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School packed lunch planner – packed lunch ideas for kids

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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!

printable mix n match packed lunch ideas for kids

What can I give my child for packed lunch?

Cheese apple and chutney mini pitta breads, healthy lunchbox recipes, easy family food from Daisies and Pie

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
  • Crackers
  • Quesadilla 
  • Rice salad
  • Pasta salad
  • Potato salad
  • Leftover of any soup/stew/curry packed in a thermos food pot
  • Kids lunchbox pasta salad with chicken
  • Salad box

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 

little snack pots filled with dip and vegetable sticks

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 

homemade cinnamon raisin cookies.

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.

  • Flapjacks
  • Muffins
  • Cookies
  • 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
  • Popcorn
  • Yogurts

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

printable packed lunch menu planner - packed lunch ideas for kids

Healthy Packed Lunches Week 2

printable packed lunch menu planner - packed lunch ideas for kids

Vegetarian Packed Lunch Ideas

printable packed lunch menu planner - vegetarian packed lunch ideas for kids

Packed lunch menu printables

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