Building a healthy lunchbox that your child will actually eat is no small feat. It’s not just about coming up with ideas, you’ve got that added pressure to ensure food is free from potential allergens, that it’s healthy and do your bit for the environment and reduce packaging!
When you pack a lunchbox you are teaching your kids how to eat; what a healthy meal looks like. Putting together your child’s lunchbox is something you’ll do up to around 200 times throughout the school year so it’s important you feel confident you’ve got it right!
To help you out, we’ve got some simple lunchbox tips to keep you sane and your kids healthy!
1. Kids eat with their eyes
If your child opens their lunchbox and doesn’t like the way things look, chances are you’ll be greeted to a full lunchbox on their return home from school. Think about the way you offer food in the lunchbox and whilst you don’t have to go to extreme efforts like cutting veggies into stars or hearts, offering colourful food or a bento style lunchbox may excite your child a little more and encourage them to eat.
2. Get your kids involved
Sick of lunchboxes being your daily duty? Get your kids involved! Getting children involved in lunchbox prep can mean they’re more likely to eat what’s inside. Get them involved in age appropriate tasks like letting them choose a fruit or vegetable to include in their lunchbox or get them cutting up fruit or veg using a kid-safe knife!
3. Choose smart snacks
There’s no denying kids love to snack, and if they had it their way, they’d probably graze on snacks all day long. There is actually good reason for this too. Kids have high energy needs, yet smaller stomachs, meaning they tend to get full quite quickly. When it comes to offering snacks to your kids, focus on snacks that are rich in fibre and protein. These nutrients play an important role in satiety so they will help to keep your kids feeling satisfied until the next meal. When preparing the lunchbox choose unprocessed whole foods such as fresh fruit, veggie sticks, cheese, yoghurt, homemade fruit loaf or air-popped popcorn. These options will be free from added sugars that are often hiding in packaged snacks.
4. Don’t save veggies for dinner
For many children, dinner is usually the only meal of the day where veggies are offered. The problem here is that kids won’t get close to meeting their recommended daily serves of vegetables if they only have one opportunity to eat them. To provide your child with more opportunities to eat veggies, it’s important they are offered in the lunchbox. If you need some creative ideas for what to offer your kids for Crunch & Sip, click here. Keep in mind that children aged 9-11 require 5 serves of vegetables per day, here’s examples of what 1 serve looks like.
5. Mix it up
A sandwich can be an easy throw together option for the school lunchbox but if you sense your child is getting bored with it then it might be a good idea to mix it up! Try wraps, frittatas or even pack leftovers with an ice brick to keep them cool. If you are looking for some different options like Healthy Fried Rice, Pasta Salads or even a child friendly Poke Bowl check out our eBook on The School Lunchbox: Everything You Need to Know.
3 Day Lunchbox Plan
We’ve put together a 3 day lunchbox plan to ensure that your child eats well and the stress is reduced for you. All recipes can be found in The School Lunchbox eBook.
- Healthy Fried Rice
- Orange and Carrot Mighty Muffin
- Ants on a Log
- Cheese and Wholegrain Crackers
- Strawberries + Banana
- Creamy Dreamy Tuna Pasta Salad
- Cheese with Wholegrain Crackers + Veggie Sticks
- Strawberries and Blueberries
- Yummy Yoghurt with Fruity Puree
- Choc Coconut Bliss Balls
- Yummy Pizza with Easy Two Ingredient Pizza Dough
- Boiled Egg
- Nut Free Smart Trail Mix
- Veggie Sticks
- Greek Yoghurt with Strawberries
Filling a lunchbox five days a week with food that kids will actually eat can be a challenge. No more! This ebook will help you pack the ultimate kids’ lunchbox, with recipes for lunches and snacks that won’t come home again at the end of the school day!