It’s no secret that trying to balance nutritious lunchbox choices with what your child will actually eat is tricky. However, eating a healthy, well-rounded diet is crucial for your child, especially as it provides them with essential nutrients needed for their continued growth and development. Staying organised by planning ahead and including a variety of fresh, fun and healthy ideas is definitely going to make life a lot easier. Here’s some simple school lunch ideas that are all packable, scrumptious and full of nutritious ingredients that are sure to keep kids satisfied and ready for anything.
What Should a Healthy Lunchbox Contain?
There are several food groups that are important for your child. These include:
- Fruit and vegetables
- Starchy foods
- Fats and sugars
Remember, each food group does need to be eaten in moderation. For specific guidelines, check out this helpful Eat Well guide by the NHS.
DIY Pizza Wraps
Let your child have fun at lunchtime! Pack some deconstructed pizza wraps to keep things interesting. It’s also an easy way to include veggies and healthy dips such as hummus and guacamole.
- Mini wraps
- Tomato Sauce
- Ham or chicken chopped up
- Veggies like peppers, olives or tomatoes chopped up
- Grated cheese
- Dips such as hummus and guacamole
Healthy Sandwiches and Wraps
Even though your kids might want ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch, it’s important to try something a little bit more nutritious. Whether it’s as simple as grated carrot and hummus wraps (recipe below), chicken and avocado pitas or these vegetarian friendly green club sandwiches, be sure to include a variety of veggies, healthy fats and protein. It’s also a great idea to choose wholemeal wraps and bread to make sure your kids are eating the right grains.
For the Carrot and Hummus Wraps you’ll need:
- Wholemeal wraps
- Shredded iceberg lettuce
- Grated carrot
- Sweet chilli sauce
To make these wraps combine the carrot, lettuce and sweet chilli sauce in a mixing bowl and add a generous layer of hummus onto the wrap. Add in the carrot mixture down the middle of the wrap and roll it up. Viola!
Remember: Feel free to mix and match or swap out any of the ingredients to match your child’s tastes.
Healthy Mini Bites
If you’re looking at bulking up your child’s lunch but don’t want to include cheese strings or ‘healthy’ snack bars full of sugar, why not try whipping up some healthy mini bites? Often they can be made in batches and kept in the fridge or freezer. We love these spinach and cottage cheese frittatas for a savoury treat or these yummy fruitburst muffins for something sweet that still packs in plenty of nutritional benefits.
Swap Out Crisps and Chocolate
Cutting out foods that are high in salt and sugar is a huge step to creating a healthy lunch for your child. Simply swapping crisps, biscuits and chocolate bars for foods like unsalted nuts, dried fruit or low-sugar yogurt is a step in the right direction. If you fancy getting creative there’s also loads of delicious lunchbox snacks you can make that we bet your kids will eat right up!
Chocolate Bars for: Chocolate Dipped Tangerines
If your kids always come home with fruit left in their lunchboxes, this easy snack might be the answer. Who can resist a chocolate orange in fruity form? Simply melt dark chocolate and dip in half of each tangerine segment. Pop them on a tray lined with baking paper and leave them to set in the fridge for an hour.
Packets of Crisps for: Sweet Potato Crisps
This super easy crisp swap takes no time to make. Thinly slice a sweet potato, toss them in some olive oil and sea salt, then roast on a low heat until they’re nice and crispy. Pop them in a mini Tupperware and you’re good to go! We guarantee your kids will prefer these over a packet of crisps.
Sugary Cereal Bars for: Veggies and Dip
Perhaps a tricky swap, but a much more nutritious one! Instead of packing sugary cereal bars, try include veggies such as peppers, carrots, cucumbers, celery sticks and wholegrain crackers with yummy dips like hummus or guacamole. Make it interesting and include different flavoured hummus - we love sweet chilli and caramelised onion flavours!