After three years of packing school lunches I have to admit that it can be easy to get stuck in a rut with what you offer your each day – and for some kids that is okay, some children really like to eat the same food day in and day out, but my school girl she likes a bit of variety. Unfortunately, when I am in the midst of the early morning school rush I often don’t do variety or creativity so well, and then I can end up relying upon quick and easy – especially when it comes to the snack component of the lunch box for recess (or little lunch). And when you rely on quick and easy sometimes you find yourself relying on commercial convenience foods, and I am really trying not to go down that route – because they are both expensive and generally not the healthiest choice. So to help me (and Immy) make good, healthy lunch box choices, I have put together a list of 50 lunch box snack ideas and I am sharing it today as a printable for you to use too.
This list doesn’t represent the ‘main lunch meal’ part of her lunch box but rather snack type foods that she will eat at recess and lunch time as well as her sandwich or other alternative, non-sandwich option. I have placed a printed copy inside our pantry, right where we keep our pantry-safe snacks, so that it is easy for us to refer to. The list is divided by food type so that I or Immy can choose from whichever food group/s I think she is missing from her main lunch meal. Obviously some of these choices are more ‘sometimes’ foods and others more regular, everyday choices (for example, a serve of fruit and vegetables is a non-negotiable each day) but they are all relatively simple to prepare, they rely minimally on commercially, pre-prepared snacks and they are really just to help us keep things fresh and interesting.
Just in case you were wondering about the fruit and vegetable suggestions that I have listed, as a teacher I have observed many children who just want to run off and play with their friends but are instead left behind because they are still eating – trying to make their way around a large apple or struggling to peel an orange, both of which can take children forever (and then three quarters of it ends up in the rubbish bin!) Kids would much rather be playing than eating. So this list contains suggestions for soft fruit, some that will take a few moments of preparation when you are packing lunches but potentially saving your child more than a little school yard angst.
To print your copy: Download 50 Lunch Box Snack Ideas as an A4 document here. When printing, select “Fit to printable area” (or similar) to ensure the page fits with your printer type and local paper size.
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