Pack your kids off to school with a healthy, tasty packed lunch. We’ve got you covered with our quick and easy packed lunch ideas for kids and super simple lunch box menu plans.
Cut yourself some slack in the morning and avoid the stress of thinking about what to pack for school lunch.
If you’re wondering “what are good packed lunch ideas?” then we’ve got you covered! Packing a healthy and varied school lunchbox is easy.
Just pick one item from the mains ideas and two items from the fruit and vegetable options.
Then add one item from the snack ideas. Include a bottle of water or semi-skimmed milk and you’re done. Easy huh!
What can I give my child for packed lunch?
This is what they eat first – it should be filling and as healthy as possible, try to use wholegrain versions of bread where possible.
And remember packed lunch doesn’t always have to be a sandwich! There’s loads of other lunch ideas you can try out.
- Sandwich/Wrap/Pitta – various fillings cheese, chicken, ham, tuna, tinned salmon, hummus, egg or nut butters if your school allows. Try to add a little salad if you can.
- Slice of pizza – you can make muffin pizzas using a wholegrain muffin as a base.
- Small pastry – like a quiche, slice of cheese and vegetable pie, quick veggie pasty or a homemade sausage roll
- Spring rolls or samosas
- Rice salad
- Pasta salad
- Potato salad
- Leftover of any soup/stew/curry packed in a thermos food pot
Be sure when making pasta and rice salad that you follow food hygiene guidelines – cool the rice/pasta quickly and store it at the appropriate temperature – even when packed in lunch boxes – rice needs to be stored at less than 5 degrees C.
Packed Lunch Ideas for Kids – Fruit and Veg Ideas
Try to include a portion of fruit and vegetables each day and vary what you put in so they don’t get bored.
- Vegetable batons – try any of the following – carrot, pepper, cucumber, celery, broccoli florets, whole tomatoes
- A little pot of hummus, tomato or bean dip with mini bread sticks
- As well as the usual apples, pears, satsumas, bananas try making little fruit salads, slices of melon or kiwi, seasonal berries, tinned fruit in juice or handfuls of dried fruit.
- Fruit pots or fruit kebabs
Packed Lunch Ideas for Kids – Healthy Snack Ideas
A little snack is always a welcome addition to a packed lunch, it doesn’t always have to be a cake!
Try to include homemade or healthy versions of snacks where you can.
- Rice Pudding
- Cheese cubes & nuts (older children only and check your school policy with regards to nuts)
- Crackers with cheese or nut butter
- Savoury snacks like baked crisps
School lunch box drink ideas
The best drink to send is plain bottled water or semi-skimmed milk. Don’t whack up the sugar content of the lunch by adding cartons of cordial or fruit juice drinks, water or milk are just fine.
How to Keep Packed Lunch Cool
Add a couple of small ice-packs to the packed lunch and always chill the drink you send as an added lunch cooler. Remember when packing rice or pasta salad you need to be extra careful to keep it below 5 degrees C.
How to be organized with school packed lunches
Sometimes it’s easier to just plan and organise lunches ahead, you might like to try out our packed lunch menus for a little added inspiration.
Healthy Packed Lunches – Week 1
Healthy Packed Lunches Week 2
Vegetarian Packed Lunch Ideas
Packed lunch menu printables
- Mix and Match Packed Lunch Printable
- Week 1 Lunch Box Menu
- Week 2 Lunch Box Menu
- Vegetarian Lunch Box Menu
Get lots more delicious, healthy kid friendly recipes here
Get loads of lunch recipes and ideas here
Need some new packed lunch ideas? We’ve lots of delicious recipes here!