5 Healthy Lunch Box Ideas for Kids
School dinners vs. lunchboxes for kids.
School dinners provide a daily varied hot meal, giving children an opportunity to try new foods they may not have eaten (or in some cases have eaten but not liked) at home.
However for some kids and parents lunchboxes are the healthier option. If your child is a picky eater you can feel confident that a healthy lunchbox, packed full of tried and tested foods means that they will not go hungry and get that all important meal at the middle of the school day. Guaranteed energy and concentration until home time.
However, preparing the same kids lunch boxes five days a week can turn packed lunches into a bit of a chore.
Check out our top five healthy lunchbox ideas to keep it exciting for them (and simple for you)!
Invest in the right kit.
As well as your kids lunchbox itself you will need lunchbox containers in a variety of shapes and sizes and a flask or water bottle. With containers and pots leftovers are your friends. Pasta dishes keep well (don’t forget to pack a fork), but also Spanish omelette, pizza, chicken drumsticks and potato salad are tasty served cold. The flask means that you can provide a healthy drink – juice or squash diluted with still or sparkling water are always popular. Much more economical than buying cartons or bottles too!
Check the school rules.
Many schools have strict policies and guidelines around providing a kids lunchbox that does not contain nuts or other allergens. Always check the ingredients on packaged food, especially cereal bars. Tahini or Houmous are good alternative to peanut butter and go well with cucumber in sandwiches and rolls.
Spruce up your sandwiches.
Even if your child has a limited repertoire of sandwich fillings such as cheese, ham, marmite or jam you can still inject some healthy lunch box variety. Consider trying out wraps, bagels and rolls – may are available in wholemeal to add fibre. Also try using cookie cutters to make sandwiches in fun shapes – stars, musical notes – whatever the kids are into.
Dips & crudités.
Spoon some houmous, salsa or cream cheese into one of your small lunchbox pots and then get dip-tastic. Kids will love the experience of dipping and eating and this is a great opportunity to mix in some new vegetables. Chop cucumber, carrots or red peppers into dipping strips. More unusual vegetable like cauliflower and broccoli also work when cut into small enough florets.
Get them to help…(occasionally)!
Kids are always more likely to try foods if they’ve had a hand in making them. While it’s not always possible to get kids cooking cakes or main meals for their healthy lunchbox, it is relatively straightforward to get them to help butter the bread, prepare the drink or even just add the fruit.