For Parents - Lunch Box Ideas

A healthy lunch keeps active kids alert and focused and gives them the nutrition they need every day. But no matter how healthy your child’s lunch box is, it won’t provide any nutritional value if it doesn’t get eaten!

The solution is to make packed lunches as interesting and nutritious as possible – and to encourage your child to be involved in filling their own lunchbox from a range of healthy options. It doesn’t have to be difficult, time-consuming or expensive. For example; sandwiches and rolls – a favourite among lots of kids – are simple and easy to prepare. Here are some simple, tasty and nutritious ideas for you to try when preparing your child’s lunchbox.

What to put in the lunchbox

A good helping of fruit and vegetables

Fresh fruit is easy to pack.  You can also try a tub of canned fruit or chopped fresh strawberries, pineapple or melon.  Raw vegies such as carrot sticks, cherry tomatoes, cucumber or capsicum strips are popular as a snack or in a sandwich.

Starchy food

like bread, rice, potatoes and pasta. Have a variety to choose from, such as wholegrain, wholemeal or high fibre breads, such as seeded rolls, Lebanese bread, pita, lavash, bagels; brown and white rice; or tricolour pasta.

Lean protein

like tuna or salmon (fresh or canned in spring water or oils such as canola, sunflower or olive oil); boiled eggs; beans; or lean meat such as beef or chicken

Reduced fat dairy food

like reduced fat yoghurt, reduced fat cheese or reduced fat milk

A bottle of water

to keep your child hydrated all day.  Freeze on hot days to keep the lunch box (and your child) nice and cool.

Healthy choices

look at food labels to help you choose the products that are lowest in saturated fat, total fat, sugar and salt. Avoid high fat spreads and try a little avocado, low fat mayonnaise, mustard or ricotta cheese instead.

Nutritious snacks

such as small box or bag of dried fruit, rice cakes or unsalted and unsweetened popcorn.

And remember: Treats like chocolate or chips should only be included occasionally, not every day.