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Help please - no idea what to put in a child's "healthy" lunch box

(33 Posts)
goingbacktowork Tue 16-Aug-11 15:00:15

I am not sure if this is the best board top ask this question on - if not please can you suggest another board?

My daughter will be starting packed lunches soon and I do not want to end up with her just eating a packet of crisps, cheese dips, sandwich, bit of cucumber and something sweet in lunch box. I have no idea about creating a varied and nutritious lunch box . She will be having this every day. The only " good thing" I can think to add is humous etc but no idea how you can take "a little bit" of humous to school as obviously I do not want her eating a tub of it a day.

Will be grateful for any suggestions. Many thanks.

juneau Tue 16-Aug-11 15:05:12

Sandwich made with wholemeal bread containing cheese, ham, hummus, egg mayo, or similar.
Cereal bar or flapjack
Box of fruit juice
Yogurt or fromage frais
Those little individual cheese portions you can get

juneau Tue 16-Aug-11 15:07:48

Also: I'd get some little tupperware pots with lids that you can fill with hummus, grapes, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, etc. I'm sure you can get them at Boots or Lakeland.

mrz Tue 16-Aug-11 15:12:04 not sure about the ideas but they may give you a start

I've just bought one of these for me grin

PrettyCandles Tue 16-Aug-11 15:14:03

Ds2 gets:

Sandwich (2-3 slices, depending on how hungry he seems to be) with something proteiny in it, eg hummus, cold meat, egg mayo.

Little tub of finger-food salad, generally any combo of grapes, cherry toms, a small peeled whole carrot, half a pepper, cucumber, etc.

They are on one side of his lunchbox, and he eats them first. The other sidehas 'dessert' wink usually a pot of fruit purée and a fruit bar snack, eg Humzinger, or some dried fruit.

He has water to drink.

redskyatnight Tue 16-Aug-11 16:06:45

I put 5 things in:
- sandwich or pasta salad
- something savoury (mini cheese, carrot sticks, bread sticks, cherry toms etc)
- piece of fruit
- something sweet (flapjack, pot of rice pud, yogurt etc)
- a drink

Asda used to sell a set of small plastic pots for a couple of quid, they are worth investing in (and naming and being prepared to lose).

Fennel Tue 16-Aug-11 16:10:46

It doesn't actually have to be that varied, if they eat a varied diet the rest of the time. My dds each have their favourite sandwich filling, day after day.

Mine have:
wholemeal sandwich with cheese and cucumber/marmite and cream cheese/just marmite.
2 pieces fresh fruit.
pot of veg, or dried fruit if no fresh veg around.
1 yoghurt or cereal bar or flapjack or penguin or other "treat" item.
Water to drink.

Hummous doesn't last well in lunch boxes so we don't bother. We vary the fruit, veg and treat items but sandwiches stay the same cos that's what they like.

blackeyedsusan Tue 16-Aug-11 17:53:13

both asda and tesco sell little pots. pound shops also. things i have put in include, raisins/grapes/strawberries/blueberries/cherry tomatoes/ chunks of cucumber/ sugar snap peas.

usually have one sandwich (2 slices of wholebread) often with cheese as yogurt is grim in a used lunch box. one piece of fruit (clementine/plum/banana) one box of fruit or veg ( a couple of things from the list above) and a drink of squash in an old fruitshoot bottle a sports bottle as this is the only thing that does not flood the lunch box, bag and reading folder on the way from classroom to door.

going to pinch the bread sticks idea for next term.

we also have the difficulty of allergies which reduces the ideas for sandwich fillings. usually have ham, cheese, cheese and pickle, haam and tomato, philadelphia and cucumber, philadelphia and smoked salmon (asda smart price was 88p did several sandwiches and a pasta dish) usually the sandwich is something quick because I have left it quite late to make lunch again! blush

blackeyedsusan Tue 16-Aug-11 17:59:53

hmm, not sure what they mean by a portion of vegetables... hate the packed lunch police... we ahve vegetables at home for tea and fruit at lunch time.

UniS Tue 16-Aug-11 21:23:09

Boys lunch box
1 round of sandwich
half an apple
2-3 cm of cucumber
biscuit or fairy cake

Have had no negative feedback from school and he eats it. IF he's been good he might have a few mini cheddars or crisps but not a whole packet. FWIW the sandwich will have a high calorie filling like peanut butter or nutella. He doesn't eat a lot of volume so the sandwich needs to pack a lot of energy.

goingbacktowork Tue 16-Aug-11 21:29:52

Please can anyone link me to the little pots on line? Thanks.

bigTillyMint Tue 16-Aug-11 22:24:26

My DC (10 and 12) get
a round of sandwiches - tuna/egg/ham/any kinf of cheese/hummous on wholemeal bread or roll
2 pieces of fruit
a squeezy yoghurt or biscuit or homemade flapjack

They both seem fine with that - they are a health normal weight, do loads of sport and are virtually never ill grin

lakeland does little pots, but pound shops are cheaperwink

peckle Wed 17-Aug-11 08:44:30

My 7 yr old needs a filling,dentist suggested it was due to the fruit and yoghurt in his lunch box. so it's school dinners!

dixiechick1975 Wed 17-Aug-11 13:30:38

I use tomee tippee weaning pots - you get 4 in a pack with lids. Like a yog pot shape but a bit smaller.

