School Dinners: Thinking Inside The Box

We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day but sometimes it's easy to forget that lunch comes close second. Today the words 'back to school' can be music to a mothers ears, but the thought of packing healthy school lunches that the children will actually eat can be somewhat of a nightmare. With food being the fuel for a healthy body and brain, it is important that we encourage our little ones to eat right. It's great to have the odd treat day and school dinners can be tempting when pizza is on the menu, but with a little effort and the kids getting involved, together we can pop together a lunch that isn't too hot or too lumpy and Goldilocks certainly won't be getting her hands on...



With plenty of us being fussy eaters, (it's not our fault we don't like it, honest!) it's always a good idea to get the kids involved. Try getting them in the kitchen cooking alongside you or asking them to write a healthy shopping list that they can pop in and pick up with you after school. One of the most important features successful lunch boxes have are the snacks you tuck inside. You need a main meal for lunch, and to keep energy levels high throughout the day it’s best to have well-balanced, tasty and healthy snacks at the ready. If your little ones are attracted to the sweeter side of things, making your own spreads, jams and bakes is also a fantastic way of filling them up with goodness whilst they aren't watching. It doesn't even have to be too time consuming, prepping the evening before or even sending them to school with leftovers from last nights yummy pasta dish is a guaranteed way of spicing things up and keeping them happy.

We also know that many shop bought items are continuously under scrutiny, but we must all remind ourselves that many of todays parents are working and may not have the time to whip up a feast in the kitchen when their stuck in the office until late. There are plenty of healthy alternatives that the supermarkets offer, just remember to always check what is in the food you buy. Keep an eye out for ingredients that you don’t understand, excess sugars, sodium, too many fats and the word 'ENRICHED'. The word typically means that whole foods have been stripped of their essential nutrients, with the vitamins then added back in for colour & flavor. Whilst this word may shout out to us as consumers, our bodies find it hard to digest, so try to stick to good stuff - fresh, fresh baby!

A balanced lunchbox should contain...


Fish, eggs, chicken, turkey,beans, chickpeas, lentils, cheese, yogurt and even seeds and nuts.

Popping it into the lunchbox...

  • Hard Boiled eggs, omelette or crustless quiches

  • Cold meats - cream cheese rolled in ham is always a favourite of ours & no one can say no to a (good quality) sausage.

  • Dips made from pulses. Pop a few bread sticks in and wallah, let them go wild.

Be safe. Pack lunches properly to ensure food safety and freshness. Invest in a reusable ice-pack, a thermos to hold warm foods and a variety of different sized containers. Remind your child to always wash his hands before he eats.


Milk, yoghurt, cheese would be the more popular options, although Hummus is also a great add-on or substitute.

Popping it into the lunchbox...

  • Cartons of milk

  • Yoghurts - Yoplait, plain yoghurt with added fruit & Petit Filous are all a great source of calcium whilst being particularly healthy.

  • Cheese slices, cheesestrings and cream cheese triangles are all easy little nippers to find and include

  • Yoghurt tubes - Freeze on hot says for ice cream treats


Salad vegetables such as carrots, sweetcorn, crispy lettuce leaves, cucumber and pepper sticks are often well received.

Popping it into the lunchbox...

  • Sweetcorn

  • Vegetable root crisps - Pop on Pinterest for homemade ideas!

  • Pizza on a stick - Pop cheese, pineapple, meat & olives together for a tasty and fun alternative.

  • Vegetable muffins


Pasta, rice, bread, potatoes, oats and some lesser known foods such as quinoa and buckwheat.

Popping it into the lunchbox...

  • Pitta pockets with various fillings.

  • Whole-wheat pasta

  • Rice

  • Boiled new potatoes

  • Flapjacks (sweet or savoury)

  • Bagels

  • Dry Cereal


Juice, milk, water or smoothies.

Popping it into the lunchbox...

  • Milk

  • Homemade Milkshakes

  • Homemade Juices

  • Fruit Juice - Supermarkets do plenty of flavours, try mixing it up with an apple & pear or a Grapefruit

  • Water

For plenty of treats that the kids won't want to trade, pop on over to our Pinterest page and pin away! (See, there's no excuse now, get your apron on!)