Lunchbox tips

Here are some tips to get you started packing your child’s lunchbox:

1. Include plenty of everyday foods from the five food groups:

Breads and cereals

  • Sandwiches, wraps and rolls. Try using   different types of bread to keep things interesting.
  • Pasta, rice, couscous, noodles or quinoa – in a salad or kept warm in an insulated container (like a thermos).
  • Pikelets, scones, un-iced fruit buns or fruit   bread make great snacks.
  • Savoury muffins (packed with veg).
  • Trail mix using wholegrain cereal, dried fruit   and popcorn.


  • Easy to eat vegetable sticks (such as carrot, capsicum, celery, cherry tomatoes or snow peas).
  • Include plenty of vegetables in sandwiches or   wraps – lettuce, sprouts, grated carrot, cucumber or beetroot.
  • Baked beans, either cold or kept warm in an insulated container (remember to pack a spoon!).


  • Try any fresh fruit in season – peel or cut up for easy eating.
  • Tinned fruit (in natural juice) or stewed fruit can add some variety.

Dairy foods and alternatives

  • Include reduced fat yoghurt or custard
  • Try wholemeal or multigrain crackers with cheese.

Meat and meat alternatives

  • Try lean ham, tinned tuna, boiled egg* or peanut butter* in sandwiches, wraps or salads
  • Use left-over roast meat like chicken, beef, pork or lamb in sandwiches or salads.

When deciding how much to pack, use your child’s appetite as a guide. Pack something for recess and lunchtime and include a variety of foods from the five food groups.

2. Don’t forget to pack a water bottle

  • Water is the best drink to beat thirst.
  • Make sure your child’s bottle is clearly labelled.

3. Keep food safe!

  • Pack food in an insulated lunchbox or bag.
  • Add an ice brick or frozen water bottle to keep food cold.
  • Store lunches out of the sun and well away from heaters.
  • After school throw away uneaten food unless sealed in a packet or whole pieces of fruit or vegetables. Wash lunchboxes and drink bottles with hot soapy water and allow to dry.

Try some of the following ideas:

  • Lean roast beef, grainy mustard and lettuce on rye bread
  • Mini-pizza: English muffin topped with vegetables, lean ham or chicken and cheese
  • Pasta salad with roast chicken, 3-bean mix and vegetables
  • Small tin of baked beans and a bread roll
  • Mashed egg* and reduced-fat mayonnaise with cucumber on multigrain bread
  • Grated carrot, sultanas and peanut butter* on high fibre white bread
  • Vegemite™, cheese and chopped celery on a roll
  • Tuna, corn and reduced-fat mayonnaise with sprouts wrapped in mountain bread
  • Lean ham, cheese and coleslaw in a wholemeal bread roll

* Check your school’s policy.