21 Answers

With the school holidays almost coming to an end, I’m thinking about healthy lunchbox ideas. I hate seeing food wasted and coming back. What are your tricks to get your children to enjoy healthy lunches?

Posted by gemms, 13th April 2015

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  • 1. Variety, choose every day something different
    2. Involvement, invole them packing their lunch boxes
    3. Don’t pack to much; rather have them finishing what’s in the lunchbox and offer more after school, than chucking things out

  • Give them a range of healthy options that you know they like to choose between.

  • Have them make their own selection from a range of choices you offer.

  • Now they are able to the children pack it themselves. They have some options that are available/approved for taking and pick what they feel comfortable. For younger children the teachers might be able to help ensure that food provided is eaten and enough time is given. In worst case assume that before and after school is the main time to get good nutrition in. To prevent wasted food (and keep an eye on what is being eaten) just encourage him to bring it back home (no arguments or getting in trouble); just explain you don’t like waste and maybe use fruit etc. in crumble or something he likes to encourage not throwing food away.

  • My daughter eats cheese and tomato sandwiches everyday as it’s her favourite and I know she will eat it. When she comes home from school I ensure she eats a variety of snacks like nuts and fruit.

  • We use Yumbox lunchboxes. They have sections for each sort of food – and a little one for a treat. We use sandwich cutters and food picks to make eating the meals fun.

  • I just make sure there’s lots of fibre and energy in the school lunch, as well as healthy snack. The rest of the balance is at home for evening meal and breakfast!

  • Loved reading this. I gave a similar problem, trying to get my kids to eat lunch at all, let alone a healthy lunch. I loved reading the other comments too, they’ve been very helpful and I look forward to trying them

  • Maybe get your kids involved with a meal plan and writing a shopping list. Then after you’ve gone shopping, they can help with some of the prep work?

    I would suggest a mix of small snacky things (fruit, cheese and crackers, dried fruit, bliss balls, yoghurt, savoury/ sweet muffins) with a large something for lunch (sandwiches, wraps, muffins, salad with meat/ tinned fish, frittata, quiche, slices).

  • make up a container of crackers, fruit and cheese. they love it

  • Thank you for all your suggestions ladies… Lots of great ideas to trial

  • Ask them to make a list of food they like, see if there is anything on the list that is good for lunch

  • It does take a bit of prep work but I’m finding that my changing it up everyday I’m getting less and less come home and the kids are excited to see what is in their lunchbox!

    Think bento style and a variety of items – chia pudding, yoghurt, and hommus are great choices; wraps and mini burger buns in lieu of sandwiches; fresh fruit cut into strips, cheese sticks (look for real cheese!); cherry tomatos and mini cucumbers, rice crackers, pumpkin seeds, dried fruit – just try to mix it up each day so reduce food boredome is what has worked well for me.

  • our kids can heat lasagne or spag bol in microwave at school in the tuck shop so last nights leftovers become lunch which is good.

  • It is really easy to make sure your child gets a balanced diet at school with a little prep work. First thing is first, if you are shopping the snack food isle; STOP! Those items are dead calories, a bunch of sugar, fat and salt from artificial ingredients that offer no real contribution towards their daily needs. The more shopping you do in the fresh food section the better.

    In my daughter’s lunch box I pack a meat and salad wrap, brown rice crackers with cheese dip, cherry tomatoes and cucumber, yogurt, nut free Nutela and juice. It sounds like a lot of work but it’s not with a little prep.

    Once every few weeks I make a batch of salad wraps from mini tortillas, lettuce, carrot, cucumber, cheese and meat. They can be frozen and one taken out each morning and defrost in their lunch box in time for lunch. A few important things to note; use a thick leaf lettuce like butterhead or oak other wise when the water in the cells expands as ice crystals it will rupture the cell walls and will defrost as slime. Scrape the seeds out of the cucumber for this reason and pat all salad ingredients dry with paper towel. Cut cucumber, carrot and cheese as long batons so they don’t just tumble out the ends of the wrap and freeze in an air tight container with a sheet of baking paper between each row.

    The cheese dip is just cream cheese, cheddar cheese and milk whisked together in a double broiler then put in an ice cube tray and frozen. Pop out a cube or two each morning and put it in a container to defrost.

    I know that most children don’t want cherry tomatoes and cucumber but any piece of fresh fruit or veg will be a good substitute.

    Nut free Nutela is made in a food processor by smashing sunflower seeds into a paste with raw cacao powder, coconut oil and a little rice malt syrup or honey.

    Yogurt is also easy to make at home and freeze in individual batches. Store bought yogurt can be lacking in bacteria pending it’s processing, time in transit and how long it has been sitting on the shelf. Home made yogurt doesn’t have the same terrible tang that it did when we were kids too.

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