Back to School! Here Are ellaslist's Best LunchBox Tips

  • Parents Only
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By: Phoebe Ackland, ellaslist

It’s back to school time already (phew!), and ellaslist has you covered with our best lunchbox tips for creative, healthy and exciting meal options to make recess that little bit sweeter. We’ve included simple meal ideas, things you mustn’t forget and tips on making daily lunch prep a breeze.
Please Note: Your child’s school might have a nut ban to protect children with allergies; if this is your school, then be mindful that some of the below tips and recipes include nuts.

Snack Time

It can be terribly difficult to pack nutritious yet delicious recess snacks for pre and primary schoolers that are easy to pack and not high-sugar, appetite ruiners. A hint? Protein! Protein is often left out of most lunch boxes, and will maintain your child’s concentration without a short lived sugar high. Protein and fresh fruit and vegetables provide a nutritious meal plan that kids will love you for.


Try and stay away from packaged, processed snacks like biscuits and sugary muesli bars. Healthy treats may take a little more time to prepare, but it’s well worth it. Some ideas include: unsalted and unsweetened popcorn, rice cakes, boiled eggs cut into fun shapes, tinned tuna in springwater or olive oil, veggie sticks with healthy dips like carrots with humus or tzatziki, or celery with peanut butter, natural yoghurt and fresh fruit to top it off with, trail mixes with nuts and seeds, or even brightly coloured fruit, veggie and cheese skewers. Like the sound of these snacks? Visit Wholesome Child for an even bigger range of recess options that ellaslist kids just adore.


A Little H20

Well not a little, preferably a lot! Never send your little one off to school without a water bottle! This is the biggest must of the school lunch box! Freeze a water bottle or two the night before extra hot days, as they can keep lunch boxes cold in the school bag. Also, use frozen water in ice packs or ice blocks to keep dairy products like yoghurt cold on hot days.


Something More Substantial

So we’ve mentioned protein, fruit, vegetables and water, but what about something with a bit more bite for lunch time? The NSW government guidelines for children’s lunch boxes include ‘starchy foods’, that is, bread, rice, potatoes and pasta. Sandwiches are always a favourite meal option, but instead of a boring old white bread vegemite sandwich, opt for high fibre, whole grain breads, or even Lebanese, pita or mountain wrap breads. Beware of so called ‘brown’ breads that are simply white bread in sheep’s clothing.



We know the importance of veggies, so use lunch time as well as snack time to give an extra serve of that good green stuff, with tuna, cheese and salad sandwiches, chicken and salad, or any delicious combination you can think of! Get creative! Children get sick of food routines as much as adults can, and unless you want a lunchbox returned at 3pm uneaten, you’d be well advised to spice things up.


Extra Hints


  • Its all in the lunch box- invest in a good quality lunch box! They are fun for kids, and ones with multiple sections and compartments encourage and remind you to include a variety of different things. Some of our faves include Tupperware’s Sandwich Keeper Plus Yumbox and the stainless steel Lunchbots.

  • Preparation is key! Last minute lunch making will force you to chuck sugary, processed, packaged but ‘easy’ options into the box. Make a weekly plan, or even freeze certain meals and snacks so that they survive the entire school week.

  • Involve your kids with what your putting in their lunch- it will excite them to open it up at recess and will increase the likelihood that they will eat the entire contents. Joy!

  • Just remember that sweet treats are okay, but only every now and then!








Jan 27 2017

It would be a better idea to remind parents that you can't send nuts in school lunches. So the references to sending peanut butter and celery and trail mix with nuts should certainly be removed please. Coming from a parent with an anaphylactic kindy child.