Secrets to a great lunchbox
Filling your children’s lunchboxes can be an arduous task, with many parents struggling to find the right balance of foods that are healthy and delicious. While all lunchboxes should contain some protein, carbohydrates, and at least one fruit and vegetable, it can be hard to cover these bases and include enough variety so your children don’t get bored. We’ve rounded up the five top tips for creating a lunchbox your kids will actually want to eat:
- Change it up with some creative shapes
Why not make lunch more interesting for your little ones by using a cookie cutter to make their food more appealing. Try cutting their sandwiches, fruit, veg and snacks into hearts for Valentine’s Day, stars and gingerbread at Christmas, and everything in between!
- Take inspiration from other cultures
Investing in a bento-style lunchbox, with smaller compartments inside, can provide endless opportunities for new and different food combinations. Stick to the traditional Japanese-style lunch with compartments of rice, chicken, and veggies, do an Italian-themed with pasta, cheese, crackers, veggie sticks and fruit, or fill it with your child’s lunchtime favourites.
- Swap out the sandwich
The sandwich is a lunchbox staple in Australia, but including a range of different lunches is a great way to keep kids interested in what they’re eating. Try and give your children alternatives to their usual sandwich, like leftover pasta, savoury muffins, wraps, rice paper rolls or fritters. Some types of savoury muffins and fritters can be made in advance and frozen, making them super easy to pop in the lunchbox when they’re needed.
- Tailor it to the seasons
There’s nothing better than being able to warm up with some yummy soup in winter, or cool down with an icy pole in summer. In the colder months, send your kids off to school with a warm thermos of soup for lunch in winter, and pack a slice of bread or a roll to go along with it. In summer, think about freezing a juice box or single serve yogurt and packing it with a spoon for recess, or even freezing fruit like grapes, pineapple pieces or orange segments for a healthy snack that will also cool them down.
- Involve your kids
Often, giving your children the opportunity to choose what goes in their lunchbox is a great way of ensuring that they’re taking food that they like, and will actually eat. Whether it’s letting them choose which fruit they have at the supermarket, what goes in their sandwich, or having them help to make it, the more kids are involved in their lunch, the more they will want to eat it.