Keeping your kids’ lunchboxes nutritious, healthy and exciting can be a tough task. You want your kids to eat healthy, but it’s also got to be delicious – and then there’s the time it takes to make the lunches…. Plus it’s difficult enough to get your kids to eat healthy at home, never mind at school!
Why not make lunchbox prepping part of your kids’ daily routine and get them involved in packing their own? Give your kids ownership over their own lunchboxes, with some supervision of course!
These easy, healthy and delicious lunchbox ideas will help to keep your kids feeling full of energy and ready to take on the day.
Wraps & Sandwiches
One of the easiest lunchbox staples, sandwiches and wraps can be filled and flavoured as you please. By choosing healthy, organic wholemeal or wholegrain options with a mixture of salad and protein for the filling, these quick lunch options can be brought to life. You can even make the wraps out of eggs or crepes for something a little different.
Fillings should contain a combination of fats, proteins and fruit or vegetables to maintain a healthy balance.
Protein: Lean meats provide an excellent source of protein which helps to fill up hungry tums, just try to avoid processed meat where possible. Vegetarian and vegan alternatives include a variety of dairy or non-dairy cheeses, nut butters and spreads, pulses and legumes.
Fats: Using organic butter, extra virgin olive oil, healthy dressings, or nut butter/spread will provide a source of good fats, alongside fruit such as avocadoes and healthy sprinking of nuts and seeds.
Fruit & Veg: Fill up sandwiches and wraps with a good helping of fresh salad, raw or cooked veggies or even some fruit! Mangoes, strawberries and rasberries work great in salads and help to freshen things up a bit!
Wraps and bread can also be grilled for extra crunch and bite, preventing them from soaking up soggy ingredients. Alternatively, separate ingredients and let your kids build their own wraps or sandwiches at lunch – the best way to keep things fresh.
Yes, we know, kids are often adverse to the word ‘salad’ – but salads don’t have to be plain and boring.
Add in some delicious protein such as grilled chicken, beef, tinned tuna, salmon, boiled eggs, grilled halloumi or feta. Mix a variety of crispy leaves and crunchy raw veg such as shredded cabbage, carrot, zucchini. A touch of fruit such as tomatoes, cucumber, mango or even berries also work great with salads. Grains and pulses can make salads more filling without the post-lunch slump – think quinoa, brown rice or cous cous – and a fresh and zesty dressing can tie everything together nicely. You can even add a small portion of wholegrain pasta or potato salad if needed.
Rainbow poke bowls are so on-trend, so let’s embrace the salad!
Savoury Muffins & Frittatas
Organic eggs are an incredibly versatile ingredient. Made into snack-sized muffins or delicious mini frittata slices, eggs are high in protein, vitamin D, B2 and B12. Not only that, they are a great filler and can be combined with a range of different ingredients.
Frittatas can be filled with capsicum, tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, kale, onions, carrots, beans and legumes – pretty much any vegetable! They can then be flavoured with herbs and spices to keep things fresh and exciting.
Bake a large frittata and slice into servings, or bake individual muffins for something a little easy to eat on the go.
Made a little too much for dinner? Leftovers from the night before make for a perfect lunchtime treat. Just make sure that portion sizes are suitable for lunch time, are not too carb heavy otherwise your kids might just fall asleep at their desks. Smaller amounts of leftovers can always been filled out with extra salad or veggies. Just make sure that (if required) leftovers are reheated thoroughly, with the supervision of a teacher if needed.
Snacks & Fillers
So, now you’re sorted for lunch, it’s time to talk snacks! We’re not talking candy bars and lollies here – we’re talking healthy, guilt-free snacks that you can rest-assured are being enjoyed by your kids without impacting their health.
Here’s some healthy snack ideas that will keep them going throughout the day:
- Veggie sticks & dips: sticks of crunchy carrots, cucumber, zucchini and celery can be matched with hummous, yoghurt or veggie dips.
- Yoghurt: plain yoghurts can be upgraded with fresh fruit, nuts, seeds or even some dark choc chips. Just make sure your yoghurt of choice is low in sugar.
- Fresh fruit: sometimes the simplest things are the most delicious. A selection of fresh fruit is an easy snack win.
- Cheese & crackers: cheddar cheese is a great source of protein and calcium, teamed up with some rice crackers and some sliced apple makes for a delicious mini cheeseboard.
- Smoothies: a great grab-and-go snack (or even brekkie option), smoothies can be packed full of fresh fruit and veggies for a filled afternoon pick-me-up.
- Muesli or granola bars: make yourself so you know the exact ingredients. Combined dried fruit, seeds, chopped nuts, sweeten with maple syrup and top with a drizzle of melted dark chocolate.
- Corn chips and dip: who doesn’t love some chips and dip?! Make your own healthy versions of guacamole and tomato salsa and it’ll seem like the real deal.
- Popcorn: sweet, salty or flavoured, popcorn is super simply to flavour yourself – just keep it healthy.
Still need some recipe inspo? See our collection of Bud Club recipes for some healthy, quick and easy ideas.
Remember to share your ideas with us on social media!