Has the time come for your little one to head off to daycare, kinder or primary school? It’s a huge milestone in a family’s life and it brings a whole heap of challenges including how to maintain a healthy and balanced diet when you’re not there for every meal. The best back to school lunchbox ideas are the ones that work for your child, so there is some trial and error involved here.
Creating good habits when it comes to food intake will help your child to identify foods they love and to keep up a great appetite even when they might be away from familiar surroundings. We all know what it's like to unpack your little ones' lunchboxes at the end of the day, only to see that they haven’t eaten much of what you made for them. It’s time to get creative and think outside of the (lunch) box in a bid to inspire them when it’s time to eat.
Build a lunchbox that's interesting
The different sections in a bento box or tiered style lunchbox can help your little one to know what to eat and when. There’s lots of ways you can separate food items in a lunch box by using mini containers or reusable silicone patty pans to put all sorts of tasty little morsels in. As they say, variety is the spice of life and this should definitely be a part of your kids’ diet too - colours, textures and flavours - make sure they have plenty to choose from to keep it interesting.
10 ideas for a healthy back to school lunchbox
For an easy, delicious and interactive lunch box meal, chop up some things like cherry tomatoes, cheese, cucumber, carrot, avocado and let your little one construct their food or eat it all separately.
Corn chips, crackers and rice cakes can be a great edible scoop for dips like hummus or tzatziki. These kinds of dips are easily made at home to avoid any nasty ingredients or processing.
Got some English muffins in the cupboard? Pop them under the grill with all the usual pizza toppings - ham, pineapple, tomato, cheese and olives. These are perfectly chopped in quarters for a cold snack in any lunchbox.
Forget cubes, use tiny cookie cutters or a melon baller and make fruit and veggies into shapes that will delight the kids. Flowers, stars and spheres are much more interesting and fun at meal time!
Also known as pinwheel sandwiches, these are little rolled up sandwiches that look like sushi rolls. Fill them with vegemite and cheese, jam, honey and bananas, hummus, or thinly sliced veggies to keep it colourful and nutritious.
Whether it’s a tomato based sauce or a pesto, a small container of last night's leftover pasta will work wonders in a lunchbox. Just as delicious cold, this little snack will give your kids all the energy they need for a day at school or kindergarten.
A great source of protein and good fats, a boiled egg is an easy finger food to eat and will keep well in a sealed container inside a lunchbox.
Delicious melted cheese combined with just about anything you feel like - tomato, beans, chopped up broccoli, red peppers or corn. These are a great way to hide lots of veggies if your kids are fussy eaters.
Just like veggies and dip, cutting fruit into strips gives your little ones something to dip into natural yogurt or delicious fruit yoghurt. Fruit and yogurt are great sources of vitamins and minerals integral to growth and development.
These are so easy to make with a mixture of dried fruits, nuts, cacao, coconut, chia seeds and whatever other superfoods you want to add in. Alternatively you can check out the Funch range of DIY snack mixes that you can keep in the cupboard to use whenever you need.
Your imagination really is your only limit when it comes to making fun and interesting snacks for your kids' lunchboxes. We hope these ideas give you some inspiration to keep your kids on track with their diet healthy and balanced even when they are out of the house. Funch has all sorts of nutritious DIY snack mixes and yummy purees that are a fantastic addition to any fresh food snacks in your kid’s lunch boxes.