Back to School Lunchbox Ideas

Chef Rohan shares some healthy, practical tips and ideas to help parents plan what to put in their child’s lunch boxes they head back to school.

With the return to school fast approaching one of the often overlooked but important parts of the school day is the packed lunch.  There are currently plenty of reasonably priced thermal lunch boxes and containers on the market which open up a whole new range of lunch foods for your child.

The thermos containers will allow you to send hot or chilled foods in with your child.  This will require a deal more preparation than spreading some jam on a few slices of bread, but when you consider how many school lunches your child will have over the coming years – around 2,434, it is well worth thinking of sending some healthier and more nutritious meals in to school at least a couple of times a week.

The thermos containers often come with a spoon and fork attached to it in some way.

Hot meals

Soups – Thick soups are an ideal nutritious lunch for your child and a great way to introduce vegetables into your child’s lunch.  We have a number of our soup recipes on our website and we will be adding more particularly as the winter approaches.  You can also give some healthy homemade bread or roll to dip in the soup.

Porridge – Porridge is a great choice for children and a favourite in the crèche.  It is very easy to create many different flavours by simply adding different fruit each day.  This will ensure a varied and healthy meal for your child.

Cold Meals

Salads – Pasta or Couscous salad can be prepared the day before with lots of tasty and healthy vegetables and sent cold with your child to school. We will be putting up these recipes in the coming weeks.

Back to School lunchbox salad

Yoghurt – Instead of buying individual yoghurts get a big tub of natural yoghurt and mix some fresh fruit such as strawberries or blueberries through it with some honey.  This will work out cheaper, much healthier and can be sent in a thermos container to keep it cool every day.

Sandwich or roll fillings – To save sandwiches getting soggy in the lunch box put your fillings in the thermos and send the bread or roll separately.  For example mix some sliced chicken, lettuce, tomato, spring onion and a tablespoon of natural yoghurt.  Place in the flask and your child can spread on a homemade roll at lunch time.

Back to School lunchbox sandwich fillings

Some of our Chef’s top recommendations for lunch box foods:

  • Cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices or sugar snap peas
  • Easy to eat fruit such as sliced grapes, blueberries, pineapple or orange segments
  • Hummus (as a dip for crackers, breadsticks, vegetable crudités or in a wrap)
  • Yogurt & fruit
  • A small block of cheddar cheese
  • A tub of cold pasta shells
  • Homemade flapjacks
  • Homemade oat muffins
  • Homemade fruit/veg smoothie
  • Couscous & raisins
  • Chopped boiled egg in mayonnaise*
  • Mini cheese sandwiches
  • Apple slices and peanut butter*

*Be sure to check the school’s egg & nut policy.

Check out more of our recipes for children and find some great ideas for healthy, tasty and easy to prepare meals.