Cut yourself some slack in the morning and avoid the stress of thinking about what to pack for school lunch.
Packing a healthy and varied school lunchbox is easy. Just pick one item from each category, the mains, the fruit and veggies and the snack, add a bottle of water or semi-skimmed milk and you’re done. Easy huh!
School lunch box mains ideas
This is what they eat first – it should be filling and as healthy as possible, try to use wholegrain versions of bread where possible.
- 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 homemade sausage rolls.
- 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.
School lunch box 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
School lunch box snack ideas
A little snack is always a welcome addition to a packed lunch, it doesn’t always have to be a cake!
- 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.
Keeping it chilled
Add a couple of small ice-packs to the packed lunch and always chill the drink you send as an added lunch cooler.
Need to be a bit more planned and organised?
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.
And if you’re packing a vegetarian lunchbox