Baby & Children’s Health—Back to School Lunchbox Tips

School’s back and whether you’re a lunchbox lover or, like many of my mum-clients, the thought of packing them fills you with a sense of dread, I’ve got some tips on how to pack a healthy lunch for your toddler, primary-school kiddie or teen.

Adding a good source of protein in there will make sure your little (or big!) person has enough fuel to get them through their busy day and avoids them coming home in a hangry heap of low blood sugar. Make protein options the star of your lunchbox, then build carbohydrates and healthy fats around it. Here are some of my go-to lunchbox fillers for my kids:


  • Preservative-free leg ham on a sandwich/wrap or bento-style on its own
  • Cold preservative-free sausages cut up into bite-sized pieces
  • Leftover roast or poached chicken breast – poach a breast or two in some broth on a Sunday and shred it for easy-to-grab wrap/sandwich fillers during the week
  • Boiled egg peeled and ready to eat
  • Cut-up cheese with crackers or combined with some avocado or vegemite (we use ‘EveryMite’ in our house) on a sandwich or wrap
  • Tuna and cucumber sandwich or wrap
  • Cooked and cooled natural hotdogs by ‘Cleavers’ cut up and ready to grab
  • Leftover dinner or organic baked beans in a mini thermos – we have the ‘Cheeki’ stainless steel ones and they work a treat, especially in winter for a warm lunch!


  • Wholegrain or wheat-alternative wraps and sandwiches like ‘Mountain Bread Wraps’ in rye or natural, or ‘Bill’s Organic Bakery’ spelt bread
  • Seeded crackers such as ‘Mary’s Gone Crackers’ or brown rice cakes & crackers – I love the ‘Ceres Organic’ brand
  • Whole pieces of fruit; avoid too much dried fruit as the sugar content increases dramatically when dried
  • Cut-up veggie sticks & cherry tomatoes
  • Oat-based cookies or homemade muesli slices — a regular in our house are these banana & oatmeal cookies by ‘The Healthy Chef’
  • Or these nut-free muesli bars packed full of healthy seeds, tahini and a little dark choc for sweetness

Healthy Fats

  • Organic butter as a base on wraps & sandwiches – avoid margarine & butter spreads as they usually contain seed oils
  • Avocado on wraps & sandwiches combined with a protein, or ¼ avocado with the skin on and a little spoon to scoop it out – I pop this in my daughter’s ‘Crunch & Sip’ box regularly
  • Seed mix with some blueberries thrown in
  • Tahini with a little honey to sweeten on a wrap or brown rice cake, or try these tahini cookies which are another lunchbox regular in our house
  • Eggs – boiled, mashed on a sandwich or in a mini-muffin or frittata. I’ll often bake with an egg-heavy recipe such as The Healthy Chef’s ‘Gluten-Free Naked Chocolate Cake’, made into mini muffins ready to pop one into each lunchbox for a protein & healthy-fat-rich treat

One last tip: Make sure breakfast is nourishing, again making protein the focus and avoiding sugary cereals and empty calories. I go for things like eggs on toast, organic bakes beans, a cooked sausage or nitrate-free bacon alongside some avocado toast, a smoothie with collage or protein powder added or a nut & seed-based low-sugar granola if you can do nuts, like the ‘Farmer Jo’s Paleo Granola’ in the muesli section of your supermarket.

Happy packing & may those boxes come home at least partially empty!

Image Credit — Photo by Caroline Hernandez (via Unsplash)