Low GI foods are an essential part of a healthy, balanced diet.
Low GI foods are an essential part of a healthy, balanced diet.

Low-GI lunchbox goodies

By Tamara Mafilika Time of article published Feb 12, 2021

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WHAT is GI? GI stands for glycaemic index – it’s a way of ranking carbohydrate-containing foods based on how slowly or quickly the carbs are digested and therefore increase blood sugar (glucose) levels.

The GI has replaced the old system of classifying carbs as either simple or complex.

Carbohydrates that break down rapidly during digestion and release glucose into the bloodstream quickly have a higher glycaemic index. Carbohydrates that break down slowly and release glucose gradually have low glycaemic indexes.

The terms “low-GI”, “medium-GI” and “high-GI” are given to foods that fall within different ranges of the GI.

Low-GI (less than 55) – examples include soy products, beans, fruit, milk, pasta, grainy bread, oats and lentils.

Medium-GI (55 to 70) – examples include orange juice, honey, basmati rice and wholemeal bread.

High-GI (greater than 70) – examples include potatoes, white bread and short-grain rice.

Low-GI foods provide steady, long-lasting energy. This means they have several benefits, in particular for children:

If your child eats more low-GI foods than high-GI foods throughout the day, it’ll help your child concentrate better and keep going for longer.

Low-GI foods often help you feel fuller for longer. This can help your child stay at a healthy weight and avoid unhealthy snacking.

If your child plays sport or is involved in physical activities in the afternoon, low-GI foods can help keep their energy levels up.

It’s perfectly fine to have some high-GI foods in your diet – many contain minerals and vitamins that play an important part in healthy nutrition. The trick, as with most things in life, is striking the right balance.

Here are some tips for packing low-GI lunchboxes your kids will love:

  • Swop white bread or rolls for a 100% wholewheat or wholegrain bread.
  • Finely shred fresh veggies like lettuce, courgettes or baby cabbage and mix them in with the protein and dressing going on the sandwich. This makes for a far more appetising and interesting sandwich addition than the traditional slice of wilted lettuce or soggy piece of tomato.
  • For a low-GI twist to your traditional peanut butter and jam sandwich, try using slices of fruit instead of the jam.
  • Include a variety of low-GI snacks like nuts, apple slices or cucumber sticks, in little zip-lock bags. This will help keep the snacks fresh so that they can be nibbled on throughout the day.

You can also create tasty and healthy lunchbox fillers with these easy recipes using Sasko’s range of low-GI breads:

Cranberry basil chicken sandwich. Picture: Nickey Bothma

Cranberry Basil Chicken Sandwich

Ingredients

2 slices Sasko Low GI Cranberry Brown Bread

2 tbs mayo

60g shredded chicken

Handful baby spinach

Several basil leaves

Butter to spread

Fresh cracked black pepper

Method

1. Lightly toast the Sasko Cranberry brown bread then spread both pieces with butter.

2. Top one buttered slice with spinach and basil leaves.

3. Mix chicken and mayo and add on leaves.

4. Crack fresh pepper and place the remaining empty slice on top.

Linseed and soy, chicken and egg quiche. Picture: Nickey Bothma

Linseed and Soy, Chicken and egg quiche

Ingredients

1 kg cooked chicken

6 large eggs

2 cups milk

1 tsp salt

1 tsp ground mustard

6 slices, cut into cubes of Sasko Low GI Linseed White Bread

1 cup grated cheese

Method

1. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, salt and mustard together.

2. Stir in the bread cubes, cheese and cooked chicken.

3. Pour into a greased baking dish.

4. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

5. Bake uncovered at 180°C for 40 min or until a knife inserted comes out clean.

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