Lunchboxes can be a real challenge – you want to make sure your children eat a variety of healthy foods, but you also need to know the lunch will be eaten! By including foods from each of the four food groups you will help ensure they get all the necessary nutrients. Asking your children what they would like, or involving them in preparing their own lunchboxes, will reduce the likelihood of the food being thrown away or coming home uneaten.
Let’s think about filling our lunchbox in terms of the four food groups:
Vegetables and Fruits
Grain foods (bread, rice, pasta, breakfast cereals)
Milk and milk products (milk, cheese, yoghurt)
Legumes, nuts, seeds, fish and other seafood, eggs, poultry, and/or red meat with the fat removed
*Note: It may be wise to check your school’s policy on nuts as some schools can be ‘peanut free’
Try cutting sandwiches into shapes such as fingers or squares, and use various types of bread, rolls, wraps, or pita pockets for sandwiches to add variety to lunches. Use wholemeal or wholegrain varieties where possible.
Sandwiches don’t have to be flash – they can be filled simply with a couple of slices of cheese, some vegemite or marmite, jam, or *peanut butter. However, if you have other foods to hand, include some lettuce, sliced tomato, sliced cucumber, avocado, grated carrot, thinly sliced capsicum, tinned corn kernels, or bean sprouts to make the sandwich more nutritious.
Water and milk are the best drinks for children. Add a squeeze of lemon juice or a splash of juice to their water bottle for a little extra flavour if needed. Read more about fluids on our fact page.
Last modified: August 1, 2022