Healthy Lunch Boxes
It is our policy to promote school lunches that include the components of a balanced healthy diet i.e. protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats, fibre, vitamins, minerals and water.
- Protein rich foods: meat, fish, eggs, cheese
- Carbohydrate foods: bread, pasta, rice
- Healthy fats: omega 3 found in fish, especially oily fish and seeds
- Fibre, vitamins and minerals: from wholegrains, fruit and vegetables
7 steps to creating healthy, varied and interesting lunch boxes
- Include a wide variety of foods – starchy foods, dairy, fruit and vegetables.
- Try to offer different foods every day – no one wants to be eating a ham sandwich five days a week!
- Vary the types of bread e.g. pitta bread, bagels, wholemeal rolls – keep a stock in the freezer
- Cook extra rice/pasta in the evening – these can make interesting salads
- Theme your lunchbox on a different country e.g. Italian – try a pasta salad, Mexican – fill a flour tortilla
- Home-made soup (in a Thermos flask) is great for cold days, while salads are light and refreshing for warmer weather. Both are packed with essential vitamins and minerals.
- Fluids are important for children – up to 6 cups of water should be encouraged daily. Milk and water are the best options. Straws and brightly coloured drinks bottles can make rehydrating more interesting!
The above information was taken from the Safefood website –
This website has a 5 day lunch box planner, nutritional information and healthy snack options. You can also download a copy of the healthy lunch boxes booklet.
The following should be included in a lunch box:
Sandwich made with bread slices, bread rolls, pitta bread, wraps, bagels, crackers, crispbreads, ricecakes, rye crackers, oatcakes, scones and muffins especially homemade
If possible use wholegrain, multigrain or half white and half wholegrain/multigrain breads. If your child is reluctant to eat wholegrain try making a sandwich with one slice of white bread and one slice of wholemeal bread. Put the sandwich in the lunchbox with the white slice facing up! (Also if you are trying to introduce wholegrain pasta start with a mixture of white and wholegrain)
Sandwich fillings e.g. lean meat – chicken, turkey, ham, beef, lamb, fish – salmon, tuna, salad, cheese, egg with salad ingredients e.g. lettuce, grated carrot, cucumber, tomato, peppers
If possible use homecooked meats, including leftovers from the night before or deli meats cooked on the bone rather than processed meats as they may contain high levels of salt and preservatives
Fruit and Vegetables
Fresh fruit e.g. a small bunch of grapes, apple, small orange, pear, kiwi, banana, berries, melon, plums, peaches, pineapple or a mixture in a fruit salad
Tinned unsweetened fruit e.g. pineapple, fruit salad
Dried fruit e.g. raisins, apricots, dates
Vegetables raw or cooked e.g. carrot, cucumber or pepper batons, sugar snap peas, cherry tomatoes, sweetcorn, lettuce
Some of these could be eaten with a dip e.g. hummus, guacamole, yoghurt, sour cream
See the Food Dudes website for lunch box ideas using fruit and vegetables which can be put in the special food dude containers. This website also features a Lunch of the Month e.g.
- Wholemeal bread sandwich filled with ham and cheese, tomato, lettuce and cut into triangles
- Fruit yogurt
- Small packet of raisins
- Milk or fruit juice
Water or milk
Juice with no added sugar. Check the ingredients of fruit juice drinks as many contain very little fruit juice and also include artificial flavourings, sweeteners and colourings.
Other foods e.g. pasta, stirfrys, rice, couscous, salads, homemade pizzas or omelettes
Add a surprise item in the lunchbox i.e. a little note, picture or sticker
– A Parents Association Resource