Healthy School Lunch Ideas

by Katrina - The Organised Housewife

 This post is sponsored by Coles

2015 back to school tips and ideas series

Soon we will all be back into routine of preparing delicious and nutritious school lunches for the kids.  Crafting together a variety of choices so they don’t get bored with the ‘everyday’ food, as we don’t want it returned and our little treasures going hungry.  Ensuring we give them enough so they don’t starve and creating a balanced healthy lunch box will give them enough energy to help them concentrate through their school day.  Frazzled at the thought??

What do you struggle with most when it comes to packing lunch boxes?


Creating a delicious & healthy lunchbox doesn’t need to be hard.  I have shared my lunchbox food guidelines with you which you can read in more detail here. Having these guidelines makes planning school lunches easier and ensures that I create a balanced healthy lunchbox.

MY LUNCHBOX FOOD GUIDELINES

  1. Fruit
  2. Baking
  3. Fruit and/or vegetable
  4. Snack
  5. Sandwich, wrap or salad

Below I have shared some healthy food options following the guideline above.

Fruit

Fresh fruit is always a healthy and convenient addition to the lunchbox.  I’ve shared below how I store fruit in the kids lunch boxes.

  • Bananas – whole
  • Apples – whole or sliced, read more about how to stop apples from going brown
  • Mandarin’s – whole or if I am feeling extra nice I peel them
  • Kiwifruit – peeled and sliced
  • Grapes – off stem
  • Oranges – peeled and diced
  • Watermelon – diced
  • Pineapple – diced
  • Pears – whole

Note: Typically I use whatever fruit is in season and on special at the supermarket. You can see the 12 weekly fresh specials Coles have here to help you with planning and keeping the grocery bill down, they vary each week.

Healthy lunchbox idea: mandarin, kiwifruit and grapes

fresh fruit kids lunchboxes

Vegetables

Add an element of crunch with vegetables to their lunch boxes.  Adding some dip like hummus as variety.

  • Carrot
  • Cucumber
  • Capsicum
  • Celery
  • Snap peas
  • Cherry Tomatoes

Healthy lunchbox idea: Grapes, hummus, celery, carrot & capsicum sticks, cinnamon crumb muffin and chicken & lettuce sandwich.

kids-lunchbox-hummus-1

Snacks

Dairy items will add the calcium portion to the lunchbox, which is need for growing kids.  Snacks low in sugar will help give the kids an extra boost of energy for their long day at school.

  • Cheese
  • Yoghurt
  • Pretzels
  • Rice Crackers
  • Dried fruit
  • Popcorn

Healthy lunchbox idea: Peach and Cream Cheese Muffin, kiwi fruit slices, Peckish Rice Crackers, carrot, capsicum & snowpeas and cheese & lettuce sandwich.

Lunchbox with Rice Crackers

Baking

I always have baking in the freezer specifically for kids lunch boxes, with a variety of healthy fruit muffins to treats like choc chip biscuits.  You can view all my recipes here.

  • Muffins
  • Biscuits
  • Slices
  • Protein Balls
  • Muesli bars
  • Cake
  • Sweet Scrolls
  • Scones

Healthy lunchbox idea: Mandarin, homemade cheese shapes and Choc-chip, Coconut and Oat Biscuits

Choc Chip Cookies, fruit and cheese shapes

Main Lunch

In most cases a sandwich is a typical lunch for many, with a wide range of sandwich fillings to chose from (that is a whole blog post in itself), it is important to have protein added to the filling such as egg (if acceptable at your school), meats and or cheese.

  • Sandwich
  • Bread roll
  • Wraps
  • Savoury muffins
  • Scrolls
  • Salad
  • Left overs
  • Crackers
  • Sushi

Healthy lunchbox idea: Popcorn, cherry tomatos, sliced ham and Corn, Spinach & Feta Muffin (recipe can be found in the current FREE Coles magazine).

savoury muffins for kids

How to prevent soggy bread

My kids love tomato on their sandwiches, however if the sandwich is not assembled correctly the bread can go soggy.  Here’s the trick: use the cheese as a barrier between the bread and the wetter food like tomato or cucumber.  I place the ham and cheese onto the bread and tomato and lettuce in-between.

How to make a sandwich not go soggy

How to make a sandwich not go soggy tomato

Drink

Kids will get really thirsty at school, it’s best not to give them juices, milks or sugary drinks, plain water is always the best option.

