Lunchbox tips

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Here are 5 tips to think about when packing your child’s lunchbox:

1. Include a variety of everyday foods from the 5 food groups

Breads and cereals

  • Use different types of bread for sandwiches or wraps – wholemeal, multigrain, high fibre white, rye, focaccia or pita bread
  • Try pasta, rice, couscous, noodles or quinoa in a salad


  • Pack easy to eat vegetable sticks – carrot, capsicum, celery, cherry tomatoes or snow peas
  • Include plenty of vegetable in sandwiches or wraps – lettuce, sprouts, grated carrot, cucumber or beetroot


  • 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 or wraps
  • Use left-over roast meat like chicken, beef, pork or lamb in sandwiches or salads.

2. Limit 'sometimes' foods

  • 'Sometimes' foods such as chocolate, lollies, muesli bars, chips or sweet biscuits are best kept for special occasions at home.
  • These foods are high in fat, sugar and/or salt and do not offer children any goodness.
  • Try some of the following 'everyday' foods in your child’s lunchbox instead:
    - Pikelets or scones
    - Fruit bun or fruit bread
    - Plain air-popped popcorn
    - Trail mix made with plain popcorn, dried fruit and breakfast cereal
    - Home-made vegetable or fruit muffins. Go to this link for recipe ideas.

3. Don’t forget the water bottle

  • Water is the best drink to beat thirst.

4. Include enough food for the day

  • Use your child’s appetite as a guide.
  • Pack something for recess and lunchtime and include a variety of foods from the
    5 food groups.

5. Keep food safe!

  • Send your child’s food in an insulated lunchbox or bag.
  • Add an ice brick or frozen water bottle to keep lunches cold.
  • Store lunches out of the sun and well away from heaters.
  • After school throw away uneaten food unless sealed in a packet. Clean 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 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 schools policy on nuts