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Easy school lunchbox ideas

By Melody Tan 1 min read
Sunday, January 31, 2021

Whether you're new to packing school lunchboxes or are simply running out of creativity, here are 5 healthy lunchbox ideas for kids.

Let's face it. Preparing healthy lunches for your kids' lunchboxes can often feel like a bit of a chore. It can sometimes be so tempting to simply throw in some chocolate, roll-ups and a can of soft drink and call it done. (Who are we kidding? Mum guilt will never allow us to do that!)

But seriously, how many sandwiches can you pack before you—much less your child—gets sick of it? And aren't nutritionists calling for us to "eat a rainbow", aka a variety of food?

Just what should you pack for your children so their school lunch actually has some semblance of good nutritional value? We have not one, but five great ideas for you—lunchbox recipes that aren't sandwiches. But first . . .

What does a healthy lunchbox look like?

As a general rule, avoid snack foods and drinks that are high in added sugar, saturated fat or salt. These are generally low in nutrients but high in kilojoules, which can cause children to become overweight or obese. On top of that, sweet, sticky foods aren't great for young teeth either.

A healthy school lunchbox should have:

Foods you should find in a school lunchbox

Here are some lunchbox food ideas that are great for your kids. You can always set yourself the challenge of creating new and interesting combinations with these foods.

  • Apple
  • Avocado
  • Baked beans
  • Banana
  • Blueberries
  • Brown rice
  • Carrot
  • Cheese
  • Cherry tomato
  • Corn cob
  • Cucumber
  • Hardboiled egg
  • Noodles
  • Oranges
  • Pasta
  • Pear
  • Pita bread
  • Strawberries
  • Wholegrain bread, rolls or wraps

5 lunchbox recipes that aren't sandwiches

If cooking is your thing, you should try these recipes from Gia, our resident mum (and home cook). We've listed five—one for each day of the week!

1. Vegan sultana and tofutti cheese rolls

2. One-pan cheesy rice with broccoli

Relevant: 3 new recipes books to help your school lunchbox woes

3. Gluten-free quiches

4. Meatless loaf

5. Chickpea risoni

Want more? Check out all of Gia's recipes here.

Melody Tan is project manager of the Mums At The Table multimedia initiative. She lives in Sydney with her husband and their preschooler son.