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Back to School: 20 Lunch Box Snack Ideas (+ free printable!)

As a new school Mum about to embark on her first foray into preparing school lunches, I thought it would be useful to compile a list of quick and easy snack suggestions for recess (or ‘little’ lunch) to hang inside my pantry door. I am guessing that this will be helpful both as I prepare my grocery shopping list each fortnight and when I am racing to pack Immy’s lunch before falling into bed the night before a kindy day.

Of course, because I am a sharing kind of gal, I have included a printable (black and white) version of the list for you to download for your own pantry or fridge door (it even includes some extra spaces for you to add your child’s favourite snacks). Just click on the picture below to download your copy.

20 lunch box snack suggestions

P.S Have you entered our two back to school giveaways? Be in the draw to win one of two sets of re-useable sandwich wraps and pockets from 4MyEarth and one of two School Labels Value sets from Bright Star Kids. Entry open internationally.

P.P.S. In case you were wondering about my thinking behind the ‘easy to eat’ fruit, as a teacher I have observed many children who just want to go and play with their friends but instead are left behind sitting eating a large apple or struggling to peel an orange both of which can take forever for children (or alternatively, three quarters of the fruit ends up in the rubbish bin). Kids would much rather be playing than eating.

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Comments

  1. I was going to ask for your suggestions on school snacks/lunches but you beat me to it! Thank you, thank you – this is a much needed list for me at the moment.

  2. I totally agree with the easy-to-eat fruit idea! Being a teacher myself, I used to suggest to parents time and time again that huge apples were not the best choice for little preschoolers. It was great that they packed healthy fruits like big apples, but at the same time, such a piece of fruit can almost be intimidating for a child to eat! A little box with a basic fruit salad in it – grapes, rockmelon wedges, strawberry halves, some blueberries is a great alternative.
    ps…to stop cut apple from going brown, we simply pour a glass of juice (orange/tropical/breakfast juice/mango and apple – just the bottled variety) and drop each apple segment in there briefly before taking them out. The slices then stay really fresh and you can then just enjoy the juice for breakfast afterwards. You don’t have to use lemon juice to stop the browning!

  3. My grand daughter stars school just like Immy, whom I have seen growing at the same pace of her, they develop their skills very similar and every activity I can, I do it with her or my students. Thanks for the list of groceries. I will give a copy to mothers on our first meeting.
    Here at home we are having a picky eater…but, some of the ideas will work!!
    Thanks again for everything.
    Laura Oreamuno
    Costa Rica
    Central America

  4. Clever you Christie! You have been doing your homework – peaking into kids’ lunchboxes. Love your list. If only my children would eat olives, pickles and champignons! That would make me a happy Mummy. But alas, there is less variety in this household. I will print off and dream x

  5. Kerry Morris says:

    I love all of these ideas. I wonder do the ‘cold bricks’ in lunch boxes keep foods fresh. I love that childcare has a fridge. I’ve seen plenty of school bags on hooks outdoors, surely that’s not food safe?

  6. My 6 year old always tells me she wants things she can eat quickly so she can get outside to swing the monkey bars play equipment! Great article, I need to be inspired, my children usually just get a cheese sandwhich (with homemade bread) but being vegetarian and fussy it’s really hard. No peanut butter is allowed either in the school because of nut allergies.

  7. Thanks for sharing Christie. Your list is so useful. Have past it on to all my friends! x

  8. Love this! And your P.P.S. note is a fantastic look at the other side of things!

  9. Hi Christie,

    Great list. Thank you for posting.
    My only comment would be regarding allergies. Although each school is different, at our local school eggs and trail mix (that contain nuts) are not allowed as there are kids who are allergic to these items. Although not on your list, kiwi fruit is another food that is also sometimes excluded due to allergies.
    Thanks again for posting, the list is certainly helpful.

  10. RebeccafromNZ says:

    love the list! Just a suggestion if you do put hard boiled egg in lunchboxes, cut it in half first. A friend had a very scary experience with a child choking on an egg.

  11. This is a fantastic list Christie. R attends daycare 2 days a week and I not only need to make a packed lunch for him, but also a simple and healthy snack for our very long car trip home as well. This list is perfect. I’ve pinned it and will be sharing it on my FB wall.

  12. Hi,I need few suggestions regarding the eating behaviour of my 3 yrs old Scholl going daughter.her issue is she stopped taking feeder when she was around 6 months since then I’m feeding her milk forcefully with spoon n add cereal,biscuits,pediasure n certain fruits in it as while growing she refused Every ateble solids too.medically she is fit.pediatrics couldn’t find any reasons,me myself as a clinic psychologist couldn’t find reasons.now she has of aversion for milk but I ve to give to her to provide her nutrition.now with lots of behavioural plans she started eating few things like chips but even now it need lots of reminding her rather constant to ask her to chew n swallow.any suggestion abt how to improve her eating pattern n what to give her in lunch(she goes to school after taking 6-7 ounces milk forcefully).pls help me in this regard.

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