubiquitous in all cuts of Pork. It’s necessary for physical development and maintenance.
- Iron: Pork is a great source of iron because the digestive tract can absorb iron efficiently from Pork meat.
Versatile & delicious
Brent explains that Pork is exceptionally versatile, and it can be prepared in a wide variety of ways, which helps its inclusion in daily lunch box menus: “School lunches need to be quick and easy to prepare, tasty and as nutritious as possible. Pork fits the bill on all fronts – it comes in a wide variety of forms for optimum convenience, it is full of goodness, and delicious enough to be enjoyed by some of the fussiest little ones. From Ham, to Salami, Mini Sausages, Pork Sausages, Russians, Käsegrillers, Ribs, Bacon, Pulled Pork, or Mini Burgers – the options are virtually endless and tasty enough to keep your family coming back for more!”
Most cooked Pork meat freezes well, so you can make it in advance and freeze it in smaller quantities and take it out of the freezer the day before you need to make the lunch. Here are some great ideas that will really up the ante when it comes to packed lunch box meals:
Pulled Pork Buns: Pulled Pork is affordable, as it can be made using the cheaper cuts of Pork. It is also an absolutely delicious addition to any sandwich or roll. You can add a variety of different compliments to these rolls, including fresh lettuce, coleslaw, or grated carrots for example.
Pork Burgers: Pork makes the juiciest burgers that are really tasty and easy to make. You can make them on the stovetop, grill, oven or the air fryer. They can be paired with fried onion, lettuce, tomato, cheese, avocado, or even bacon.
BLTs: A BLT is a type of sandwich, named for the initials of its primary ingredients, Bacon, lettuce, and tomato. It is a well-loved and very traditional type of sandwich in the UK, and very popular with kids! Of course, you can add a variety of other toppings to this classic, with avocado, eggs and cheese being the most popular.
Sausages: Pork Sausages come in many guises – from Russian Sausages to Cheese Grillers, Cocktail Vienna’s, and of course, traditional Pork Sausages – all of which are delicious and easy to prepare. You can prepare them the day before and add them plain to your kid’s lunch box, or you can jazz them up by including various dips, or by skewering them with small portions of fresh vegetables to form mini sosatie-type treats.
Pork Ribs: These are a popular favourite and they are as delicious eaten hot or cold. Whether you specially prepare them or use leftovers from the braai the day before – Ribs are a quick, easy, and healthy addition to any lunchbox meal that will be a real winner!
Cold Meats: Ham and Gammon are an affordable and deliciously healthy lunchtime snack. They can be added to sandwiches or rolls, but if you are trying to eat less carbohydrates, then they can be included in a number of other creative ways as well. For example, spread a little cream cheese on a slice of Ham, and roll it around a gherkin or some cucumber. Leftover Gammon is delicious cut into small cubes and skewered with small blocks of cheese and baby Rosa tomatoes onto toothpicks.