- Be prepared and organised – Pack lunchboxes the evening before, rather than during the hectic school morning rush.
- Get the kids involved – Learning about food and nutrition are important life skills & should be encouraged from an early age.
- Try new foods – Children’s food preferences evolve as they mature, so continuously encouraging them to try new and different foods is a crucial step in their development of good eating habits.
- Shake things up – Variety is key: not only does variation in the diet provide nutritional benefits, but it reduces boredom and lack of interest in food.
- Consider presentation – It is worth spending that extra few minutes on presentation, especially for younger children. Aim for a variety of shapes, colours and textures.
- Don’t forget about hydration – research suggests dehydration can lead to reduced concentration and performance in children. Water and milk are two excellent tooth-friendly choices; try to avoid sugary drinks.
Spinach leaves, crunchy peppers & Cheddar cheese
Tuna & sweetcorn mix (natural yogurt/low-fat mayo)
Chicken, mixed salad & tomato relish
Turkey, grated Cheddar cheese & tomato
Pesto pasta salad with chicken & peppers
Couscous with roasted vegetables & chickpeas
Rice salad with sliced hardboiled egg & spring onion
Homemade soup & brown bread
Carrot and red pepper sticks with hummus
Cubed Cheddar cheese with grapes
Fruit salad with yogurt and seeds
Fresh fruit smoothie made with milk or yogurt
Sample Lunchbox Weekly Planner
Below are some lunchtime and after-school snack ideas. Remember to adapt portion sizes to suit your child’s age and lifestyle; younger children will generally need smaller portions than older or more active children.
Little Break: Chopped raspberries and blueberries with natural yogurt
Big Break: Wholemeal sandwich with tuna & sweetcorn mix
After School Snack: Cheesy scrambled eggs with chopped onion/tomatoes
Little Break: Small wholemeal scone and small banana
Big Break: Couscous with roasted vegetables, chickpeas and feta cheese
After School Snack: Oatcakes with sliced apple and peanut butter
Little Break: Cubed cheddar cheese with grapes
Big Break: Wholemeal pitta pocket with hummus, turkey, cucumber and red peppers
After School Snack: Homemaderice pudding with stewed apple
Little Break: Carrot and red pepper sticks with hummus
Big Break: Wholemeal pasta with homemade vegetable sauce topped with grated cheddar
After School Snack: Fresh fruit smoothie made with milk and/or yogurt
Little Break: Banana and blueberry oat muffins
Big Break: Wrap with mayo, chicken, chopped tomato and salad leaves
After School Snack: Homemade pancakes topped with natural yogurt and berries