Tuesday 6 February 2018

Keeping packed lunches delicious and nutritious for kids!

With two children who are both now in school and pre-school packed lunches have become a daily thing for me.

We tried the hot school dinners but James much prefers a packed lunch and at Evelyn's preschool packed lunch is the only option and so each evening I am faced with filling two lunch boxes for the following morning. Now I wouldn't say James and Evelyn were overly fussy but they certainly have a hefty list of food they don't like (mostly filled with the "healthy options!" so I am always worried about giving them a balanced lunch that they will eat!

(Evelyn with her lunch box on her very first day of preschool!)

I recently started thinking about ways to keep their packed lunches interesting, fun and delicious but still balanced and healthy which is no easy feat when you have to do this for at least 5 days a week. So as well as some of my own idea's I asked some on my favourite bloggers for their top lunch box tips so here they are -

- Packed lunches don't have to mean a sandwich! There are lots of other fun ideas out there such as pinwheel wraps which you can fill with whatever you like and then slice into 1 inch circles for the pinwheel effect! A favourite filling for my little ones is ham, cheese and tomato (I sneak in a little lettuce too!). You could also make tasty cold pasta salad and add any dressing you like, my son likes it when we add chicken to his.

- Debbie from My Boys Club gets her boys helping out in the kitchen to make sweet treats for their lunch boxes.  "I bake something different and get the boys to help every Sunday such as flapjack, date bars, fruit muffins and put one of these in their lunchboxes every day. They see it as a treat."

- AK from The German Wife has found a way to make lunch not only taste good but lots of fun for the kids too with a Bento box and fun cutters! "I bought a yumbox and food picks & food cutters to make the school lunchbox more fun for the children with bento style lunch."

(Photo belongs to AK over at www.thegermanwife.com)

- Lets the kids help you pick things for there lunch box. I am really trying to encourage my little ones to try new fruits and vegetables at the moment so each week they each pick a new fruit or vegetable to try in their lunch box. They also choose some "snack" style bars and some other bits like sandwich/wrap filling or pasta shapes etc. I find they are much more likely to at least give something a try if they have had a hand in picking it out!

- I love to bake and so when I get time I try and make healthier versions of my kids favourites. They love cookies and biscuits but obviously these can contain lots of sugar so I have had a go at lots of lower sugar alternatives including oat cookies, wholemeal fruity cookies and you could even try some using alternative ingredients like coconut oil and nut butters! These are especially great for lunch boxes if your child if gluten free or has allergies to certain products.

- Packed lunches don't have to be tricky and complicated to healthy and fun. Check out these chocolate dipped grapes on the picture below from the Suburban Mum a simple idea that my kids would absolutely love! My kids also love fruity kebabs (just slices of fruit threaded onto non pointy sticks) and even simple veg sticks with a low fat dip can be more appetising to kids.

( Photo belongs to Maria at www.suburban-mum.com)

If you are also looking for some amazing budget ideas for delicious packed lunches the lovely Laura from Savings 4 Savvy Mums has a fantastic post sharing packed lunch ideas that cost under £1 each!

Of course there is nothing wrong with a chocolate spread sandwich, crisp, yoghurt and a bit of fruit every now and again too after all we are only human right and some mornings when we wake up late and realise we forgot to make the packed lunches something is definitely better than nothing!

Do you have any top tips for making delicious and nutritious packed lunches the kids will love? Please do share them in the comments below!



  1. Make fruit packs in advance and let your kids choose one to put in their box. I also make potato spanish omelette cut it into portion size wedges. Houmous with carrot sticks, tortilla wraps with roasted pepper and houmous. Savoury muffins with sweetcorn and cheese.Hope your kids like these.

  2. I really love all of the creative ideas here. Making it more fun with little shapes and cutters is always a good idea with my two

  3. We're big fans of the shaped sandwich cutters, doesn't take any extra effort but looks a lot more fun!

  4. Two of my children have dairy intolerances so their only option is packed lunch. I alternate between sandwiches, sausage rolls, wraps for the main part and my son loves any kind of fruit/salad snack in there. I make it fun by hiding surprises in their every now and then and it sounds silly but he walks home sometimes saying 'thank you Mummy for my fruit bar I didn't know we had any of them'. He is so grateful (and easily pleased!) it makes me wish I could see his face spotting his surprises!

  5. Some great creative ideas. Lots of lovely healthy options. Suburban Mums lunchbox looks like a work of art!

  6. These are some amazingly creative packed lunch ideas! Will keep them in mind for my sons lunch

  7. I couldn't agree more on this. I have just a conversation with my colleague reagarding her preparation of her kids lunch/snack boxes. She couldn't believe that it is enjoyable and her creativeness has been built up. -Anosa Malanga

  8. We have a lunch box like this as well. Its great for separating things out. We give lots of variety for lunch and it works so well here :)