Kids School Lunches
Find out how to pack your child's lunchbox with goodness.
Around a third of children's daily food intake occurs at school. Providing healthy food in the lunchbox helps children to grow and develop well, and will support them to learn life-long healthy eating habits to reduce the risk of unhealthy weight later in life.
Each day at school children need:
- Lunch (main)
- A healthy snack (mini)
- Extra fruit or vegies (munch)
Pack a lunch with some grains, protein and vegies. This can include a sandwich, wrap, sushi, pasta, curry, falafel or any dinner leftovers. Where needed, add an ice pack to keep food safe.
Pack a healthy snack such as cheese and grainy crackers, hard boiled eggs, homemade muffins, plain yoghurt, popcorn, tinned tuna, baked beans or fruit.
If you think your child needs more, pack some extra fruits and vegetables for them to enjoy. Pick seasonal to save money and encourage variety.
Always pack water for your child.
The Crunch&Sip resource ‘Packed with Goodness’ has even more lunchbox and snack ideas for healthy kids and busy parents.
Sandwiches are a great, simple option for school lunchboxes. However, if you find it difficult to find the time to make sandwiches, or you find children are tired of them, try our sandwich alternatives. LiveLighter has a selection of tasty healthy recipes, suitable to make and freeze for lunchboxes.
For more tasty sandwich alternatives, check out the CrunchSip website.
Healthy snacks for the lunchbox
Rather than forking out for expensive and overly packaged lunchbox snacks from the supermarket, opt for a humble piece of fruit or one of our nutritious snack ideas instead.
For more tasty snack ideas for the lunchbox, check out the CrunchSip website.
Tips and tricks to get kids eating lunch
Seeing a lunchbox come back full can be disheartening. Involving children in preparation and choice of food to take to school can increase the likelihood of it being eaten.
- Ask them to bring home uneaten food
You’ll get to know what they do and don’t like and any other reasons it may not be being eaten.
- Ensure food is stored in a container that will not spoil or damage the food
Check where lunchboxes are stored at school – often it is outside. Insulated lunchboxes, thermos and ice blocks or frozen drinks will help keep food at the right temperature.
- Can it be opened?
For younger children, check they are able to open the containers, and unwrap contents prior to taking to school.
- Offer a choice
Offer your child a choice of healthy snacks and meals when packing the lunchbox, for example an apple or a banana, or differing sandwich fillers.
Allergies and anaphylaxis
Schools may have rules around certain foods that can cause allergies in some children, particularly nuts. Check the school’s allergy rules before sending food to school. This can apply to lunch box meals and snacks as well as food for special occasions such as birthday cakes.
To find tasty healthy recipes for special diets, use LiveLighter’s recipe search function and select 'special diets'.
More information on feeding your family