Back to school can bring about the struggle to come up with delicious and healthy lunchbox ideas that have your kids asking for more instead of trading with friends. Get inspired this winter term and embrace the chilly weather by looking to classic options for your winter lunchboxes. Here are our favourite lunchbox tips and 10 winter lunch box ideas…
It’s important to ensure your little ones enjoy a healthy, nutritious lunch and snacks throughout the school day to help them focus and learn and to maintain their energy.
Here’s our top tips to create lunches they’ll love:
- Embrace variety! Don’t let kids get bored of their school snacks and lunches – instead mix it up with different colours, textures and shapes
- Always accompany every lunchbox with a bottle of water!
- Include a combination of vegetables, fresh fruit, protein (lean meat, tuna, beans, boiled eggs or nuts – beware of nut allergies though), dairy (cheese, yoghurt or milk) and wholegrain bread, wraps or crackers
- Plan lunchboxes ahead of time. If you can, set aside an hour on a Sunday night to do some planning so that you’re not left with no ingredients and no time on a school morning. Make a shopping list and stick to what’s on it – it will save you time and money.
- Prepare lunches the night before and pop them in the fridge so that in the morning you can simply add any extra snacks and send them off
- Make it easy – cut vegetables and fruit up so it’s easy for kids to eat them and include utensils if they need it
- Get creative! Cut sandwiches or banana bread into fun shapes with cookie cutters or by adding a little note telling them to have a great day!
TOOLS TO HELP YOU: COLOURFUL AND FUN LUNCHBOXES
Make lunch fun by investing in colourful personalised lunchboxes for your little ones. They’ll love having their name on their very own lunchbox. These Lunch Pails feature an insulated thermal lining which means they’re perfect for keeping cold food cool and hot food warm. They also have a handy water bottle storage section so they can stay hydrated and energised.
Our Lunchboxes are also colourful and cute – and come in navy, pink or red. With handy pockets and zips, they’re perfect for keeping snacks and lunch fresh and even picnics on-the-go.
Discover Lunch Pails and Lunchboxes online.
LUNCH ORDER LABELS
For those super busy days, let kids treat themselves by ordering at the canteen – use these Lunch Order Labels to help them order and make it fun. When choosing from the canteen – choose food that follows the same guidelines as above – something with vegetables, protein, dairy and fruit. A lot of canteens now are leading the way with freshly prepared, healthy options so investigate these so you know exactly what your children are eating.
10 WINTER LUNCHBOX RECIPE IDEAS
Instead of sending kids off with the usual sandwich and apple combo, why not try something different with these wintry ideas?
1. Hot Soup
Invest in a great thermos and send kids off with a batch of nutritious and healthy soup. Our winter favourites include chicken and vegetable, minestrone, pumpkin and tomato. Don’t forget the bread roll for dipping.
2. Mini Quiches
Quiches are a delicious and easy way to pack in vegetables in a way that kids will love. They’re also the perfect size for little lunches. Make a big batch on the weekend and pop them in lunches through the week. Broccoli and bacon is a great combo, as is spinach and mushroom.
3. Hot Curry (or any leftovers)
Winter’s the perfect time to put those leftovers to use. Choose a great thermal lunchbox and a thermal container to keep hot food hot and send kids off with last night’s leftovers. Curry, stir fry and noodles are all great options.
4. Healthy Banana Bread
We love banana bread – especially served warm with a cup of tea. It’s also perfect for lunch boxes as bananas are high in potassium and a great source of energy. Choose a health conscious recipe to make sure the sugar content isn’t too high. Take a look at this recipe by the gorgeous Teresa Cutter of The Healthy Chef.
Falafels are delicious served warm or cold in a wrap with some grated vegetables and hummus. A great source of protein as they’re packed with chickpeas and your kids won’t even know it!
6. Easy Snacks
We love snacks that are simple and delicious. Try these with your next lunchbox: Dried fruit such as dates or apricots stuffed with almonds, healthy homemade mini apple crumble, a small tub of yoghurt, threaded vegetables and fresh and dried fruit onto skewers, popcorn or DIY muesli bars. We love these delicious Sticky Nut Bars from Green Kitchen Stories (always remember to be careful of nut allergies).
7. Pasta Bake
Pasta bake is a lunchbox staple for winter and will keep their bellies full and warm. Whether vegetarian with lots of pumpkin, eggplant and spinach, or a bolognese pasta bake, pop it in that thermal container and away they go. Find a healthy version by the Heart Foundation here.
8. Savoury Muffins
The perfect way to get more veggies into their diet. Savoury muffins look and taste great and kids will love them. Add your choice of vegetables (grated zucchini, carrot, corn, spinach and herbs work well) with some tasty cheese for a delicious start. Plus, you can freeze these by wrapping them individually and turn to them when kids are hungry on the weekend and after school too. This recipe by My Lovely Little Lunchbox is delish!
9. Mini Pizzas
Who doesn’t love mini pizzas? Not only are they tasty, but they’re super cute. Kids can enjoy them hot or cold. Turkey, ricotta and tomato is a fun combo or go classic with cheese and tomato or ham and pineapple but throw in some veggies on there too.
10. Winter Wraps
Upgrade the usual sandwich with a winter wrap. Fill pita bread, flat bread or a wholegrain wrap with roast chicken, spinach, avocado and hummus or whole egg mayonnaise and wholegrain mustard. This one can be served hot or cold and will be just as tasty either way.
LOOKING FOR MORE INSPIRATION?
Amy Crawford from The Holistic Ingredient has put together a Nourishing Kids eBook with 25 nut, gluten and refined sugar free recipes for kids – with a special section on lunchbox recipes and ideas on how to sneak veggies into yummy foods. You can check it out here.
The Australian Heart Foundation also has a handy pdf of winter lunchbox recipes that you can download here.
What are your favourite lunchbox ideas? Any tips on how to ensure kids love opening up their lunchbox every day?