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Healthy lunchbox ideas 

Having to prepare a lunchbox every weekday means it’s easy to quickly run out of ideas. Here’s our bumper list of healthy lunchbox ideas to help keep things exciting.


A ham sandwich and a packet of crisps in the lunchbox? We’ve all been there. But there are definitely healthier things to include in your child’s lunchbox.  

Making a healthier lunch doesn’t have to be time consuming, and you might be surprised at what your child will enjoy, especially if you get them involved in preparing their lunchbox. Here are a few ideas for a healthier lunchbox:  


  • Veggie sticks and hummus. Colourful veggies (carrots, peppers, cucumber) cut into sticks and paired with a small pot of hummus for dipping.  
  • Pitta bread and hummus. Another good option for serving with hummus is strips of pitta bread.  
  • Apple slices with nut butter. Slice your apples (skin on or off depending on preferences) and include a small pot of nut butter – peanut butter is a classic, but almond butter is delicious with apples too. Make sure nuts are allowed at your school, as some schools have a strict no-nut policy due to allergies. Top tip: swish your cut apples in a bit of lemon juice so they don’t turn brown throughout the day.  
  • Cherry tomatoes. Sweet and juicy, cherry tomatoes are a great snack on their own. Just be sure to cut them up for smaller kids.  
  • Malt loaf. A small slice of malt loaf (we like Soreen) makes for a delicious cake-like sweet treat.  
  • Cheese and crackers. Cut a small amount of cheddar into cubes or strips and serve with a handful of wholegrain, unsalted crackers.  
  • Hard boiled eggs. Hard boil an egg and cut into slices or cubes. This is a great snack that’s high in protein to help keep tummies full.  
  • Rice cakes. You can find plain rice cakes, or ones with a thin layer of chocolate or yogurt on top at most supermarkets. The plain ones are great for crisp lovers, and the chocolate or yogurt topped ones will satisfy a sweet tooth.  
  • Sugar-free jelly. Another great choice for a sweet treat, and available in loads of different flavours. Buy single serve pots for convenience or make your own from a big block of jelly and pack in reusable tubs.  
  • Scotch pancakes. If you usually pack muffins or other small cakes, swap them for a scotch pancake. Serve with some chopped up strawberries.  
  • Fruit salad – pick a few brightly-coloured fruits, or choose what’s in season, to make a delicious fruit salad. Blueberries, strawberries, and grapes are great choices.  
  • Leftovers. Including leftovers from the previous evening’s meal in your child’s lunchbox cuts down on the time it takes to put together a packed lunch, which is a total win in our book. Some ideas include turning an extra portion of pasta bake into a cold pasta salad, using chilli con carne in a wrap or making an extra chicken fajita to enjoy the next day.  
  • Bread sticks. Serve with hummus, cottage cheese, or a low-fat cheese spread.  
  • Popcorn. A good swap for crisps. You can get big bags of plain popcorn at supermarkets to portion out at home, or make your own with a popcorn maker and popcorn kernels.   
  • Cous cous. Instead making the same old boring sandwiches, try a portion of cous cous. You can buy sachets of flavoured cous cous that take mere minutes to prepare, or for an even better option buy a bag of unflavoured cous cous and make your own. This way you can include chopped up veggies and whatever flavours you’d like (chicken stock, lemon, coriander and parsley work well with cous cous).   
  • Mini pizza. If pizza’s a favourite in your house, make your own mini pizzas for lunchboxes by spreading tomato puree on a pitta, sprinkle with oregano and then top with grated cheese. Add whatever you want as toppings: peppers, sweetcorn, spinach and grilled chicken chunks are classic toppings. Grill until the cheese has melted, cut into slices and leave to cool before adding to the lunchbox.   
  • Bagels. Another alternative to bread is the humble bagel – fill with turkey slices, cucumber, and a thin spread of hummus for a delicious sandwich.  
  • Yoghurt. A firm favourite with kids, yoghurt can have a place in a healthy lunchbox, but be careful with what you buy as some options can be sneakily high in sugar. Yeo Valley’s Little Yeos and Petit Filous are both good options. Alternatively, buy the bigger pots of Greek yoghurt and portion out into tubs.  

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