This post was coordinated by The Remarkables Group and run in accordance with my disclosure policy

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21 comments

Jaclyn January 19, 2015 - 7:47 AM

My little one was in prep last year. I have always struggled with coming up with ideas for his lunchbox, they were always quite boring and the same foods. I’ve just recently found your blog and love your simple ideas and this guideline makes complete sense to me and will make packing lunches easier, thank you.

Reply
Katrina - The Organised Housewife January 19, 2015 - 9:57 AM

Hi Jaclyn, Welcome!.:) So glad you have found us and enjoying the blog. 2015 is going to be a big an exciting year for us. We look forward to sharing more recipes/ tips and much more.

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Shirley Hondris January 19, 2015 - 11:14 AM

Just love your website and tips. Thanks for all your encouragement and ideas. Yes I’m getting my hair done tomorrow, can’t wait!
And your inspiration – J U S T S T A R T – love it, blessings Shirl.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife January 20, 2015 - 11:27 AM

Ooh thank you Shirley.:) You enjoy getting your hair done.:)

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Kim January 19, 2015 - 11:33 AM

I put my tomato and cucumber in between to slices of day old bread let sit for a couple of hours and then put on sandwich the day old bread soaks up all the juice no more soggy sandwich

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife January 20, 2015 - 11:12 AM

Fantastic tip! Thank you for sharing Kim.:)

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Kim Zerafa January 21, 2015 - 10:09 PM

Similarly, I lay the slices on one side of a piece of paper towel and fold over the other side, gently patting out the excess juices. New to this site so must say thank you. Miss Five begins school next week and is my fussy eater. The coming year will be a challenge of obstaining from Vegemite & peanut butter rolls! X 😀

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Danielle January 19, 2015 - 12:29 PM

My son starts Prep this year and I have dreaded the thought of having to pack lunch for him everyday. Your guidelines make it so easy – great idea. I have already tried two of your recipes from the freezer baking article and they were a hit with my boys. Thank you

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife January 20, 2015 - 11:13 AM

Fantastic Danielle!.:)

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Farzain January 20, 2015 - 6:19 PM

What a wonderful compilation of tips! Bookmarking this.
Thank you for sharing!

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife January 20, 2015 - 8:52 PM

You are very welcome Farzain, glad you like the collection 🙂

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Emma January 21, 2015 - 8:36 PM

Where’s the yellow & grey water bottle from? Or what brand? Thanks!

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Katharine January 23, 2015 - 12:25 PM

Hi Katrina
I recently unsubscribed to about a dozen sites to de-clutter my emails but yours was the only site I kept!!! Love it love it love it!! ????????

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Katharine January 23, 2015 - 12:27 PM

Hi Katrina
I recently unsubscribed to about a dozen sites to de-clutter my emails but yours was the only site I kept!!! Love it love it love it!! ????????

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Yvonne Bentley January 23, 2015 - 12:58 PM

Hi Kat, wow thanks so much for an extensive list of lunch items. I am always overwhelmed with making lunches, your list breakdown is great. I can now look at it to give me ideas, instead of thinking what am I going to pack. I always pack healthy lunches no prepackaged convenient snacks, I always baked and I halve already packed the freezer with some of your recipes, and will do a further bake…One lot of baking has already been eaten which was supposed to be for lunches lol..I am going to paste your list and place it on the pantry door so so it makes it easier. Your an amazing mother and woman…Hugs

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Alison January 25, 2015 - 7:17 AM

Great post. Where are the split containers from please? The little pink one and the bigger one with green lid? That’s my hardest challenge!

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Olivia January 26, 2015 - 11:57 PM

Love your site!!!! Always visiting thankyou for all of your wonderful ideas! Just thought I would mention that peckers brand crackers have MSG in the unfortunately but Sakata are a great alternative with no added MSG 🙂 just thought I’d share.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife January 29, 2015 - 11:51 AM

Ooh thank you Olivia.:)

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Leilani Byrum January 30, 2015 - 7:50 PM

I love your site! Thank you so much for the list of lunch items. Now I can plan a variety of healthy lunch.

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Melissa Best February 3, 2015 - 12:43 PM

I love this site! As a busy young mother to 2 adorable kids under 3, I find all the tips so helpful. Have started cutting up all my veges on shopping day and it has been a godsend! Saves me so much time. I’m turning into an organizational nazi!

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife February 4, 2015 - 9:11 AM

LOL you gave me a laugh, Melissa!.:) Well done to you! You sound like you are on to it.:) Looking forward to sharing much much more.:)

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