Getting parents, domestic helpers and fast-food shops to pack healthy lunches for school students is the latest goal for Pauline Ng Po-yee. The senior dietician at Queen Mary Hospital has helped organise a cooking competition with Caritas to promote the idea of packing a nutritious meal. She has 16 years' experience as a dietician after studying at the University of North London. What's on your mind? Studies show 30 per cent of primary schoolchildren have a body weight which is a little bit higher than usual. We looked into the cause and it seems they are eating too much fast food or junk food, particularly at lunchtime when they are at school. If they don't have a proper lunch, they will have snacks between meals such as ice cream, biscuits, chocolate, and instant noodles. Chinese like instant noodles. If their body weight is a little bit high, they can develop diet-related diseases like hypertension, heart disease or diabetes. What makes for a good lunch box? We would like to see a balanced diet. If it's a cooked meal, avoid fatty meat, Chinese sausages, fried frankfurters and luncheon meat. It's better to steam, boil or stir-fry vegetables and serve with a portion of rice. When making a sauce for meat or vegetables, make the gravy thin. Try to include some fruit. When making sandwiches, try occasionally to use wholemeal bread, not always white or use one piece of white and one piece wholemeal. Use fresh lettuce or tomato, cold chicken or lean ham is all right occasionally. Should parents watch the lunches domestic helpers prepare? Yes, because most of them are Filipinas and fried foods are popular in their culture. They tend to use plenty of oil for cooking and we want to see less fat in lunch-box meals. What sort of drink do you recommend? The best is water. Try to have some fruit juice occasionally if you don't want to eat fruit but not every day because of the high sugar content.