With your little ones going back to school soon, you’re no doubt already thinking about packed lunches and how to make them both healthy, exciting and affordable. Here’s some inspiration for you.

embrace the mess

1
On balance

A healthy, balanced diet is essential for children, but do you need some guidance on how that should translate to your child’s lunch box? You’ll find some great ideas from the NHS here and even more recipe inspiration here

keep it simple

2
Involve your kids

If you have fussy eaters, invite them to help you prep and plan their lunches – they’ll be more likely to eat something they’ve had a hand in making. If you let them choose what they want, offer a small range of options, and as you go on make those options more diverse to entice them to try more and more new foods.

ready set decorate

3
Beyond the sandwich

If you want to liven up a lunchbox, there are plenty of other things you can try instead of a standard sarnie. Give wholemeal wraps or pitta pockets a go. Or why not turn their sandwich into a snake? Cut the ingredients into small shapes and layer them onto a skewer – so add a piece of buttered bread, add a piece of fruit or veg, add another bit of bread, then fruit or veg and so on. You can top it with a piece of fruit or veg to create the snake’s head.

ready set decorate

4
Make healthy fun

There are lots of ways to make a healthy lunch seem more enticing. Draw speech bubbles with a funny message on a banana. Or why not give your lunch box a theme? You could do an ‘out of this world’ lunch, for example, with sandwiches cut into star and planet shapes, and draw an alien face with three eyes on a green apple.

ready set decorate

5
Chill out

If you’re doing a fruit salad for your child’s lunch, make sure to include some frozen berries. they’ll defrost in time for lunch, but will handily help keep everything else in your bag cool in the meantime.

ready set decorate

6
Cheers!

When it comes to drinks, it’s best to simply fill up your little one’s bottle with water. Let them chose their own bottle so they’re excited about drinking out of it, but if that still doesn’t encourage them to drink enough water, try packing refreshing fruit flavoured Hydro Waters instead.