School lunch box
If you’re like me you’ve got no clue about what to put in a school lunch box.
You don’t want your child to be the child with a lunch box full of crisps, biscuits and soggy food or the child who has to eat through a truck load of carrot sticks and lactose / glucose / vegan / low carb / high protein tasteless dip.
There must be a middle ground for those of us pressed for time but still wanting our child to get a variety of decent food.
This post is basically lists of simple school lunch box ideas for you to play around with.
If you have anything you put in lunch boxes that isn’t on this list, please share with us!!
School Lunch Box Ideas
I’ve broken down this post into 4 different components:
- The Carb Component
- Fruit & Veggies
The object of this post is to allow you (and me) to pick and choose things from the list based on what is in the fridge, was made the night before and what the kids need or like.
The Carb component
I know some people don’t include because they don’t want their kids eating carbs. For my kids, if they didn’t have carbs in the middle of the day I think they would complain all day about being hungry. And my bigger boy would fall over because of the amount of calories he can burn in a nano-second.
Having said all of that, here is the list of carb ideas for your child’s school lunch box.
- Pikelets / flapjacks or english muffins. I find that this what one person calls a flap jack another calls a pikelet but essentially it is the smaller fatter version of a pancake. These can be made the night or day before and are still good.
- Scrolls are a huge school lunch box component for a number of moms and you can make them in a variety of flavours. You can try chicken, cheese & aioli, Vegemite & cheese or Nutella. You can check the bottom of the post for an idea on how to make them.
- Mini ham and pineapple pizzas
- Wraps. Surprisingly, my kids like the wraps decomposed and with the filling separately.
- Cheese muffins. If you want my secret family recipe, just send me an email and I will send it off to you, if my mom says I can 🙂
- Hot cross buns
- Vegemite / marmite scones
- Mini quiches
- Rolls instead of sandwiches.
- Pitas. Again, either filled or by themselves, plain or with a bit of dip.
- Rice cakes
- Fruit bread (banana bread / raisin bread) I would have been so happy as a kid to have some pear and raspberry bread in my school lunch box.
- Bread gyoza. I had no idea about these until I stumbled across the most amazing website dedicated to school lunch boxes. You can check out the post School Lunch Box Blog.
- Sausage on a roll. Even cold my child loved this the other day.
Fruit & Veggies
At my son’s new school he has a “Fruito” time which is a early morning recess at which they can only eat fruit or vegetables and have something to drink. Fruit and veggies are something I definitely have to have a clear idea about.
I understand at other schools in New South Wales there is a crunch and sip time. Crunch and sip is along similar lines – making sure the kids are eating the good stuff.
I suppose the trick here is to mix it up and make sure it remains enticing to the kids. Easier said than done. You could always do a fruit skewer combining some but I worry what the skewer may be used for after the fruit has been eaten.
- Mandarin / Naartjie
- Quartered mushrooms. My kids would never ever eat this but I included it for those great eaters out there.
- Dried fruit: bananas, apricots, raisins, cranberries. A quick note on dried fruit. According to the NSW Health Department in their Crunch and Sip Information for parents kids should not have dried food more than once a week as it sticks to their teeth leading to tooth decay.
I had watermelon on this list but after trying it out last week it did not work, it just turned into mushy mess. If you have a solution for this, please let me know!
Thankfully my kids love veggies, although they say they don’t so this aspect is pretty easy for us.
I do this the night before when I’m making our dinner so I don’t have to double up on the prep.
- Carrot sticks
- Cherry tomatoes
- Snap peas
- Cold cooked peas
- Cucumber sticks
- Celery sticks
Unfortunately there are a few kids who have dairy allergies or dairy intolerances so this will have to be disregarded. If your child falls in this category, you can always consider the dairy free alternatives and there are finally some good ones on the market. There are
- Yoghurt pouches. If you freeze these then they double up as ice packs.
- Cheese sticks.
- Soft cheese triangles
- Tsatski dip
This component is usually combined with the carb as in sandwiches, scrolls, quiches or frittatas. My kids aren’t big meat eaters so I try feed them meat at every occasion. I’ve found that adding this is great for mid-morning snack after they’ve had their fruit and before they have a more substantial lunch.
- Cut up cooked chicken
- Ham slices rolled up.
- Cold sausages.
- Salami slices rolled up.
- Cold meatballs quartered
- Bilting or drop wors (specially for our South African readers :).
- Slide chicken schnitzle.
I wasn’t sure where to put this but it’s nice to have something different to throw in to mix it up.
- Hummus dip
All you need is pre-made puff pastry.
Fill it up with the filling of your choice but don’t make it too moist.
Crimp the edges.
Roll it up tight enough to not open up in the oven but not too tight that your filling squishes out the side.
Egg wash (I don’t always).
Cut and cook at 180 until the are cooked to your liking.