DD has just finished reception and loved them - easy to open, pink! and obviously much cheaper than buying individual bags of fruit etc

I fill one pot with fruit like grapes or blueberries, one with cucumber slices or carrot sticks, small sandwich and a cheese eg babybel plus refillable bottle of water.

She hates it if she has too much food - they are encouraged to eat before play so too much food cuts into play time. 4 things seems to work well.

I avoid yoghurt as it is messy to eat and the pot is put back in the lunchbox making it messy (all rubbish is returned home for disposal). She has it at home instead.

Check what snacks they get - Dd was given fruit am and bread sticks/pita pm break.

She alo likes a snack as soon as I pick her up so i take a snack bag in the car.

My best lazy tip is to make sandwiches in one go and freeze them. DD mainly has ham or cheese and they defrost and are fine by lunchtime.

Takes me 2 mins to do her lunchbox and after school snack bag.

JeanBodel Wed 17-Aug-11 13:35:29

Rather than using lots of little pots that they can't open, I invested in a lunch box from here:


It cost a lot but has definitely been worth the money.

dixiechick1975 Wed 17-Aug-11 13:45:20

Never seen one of those before - cute idea.

I'll vouch for the tomee tippee pots being easy to open - my DD was born with only one hand and opens them easily.

wyorksmum Wed 17-Aug-11 14:41:06

My dd is a 'school dinner girl' I keep telling her! but she did have 2 months on packed lunches until she told me she didn't like sandwiches (which I knew all along!)
I struggled daily to put together a packed lunch and had a list inside the kitchen cupboard door:
FRUIT: pear, apple, orange, sultanas, grapse, tin or tub fruit salad.
VEG: cucumber sweetcorn, peppers, carot.
PROTEIN: tuna, egg, beans, meat
STARCH popcorn, cereal, bun, bread, rice, potato, pasta, pitta bread, crackers
DAIRY: yogurt cheese
DRINK - Water/Juice.

I just picked something from each list and made sure there were crackers or bread to fill her up. lots of little tubs of chopped fruit and veg went down well.

gailpottertilsleyplatt Wed 17-Aug-11 18:35:02

"I do not want to end up with her just eating a packet of crisps, cheese dips, sandwich, bit of cucumber and something sweet in lunch box"

What's wrong with that?

thecaptaincrocfamily Thu 18-Aug-11 23:34:46

Firstly it can be variation i.e. pitta bread, different rolls, bread etc or it could be breadsticks with humous in a small tub i.e. weaning type pot.
She will need carbohydrate such as bread/ breadsticks/ pasta salad.
Protein such as ham, tuna, cusscuss, egg, meats i.e. chicken/beef/turkey/ salami etc. Use chicken bites if you like or cheese in strings/sticks.
Some sort of fruit or veg i.e. cucumber sticks/carrot sticks/ tomato or any fruit she likes. I sometimes add yoghurt and then some bit of crisps or cake - no sweets or chocolate. Pitta with cheese and ham or tuna mayo seems to work for us smile.
Does she struggle with her diet? If so then once she gets to school it might be useful to see what her friends have and give the same to encourage her to eat healthily.

thecaptaincrocfamily Thu 18-Aug-11 23:36:43

Forgot to say we also used squeezy yogs for ease smile

raspberryroop Fri 19-Aug-11 09:24:08

5 fingers - 5 things is what I used for bleary mornings - 1.Carbs Bread or rice /pasta salad 2. Protein - ham,chicken etc 3. Fruit/veg whatever we have in chopped up in little pots or in a sandwich bag - 4. Dairy - I freeze frubes as they keep everything else cool and not so messy as pots. 5 Drink - water is great a better for teeth than fruit juice which can be very acidic - I brought expensive sigg aluminium bottles but have lasted years!

raspberryroop Fri 19-Aug-11 09:26:35

You should also check out the school policy if they have one for no 5 which is treats - I'm not keen on the lunch box police but if they are just starting easier to comply than have little ones upset.

ellisbell Fri 19-Aug-11 09:31:57

if you put in fruit juice it's less damaging drunk through a straw and a cube of cheese will help protect their teeth. Mini sausages went down well for the protein and with salad made a change from sandwiches. Peanut butter and nutella should only be in lunchboxes if you are sure none of the children in the class have nut allergies. You can get Sunbutter as an alternative hth

raspberryroop Fri 19-Aug-11 09:43:14

So agree with the cube of cheese thing - cheap and is real food - Some of the dipper things sold for children are so expensive for so little nutrition !

AdelaofBlois Fri 19-Aug-11 12:55:59

Some schools veto certain foods-sort of makes sense, although nutritionally worthless idea and gives entirely the wrong idea to kids. Check that. I also hate the fiddly things designed for lunchboxes like squeezable yoghurt tubes or dippers or mini-packets-so much more to open when DS wants to get going, but some kids love 'em.

DC has a lunch cube (google it)-much smaller and cheaper version of the wonderful Goodbyn thing above. Three compartments, and you can put anything you like in each (cold pasta salad and sandwiches in one, fruit in another, yoghurt and spoon in the other) without worrying about leakage or too much extra packaging. Drinks bottle is separate though, because its put separately in the classroom for all day use.

My only worry is DS loves the pink lunchbox, yet has no idea some of his peers will think pink is for girls. Am pondering whether to pander to their prejudice and protect his innocence a little longer, just til his old enough to go 'no it isn't'.

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