lunch box ideas

Lunch Box Ideas

lunch box ideasLunch box ideas used to defeat me. I used to try to throw them together in the morning rush. It’s easy to toss in a packet of chips, a chocolate or snack bar and a fizzy drink – at least they won’t come back soggy and uneaten. Children enjoy variety and surprised, but they must also be the right kind of surprises. I decided to make up a list of healthy snacks that my kids enjoy and that my early morning brain was able to put together!

Good lunch boxes, with separate compartments are a definite must, as is a good, fun water bottle to encourage them to drink water. If you are going to pack a fruit juice, make sure that it’s made from pressed fruit or 100% fruit concentrate. I’ve learnt to carefully check the ingredients and avoid fruit drinks, squashes or nectars. These drinks have added sugar and usually contain colourings and flavourings and don’t contain much fruit.

Teachers are known to have said that they can tell which children eat junk food, simply by their reduced performance in the class room and sports field.

Snack ideas for the small compartments:

• Sticks of carrot, celery or cucumber.

• Nuts of almost every kind (depending of course if your children’s school is a ‘nut-free zone’ due to allergies). Avoid heavily salted nut snacks, including peanuts.

• Dried fruit such as raisins, apricots, peaches, prunes, mango, banana or apple.

• Small or chopped up fruits. Try using all types of berries, cherries, grapes, orange, chunks or melon, paw paw or pineapple.

• Little sausages, sticks of hard cheese, hard-boiled eggs.

• Muesli or seed bars, carrot or banana cake, bran muffins

• Good fresh fruits to pack include bananas, apples, pears, and oranges.

Larger snacks for the big compartment:

Most of these are variations of sandwiches or wraps. Try not to get stuck in the rut of using the same kind of bread day after day. There are such delicious and different breads available now that it is possible to make creative and delicious sandwiches or wraps, easily and quickly.

• Whole-wheat rolls, ciabatta, bagets, etc, filled with your children’s favourite ingredients. Try chopped egg, cheese, and slices of meat, ham, or smoked salmon.

• Pitta breads with leftover chicken or meat and chopped salad ingredients.

Other ideas:

• For a snack or lunch offer your children a smoothie. There are some great “shake” containers on the market that even have a special ice pack which you freeze and it gets held in the middle of the smoothie to keep it cool. Our girls love these as they are filling and quick, easy to consume so they can get on with playing.

• Instead of buying pre-packaged yogurt snacks, buy some small containers in similar size and buy Natural yogurt and mix in a sugar free jam. You will notice that this will contain very little if no preservatives in comparison to the pre-packed option, plus will save you money.

• Home popped Pop Corn. Then salt yourself, and use ziplock bags to store.