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Printable School Lunch Box Ideas List + Healthy Lunch Box Tips

As a parent of school-age children, one thing that becomes apparent pretty early on is that packing lunch boxes can be a tedious task. Especially when it comes to keeping the contents varied and interesting for picky eaters! It doesn’t take long to start running out of school lunch box recipes!

Most schools are pretty strict these days about the types of foods that are allowed to make up children’s lunch boxes and that adds a whole new challenge – food type restrictions, dietary restrictions.

It can add a whole extra element of stress to an already hectic lifestyle!

School lunch box ideas printable

School Lunch Box Ideas For Kids

When my daughter first started school last year I was definitely feeling the pressure, so pretty early on I set about creating a list of school lunch box ideas that I could refer to for quick reference throughout the school year.

We are lucky that both our kids have always loved fresh fruit and fresh veggies, but they can be picky eaters with a lot of other things.

This list has grown as new school lunch box ideas are found and definitely keeps this process simple in our household.

I also have some great school lunch box recipes to help you with even more options!

My daughter’s primary school does not allow eggs or nuts as part of their lunch boxes.

That meant I had to come up with a few new ideas for the main portion of her lunch since boiled eggs were a popular request during her kindergarten year last year.

I have left the egg-related items on the list though, as not all schools have an egg restriction.

And to make it easy for you, I have created a FREE PRINTABLE school lunch box ideas for you to stick on the fridge!! Click the banner to get yours!

Healthy school lunch box ideas

Tips For Choosing Healthy Lunch Box Ideas

With convenience foods, preservatives and additives on the rise, it’s more important than ever to make sure your child’s school lunch is healthy and nutritious.

But with all of the unhealthy processed snacks out there, how can you be sure you’re making the right choices for your child’s lunch box?

Here are some tips for choosing healthy school lunch box ideas for your child:

  1. Avoid sugary drinks and snacks – Instead of packing sodas or fruit juices, pack water. And skip the cookies, cake, and candy in favour of healthy snacks that will keep your child feeling full for longer.
  2. Make it a balanced meal – A healthy lunch should include a balance of all the different food groups: Fresh Fruit, Vegetables, Grains, Protein Foods, and Dairy.
  3. Keep it fun – If your child is bored with their lunch, they’re not likely to eat it. So mix up their meals and snacks and try to include new foods often.
  4. Be prepared – Packing a healthy lunch takes some time and planning. But if you’re prepared, it will be easier to make sure your child’s lunch is nutritious and delicious.
  5. Get your child involved – Let your child help you pack their lunch and choose their own snacks. This will help them feel more invested in their meal and more likely to eat it.
  6. Repurpose leftovers – Add dinner leftovers that don’t require reheating to school lunch boxes. You can add extra portions when cooking dinner so there is plenty leftover.

With these tips in mind, you can be sure you’re packing a healthy and nutritious lunch for your child. And with a little creativity, you can make it a fun and exciting experience for both

Children’s Lunch Box Ideas List

Check out below my school lunch box ideas list so you can start putting together lunches like super mum (or dad) as well:

  • Sandwiches
  • Wrap
  • Pizza rolls
  • Savoury muffin
  • Dry cereal
  • Pizza
  • Scrolls
  • Pita bread
  • Pancakes
  • Quesadilla
  • Sausage roll
  • Waffles
  • Sushi
  • Mini quiche
  • English muffin
  • Taco boat quiche
  • Cold pasta
  • Baked beans
  • Banana bread
  • Potato loaf
  • Pretzels
  • Popcorn
  • Cheerios
  • Energy/bliss balls
  • Rice crackers
  • Bagel with cream cheese
  • Tortilla chips
  • Naan bread
  • Couscous
  • Fried rice
  • Oat cookies
  • Muesli bar
  • Sausage
  • Nuggets
  • Kabobs
  • Diced chicken
  • Meatballs
  • Ham slices
  • Tofu cubes
  • Lunch meat roll-ups
  • Tuna
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Cheese stick
  • Boiled egg
  • Yoghurt
  • Berries
  • Carrot sticks
  • Nectarine
  • Apple
  • Banana
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Sultanas
  • Watermelon
  • Grapes
  • Crunchy peas
  • Celery
  • Snow peas
  • Fruit puree pouch
  • Melon balls
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Orange slices
  • Mandarin
  • Zucchini patties
  • Blueberries
  • Pineapple
  • Corn
  • Pear
  • Peach
  • Plum
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Olives
  • Fruit jelly
  • Dried fruit
  • Fruit roll-ups
  • Hummus with veggie sticks
  • Potato salad
  • Pickles
  • Fresh veggies such as mini cucumbers
  • Rice cakes or corn thins with cream cheese


Lunch box ideas printable list

Time Saving Lunch Box Tips

There is one extra tip I have for minimising school lunch stress. My daughter has 2 lunch boxes on rotation so, on a Sunday night, I will make 2 lunches and that means I am usually always a day ahead in case we have a busy evening. It also minimises the before-school rush too!

We use a bento-style lunch box to reduce the amount of wrapping and waste. If you need help deciding on the best lunch box options for your child, these back to school essentials will help.

Find more tips on how to simplify your before-school routine.

Some of our favourite lunch box recipes

Do you have any lunch box hacks to share? Comment below as I’d love to hear them!  And share this post to Pinterest! Be sure to follow me on Facebook or YouTube for more school lunch food ideas like these!

Kylie Purtell

Monday 6th of August 2018

I love the idea of having two lunch boxes on rotation. My youngest starts school next year and I'm thinking that might be something good to do so I'm not having to make lunches for 2 kids every single night! #teamIBOT

Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid

Tuesday 31st of July 2018

I love the idea of making 2 lunch boxes on a Sunday night - that's genius!


Wednesday 1st of August 2018

Such a time saver!

Natalie @ Be Kind 2 You

Tuesday 31st of July 2018

With such an extensive list, how can people say, "I have no idea what to give the kids for lunch"?


Wednesday 1st of August 2018

I'm sure it will grow too... although if anyone's kids are as fussy as mine, it may make the list much smaller LOL

Vicki @ A Box Of

Tuesday 31st of July 2018

Thank you for this even though I used to have my own family food blog I am always stuck for ideas as what they liked one day doesn't mean they like it the next!


Tuesday 31st of July 2018

Oh yes, my kids are beyond fussy! In fact this weeks favourite is dried strawberries that we got in a pack from the supermarket. I just got some fresh ones for her lunch but nope, she wants dried. Now I need to figure out how to do that haha Kids!!!