Kids lunchbox ideas
There’s so many ideas for kids lunchboxes beyond sandwiches! Here are some great sweet and savoury lunchbox ideas that kids will love.
I have just started making little lunchboxes for my son Bodhi who is almost two years old. He loves having his little lunchbox of different goodies that he can pick and choose from himself – a big deal in his world! When it comes to kids lunchboxes, I reckon the simpler the better. We’ve learnt with the My Food Bag ‘My Lunch Box’ for kids that some of the most popular lunchbox items are the easiest and simplest to make, and we make sure all our recipes are given a big two thumbs up from a panel of kids before going in the lunchboxes!
Here are a few tips for what makes a healthy, yummy, and interesting lunchbox…
- Provide something from all food groups:
- at least 1 serving of fruit and 2 servings of vegetables – to provide vitamins, minerals and fibre
- at least 1 serving of meat, poultry, fish, egg, legumes/beans (e.g. hummus), nuts (if allowed at school) – to provide protein for growing bodies
- at least 1-2 servings of foods like rice, bread, potato, kumara, noodles, pasta etc – to provide carbohydrate for readily accessed energy (think of all that running around they do!)
- 1 serving of milk, yoghurt or cheese (dairy or non-dairy) – provides some more protein, as well as other vitamins and minerals
- Provide variety – try and change the ingredients up every now and again to keep things interesting (to avoid boredom from having the same thing every day) and to introduce a wider variety of foods – more variety means the more varied their taste buds will become and the more nutrient bases you’re covering!
- Treats – personally, I think having a little treat in their lunchbox is fine – make it a more nutritious treat most days (e.g. bliss ball or muffin) and on a couple of days it could be something that’s a bit more of a treat (e.g. a cookie), just keep the portion small.
Here are a handful of recipe ideas for kids lunchboxes. I’d love to hear any more ideas from you as you’ll no doubt have some goodies!
Chicken drumsticks are great cold and a delicious lunch option for kids. Check out these Sticky Honey, Orange and Sesame Chicken Drumsticks, or my healthier version of crispy fried chicken – Finger Lickin’ Chicken.
Pinwheels are always popular in lunchboxes. Some favourites are Pinwheels with Ham, Cheese and Corn, Cherry Tomato, Basil Pesto and Feta Pinwheels, Herb and Cheese Pinwheel Scones and Pesto Cream Cheese Puffs!
Sausage rolls are a favourite, but the pre-made ones are often loaded with poor-quality meat and a lot of saturated fat. Here is a great recipe for Healthier Sausage Rolls and another hot fav, Mini Cheesy Hotdogs!
Muffins are always a good option, especially as they freeze well and are easy to make refined-sugar free and with extra nutrition from ingredients like oats, bran and fruit. Try my Blueberry and Banana Bran Muffins (a recipe from my latest cookbook Let’s eat!), Orange, Carrot, Honey and Pumpkin Seed Muffins or Oaty Apple and Sultana Muffins.
For a wholesome muesli bar that’s way nicer than anything from a packet, try my Apricot, Coconut and Pumpkin Seed Muesli Bars – so quick and easy to make, and extremely popular. Plus, you can freeze them too.
Bliss balls are a nice little addition to the kids lunchbox, especially because you can tweak the flavours to your kids’ tastes. Choco-nut energy balls are a good easy option, as are these Chocolate, Date and Tangelo Bliss Balls (you can use orange if tangelos aren’t in season). These are freezable too – just pop them in a plastic ziplock bag.
If you’re keen on making kids lunches EXTRA easy, check out the new and improved My Lunch Box by My Food Bag. With free-range proteins, 5+ fruit & veg and refined sugar free treats you’ll have everything you need to create a nutritious lunch for one or two kids! The big change is that now you can mix and match the ingredients to create a range of different lunch options to suit your children’s tastes. Check out some of our delicious combinations below!
To be doing what I am today is a dream come true. It all started when I was 12 years old. I was watching TV after school one day and Jamie Oliver was cooking up a storm on The Naked Chef.