Tuesday 20 January 2015

my number one lunch box tip

Chloe is in year 12 this year. And before she started school, she attended daycare while I was studying at university. So I've been packing lunch boxes for about 15 years. I don't profess to know everything about packing lunch boxes, but my number one tip is this - don't pack new foods, just pack foods you know they'll eat, at least in the beginning.

Trust me, if you looked in my kids' lunch boxes some days, you'd be horrified by the number of packages, and lack of *good* foods in there. But, except for one minor incident involving cold mac&cheese, lunch boxes regularly come home empty.

When kids start school, they want to take it all in. If they're like Riley, they get distracted by everything around them; and Natalie is a talker with her friends. So giving them foods that they can eat quickly, and will fill their tummies for their busy day, will see empty lunch boxes coming home, and you'll know that they're getting their energy requirements to see them through the day.

What should you pack in lunch boxes?

Five items is what I've found best to pack in lunch boxes. Fruit, sandwich, dairy, crackers, biscuit.

Fruit is a must. Our school encourages "snack attack" for the preppies, a mid-morning fruit break.  Sliced fruit that is ready to eat is best - grapes, watermelon, orange segments, bananas, apples (try this method to keep it from going brown)

Dairy. [I don't push this one if they have cheese on sandwiches.] Try yoghurt (decant from a big container - I just discovered this nude food yoghurt cooler, so we'll be trying it out), or cheese and crackers for a change.

Sandwich. This is totally going to come down to what your kids eat - you could also call this "main component" My kids don't really like leftovers for lunches, and tend to stick to basic meats for sandwiches (although Douglas has spread out into leftovers and salad wraps in recent years)

Crackers and biscuits. Once again, depends on what your kids eat - at the start of the year, I bake a lot, so they pack baked goods instead of biscuits. And if they have cheese and crackers, then we don't pack a second lot of crackers.

Just remember - five items of foods they eat, and the lunch box will hopefully be empty every day.

Linking with Jess for #ibot

Also joining From the Left Field, Boiled Eggs & Soldiers, Gee You're Brave, You had us at hello, and Veggie Mama to host a Back to School link up. If you've written a post about heading back to school, please share here. {share on any blog, and it will appear on all of them}



  1. Great suggestions. Love the looks of the linked up posts too- will have a browse tonight for sure. My kids don't like sandwiches so it is always a challenge for that main component. I do a lot of baked goods with added protein powder if needed. They also do a lot of crackers or tortillas + protein (cheese, hard boiled egg, salami...)

  2. Thanks for the party Cate. Let me tell you, the countdown is on. The kids haven't been too bad these holidays and as much as I love the sleep ins and not having to rush them out the door when it's back to school time, I thrive on routine. xx

  3. I'm sending Esther to Kindy this year and there is no allowance for packaged food. They have to stay home. I will be packing fruit, yoghurt, cheese and cereal with a sandwich and water bottle. I totally agree packing food that they will eat. It's a waste not to.

  4. Great tips. It's a never ending grind for me and lunch boxes. If I'm going to try new things we generally give it a go in the holidays and if successful into the lunch box repertoire but mine pretty much like the same thing every day just the baked goods change!

  5. This is great advice. I was sitting down today trying to think out a plan for her lunch box for the first week and there are so many amazing things I could do, but you are right, I shouldn't be trying new things, I should be giving her the things she loves and will be comfortable with. I love the rule of 5 too. I think my biggest worry is that she will be so distracted she will forget to eat.

  6. That yoghurt cooler sounds interesting and I will have to check out your tips for stopping the apple going brown too. Now all you need to do is come up with a way to stop the tomato making the bread soggy :) #teamIBOT

  7. I follow all these tips for Hayleys lunch box when we go on days out, except the dairy bit obviously.

  8. Back to school already? eeeeeeeeeek!
    Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit


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