Ask Octavia and Vicky: School Lunch Box Ideas

| 16 Comments

{Thanks to Childhood 101, Picklebums and Learn with Play @ Home for the images}

It’s time for Ask Octavia and Vicky, round 2!

I was just thinking that there is soooo much info on the web about kids lunch boxes and what to/not to pack for them, and how to say no when they ask for “LCMs” etc. However, my little man is not likely to munch on carrot sticks like some websites suggest.
I thought you may have some practical ideas/advice as a teacher of little ones, and I was wondering if you could do a blog about it.
My son starts school in a few weeks and I’m starting to feel very afraid about packing 5 lunchboxes a week.
I hope you are enjoying the sunshine!

I wish I had an easy answer for you! I think school lunches is one of those things that drives parents round the twist. No matter how hard you try to pack a delicious and nutritious lunch, something will inevitably come back uneaten. Then just when you think you’re on to a winner, your lovely child decides that they now hate their favourite lunch box choices.

I see lots of different lunch boxes come through the classroom, but I thought one of the best ways to get ideas for lunches is from kids themselves. Chatting to the five and six year olds that I know, I was quite surprised by how simple they like their lunch. Here are the favourites:

  • Sandwiches, rolls and wraps
    • vegemite and butter
    • tomato and ham
    • ham, cheese and mustard
    • butter and ham
    • mustard, fritz and sauce
    • ham and cheese
    • cheese
    • salami
    • fritz and sauce
    • chicken and lettuce
  • Other lunch box favourites:
    • cold pasta with chicken and tomato
    • crackers with butter and/or cheese
    • sushi (lots of mums make home made sushi!)
    • cruskits and juam
    • salad (tomato, cucumber, lettuce)
    • pizza (homemade or leftovers)
  • Favourite snacks for break time
    • chocolate custard (homemade)
    • cheese
    • cake
    • cookies
    • yoghurt
    • crackers

I suggest going straight to the source for ideas. Give your child a range of things to choose from and ask them to pick what they would like for lunch. If you want to limit ‘treats’ and pre-packaged food perhaps have a 1-per-day rule. Try to keep it simple, for you and for them. They don’t need to have a different lunch every day – no need to get all Martha Stewart on yourself!

If you’re looking for more lunch box inspiration, try these ideas from other Aussie mums:

Lunch Box Ideas Calendar 2013

LOTS of Lunchbox Ideas

Lunch box ideas for kids who don’t like sandwiches

20 Lunch Box Snack Ideas (+ free printable!)

Snack boxes – healthy food for kids

Healthy Choc Mini Muffins and Mini Cheese Crackers

Fruit and Coconut Balls, Cheeseymite and Pizza Scrolls and Mini Banana Muffins

Yummy Biscuit Recipes

What’s in your child’s favourite lunch box?

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16 Comments

  1. So not looking forward to delving into the lunch box world when my daughter starts school next year!! Thanks for the ideas, I think simple is the way to go

    • Good luck! It’s a daily battle, find strength in knowing that parents around the world are fighting the same battle too. Just DON’T do what I recently started doing… making cookie cutter shape sandwiches! What was I thinking?!

  2. Thanks so much for linking to my calendar Kylie. A great list of resources in this post!
    PlanningQueen recently posted..Public Speaking Tips For KidsMy Profile

  3. Exactly what I needed, practical ideas! Thank you!!!

  4. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Love this post!
    Rachel recently posted..Chocolate Peanut Butter CakeMy Profile

  5. A great post Kylie….got to save and print as i always need ideas! Thanks so much for including my links!
    Jode@mummymusingsandmayhem recently posted..Weekly Kid’s Co-Op – Circle Fun!My Profile

  6. A very useful post Kylie! Thanks for including our Snackbox link x
    Debs- Learn with Play recently posted..Very Hungry Caterpillar Party ActivityMy Profile

  7. Oh wow! I’m pinning this one for future reference! We struggle with lunch here SOOOO much – I never know what to serve and if it will be well received or not! We might make our way down the list! ;)
    Bek @ Just For Daisy recently posted..Making A Geoboard Busy Bag with Activity Card PrintableMy Profile

  8. What a great list. Might have to use it for my husband’s lunches too. :)

  9. Great advice, Kylie. Thanks for including our links :)
    Christie-Childhood 101 recently posted..Helping Children Learn to GIVEMy Profile

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