Kids sick of sandwiches? - lunchbox "spruce up"

by Anne Myers-Wright RD/APD

Posted on Aug 29, 02:32 PM in and . No comments.

Have your kids ever groaned when you’ve mentioned what kind of sandwiches were in their packed lunch? My son has. Now my sandwiches aren’t THAT bad, (really, they aren’t), it’s just that sometimes we all can get a little sick of sandwiches or wraps every single day.

Lunch boxes, or packed lunches, have been in the spotlight for some time now, with revelations about unhealthy contents to “lunchbox policies” at many schools. I think it’s a great idea to have a policy and some guidance for school packed lunches but I also think that school policies alone are short-sighted. How many of us open the old lunchbox at the end of the school day to find a lot has been left because their child was “too busy playing”, “wanted to rush as their friends were finished and already playing” or “didn’t have enough time to eat”? I do believe that there should be some protected eating time at schools, to allow children to sit and finish their lunches before free play.

When it comes to the packed lunch itself, I always include at least one of the following: (this doesn’t have to be huge as many can double up).

• A carbohydrate foundation – bread has been the usual lately but there are many other options
• Some protein – e.g lean meat, chicken, fish, beans, egg, cheese, nuts (if allowed)
• Fruit
• Some salad or vege sticks
• A drink (water or milk)
• A serve of dairy food – yoghurt or cheese

The old carbohydrate foundation doesn’t always need to be traditional bread. Sandwiches are a great fall-back for kids’ lunches and can be interesting, creative and fun of course but here are a few ideas I will try, and maybe you can try to “vamp up” the old lunchbox. Some of these are just as portable as sandwiches, some are “sit down and eat” style.

  • Pita bread pieces and dip
  • Pasta, rice, couscous or quinoa salads (you can use all sorts of really cool pasta shapes)
  • Quesiladas
  • Sushi (great if the school has a fridge for lunches)
  • Rice paper rolls
  • Tuna rice patties
  • Savoury muffins – ham, bacon, cheese, carrot and zucchini, spinach and feta (so many flavours!)
  • Pita pizzas
  • Vegetable spring rolls
  • Home-made pasties
  • Mini quiche or egg muffins
  • Noodle salads
  • Soup (with chickpeas, noodles, pasta etc)

Now, if only he would sit still long enough to eat his lunch!

Tags: Food Policies, Lunchbox, Sandwiches, School

About the author

Anne Myers-Wright

Anne Myers-Wright RD/APD

Anne is a Health Professions Council (HPC) registered dietitian (RD), an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD- Australia), a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), a member of the British Dietetic Association, The Nutrition Society and of The Dietetics Association of Australia.


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