Let’s face it. Preparing healthy lunches for your kids’ lunchboxes can often feel like a bit of a chore. It can sometimes be so tempting to simply throw in some chocolate, roll-ups and a can of soft drink and call it done. (Who are we kidding? Mum guilt will never allow us to do that!)

But seriously, how many sandwiches can you pack before you—much less your child—gets sick of it? And aren’t nutritionists calling for us to “eat a rainbow”, aka a variety of food?

Just what should you pack for your children so their school lunch actually has some semblance of good nutritional value? We have not one, but five easy school lunchbox ideas for you—lunchbox recipes that aren’t sandwiches. But first . . .

What does a healthy school lunchbox look like?

As a general rule, avoid snack foods and drinks that are high in added sugar, saturated fat or salt. These are generally low in nutrients but high in kilojoules, which can cause children to become overweight or obese. On top of that, sweet, sticky foods aren’t great for young teeth either.

A healthy school lunchbox should have:

  • Fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Protein
  • Dairy
  • Wholegrain foods
  • Water

To pack all these into a school lunchbox, many parents today use bento boxes because of its convenience and design. Used in 5th century Japan, bento boxes are great because of their multiple compartments and easy-to-clean design. However, using any food storage containers you already have in your kitchen is just as easy.

Shopping for a new lunchbox? Our affiliate partner Biome have Australia’s widest range of lunchboxes for kids and adults that are non toxic and waste-free.

Foods you should find in a school lunchbox

School lunch ideas free recipe ebook

Here are some lunchbox food ideas that are great for your kids. You can always set yourself the challenge of creating new and interesting combinations with these foods.

  • Apple
  • Avocado
  • Baked beans
  • Banana
  • Blueberries
  • Brown rice
  • Carrot
  • Cheese
  • Cherry tomato
  • Corn cob
  • Cucumber
  • Hardboiled egg
  • Noodles
  • Oranges
  • Pasta
  • Pear
  • Pita bread
  • Strawberries
  • Wholegrain bread, rolls or wraps

5 non-sandwich lunchbox ideas

If cooking is your thing, you should try these recipes from Gia, our resident mum (and home cook). We’ve listed five—one for each day of the week!

1. Vegan sultana and tofutti cheese rolls

2. One-pan cheesy rice with broccoli

Relevant: 3 new recipes books to help your school lunchbox woes

3. Gluten-free quiches

4. Meatless loaf

5. Chickpea risoni

Want more easy school lunchbox ideas or meal inspiration? Check out all of Gia’s recipes here.

easy lunch box ideas

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