Lunchboxes can be a daily challenge – you want to make sure your children eat a variety of healthy foods, but you also want to make sure the lunch will be eaten!
By including foods from each of the four food groups, you will help ensure your children are getting all the necessary nutrients. Asking them what they would like, or involving them in preparing their own lunchboxes, can help in reducing the likelihood of the food coming home uneaten or being thrown away.
We have listed some options below from each of the food groups for lunchbox ideas.
– Vegetables and Fruits
– Vegetable sticks – carrot, cucumber and celery with an optional dip such as cottage cheese, hummus, pesto, Greek yoghurt, tzatziki or *peanut butter.
– Small (cherry) or chopped tomatoes
– Fresh fruit – chopping bigger fruit beforehand will make it easier to eat – a variety throughout the week maintains interest and ensures a variety of nutrients
– Fruit pottles
– Mini salads – coleslaw or a lettuce salad with tomato, grated carrot and cucumber
– Small packet or handful of raisins or dried fruit
– Sandwiches – see below for filling and presentation ideas
– Cereal bars
– Plain biscuits
– Plain popcorn
– Rice crackers
– Potato or pasta salad
– Potato cakes
– Leftover pasta and rice dishes
Milk and milk products
– Pottle of yoghurt or yoghurt squeezables
– Plain or flavoured milk
– Cubes or slices of cheese
– Cottage cheese – add to sandwiches or use as a dip for vegetable sticks
Lean meat and alternatives
– Meat or chicken sandwiches
– Egg or tuna sandwiches
– Hard-boiled eggs
– Hummus – Add some to sandwiches or put a couple of tablespoons in a container to go alongside vegetable sticks
– *Peanut butter – add to sandwiches or use as a dip for vegetable sticks
– *A small handful of nuts and seeds
*Note: It may be wise to check your school’s policy on nuts as some schools can be ‘peanut free’