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5 Healthy School Lunchbox Ideas | Food for Growing Minds

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Families Magazine – Brisbane has been in contact with the mother behind The Kids Menu and brought to you 5 days of healthy school lunchbox ideas! A well-balanced, healthy school lunchbox can be portioned such that it comprises half vegetables or salad; one quarter grain foods, preferably wholegrain or low GI carbohydrates, one quarter lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts, or seeds, as well as a side of fruit and a calcium rich snack. Don’t forget to pack plenty of water too (remembering that cordials and juices are discretionary food items).

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  • Air Popped Popcorn: Place popcorn kernels in a microwave safe container with a lid for about 2 minutes or until most of the kernels have stopped popping. Serve plain or drizzle with a little olive oil
  • 4 wholegrain crackers spread with avocado and serves with vegetable sticks and hummus
  • 1 serve of ‘Choc- Mousse’
    • Ingredients: ½ cup vanilla yoghurt, 1 cup reduced fat ricotta cheese, 1-2 tablespoon pure cocoa.
    • Method: Mix all ingredients together and portion into a leak proof container. Serve with some fresh berries
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Tuesday Lunch
  • 1 serve of yoghurt
  • 1 serve of rockmelon
  • Veggie sticks, cherry tomatoes and a serve of tinned corn (no added salt)
  • Deconstructed Nachos:  Plain corn chips served with tomato salsa (low sodium) and red kidney beans (rinsed and drained thoroughly), topped with cheese. *if your kids aren’t a fan of kidney beans, try mashing or pureeing them before mixing them into the salsa.
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Wednesday Lunchbox
  • Wholemeal Pitta Pocket filled with diced cucumber, corn and tuna
  • Vegetable sticks served with beetroot dip
    • Ingredients: 1 large beetroot, 2 tablespoons natural yoghurt, ¼ cup parmesan cheese.
    • Method: Preheat and oven to 200 degrees. Wrap the beetroot in aluminium foil and place in the pre-heated oven for about 40mins. Unwrap the beetroot and allow to cool. Once cool, remove the skin (it should pull off easily) and place in a food processor with remaining ingredients. Process on high until finely pureed. Portion into leak proof container and store in the fridge for several days.
  • Wholegrain Raisin Bread and banana wrap: Cut the crusts off a slice raisin bread and roll out flat with a rolling pin. Place half a banana inside and roll the bread around in. Slice into thirds. *Option: bread can be spread with nut butter first if desired.
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  • An apple
  • 1 serve of yoghurt with muesli and pumpkin seeds to mix in
  • Cherry tomatoes and carrot slices
  • Smoky Paprika chicken and salad wrap:
  • Ingredients: Lemon Juice, Chcken tenders, smoky paprika, lettuce, alfalfa, cucumber, tomato.
  • Method: Squeeze fresh lemon juice over chicken tenders sprinkle with smoky paprika. Bake at 200 degrees for 25mins or until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Allow to cool in the fridge over night before wrapping in a grainy flat bread with lettuce, alfalfa, cucumber and tomato
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  • A serve of yoghurt
  • A pear
  • Choc-banana cracker stack:
    • Ingredients: 1-2 tablespoons of unhulled tahini (sesame seed past), 1 teaspoon of honey, 1 tablespoon pure cocoa (100%), 2 grainy crackers, ½ banana;
    • Method: mix together 1-2 tablespoons of  unhulled tahini, with 1 teaspoon of honey and 1 tablespoon of cacao, spread it over 2 whole grain crackers, layer banana slices on top of one of the crackers and place the other cracker on top
  • Shredded Chicken Pasta Salad:
    • Ingredients: ¾ cup cooked wholemeal or high fibre pasta, ½ cup baby spinach leaves, 5 cherry tomatoes halved, ¼ cup corn kernels, ½ cup shredded cooked chicken breast, ½ tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon of dried herbs.
    • Method: Toss together pasta, chicken, spinach, corn and tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with herbs.
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5 MORE Healthy Lunchbox ideas here.

Nikki Boswell is a Nutritionist, Personal Trainer and as a Mum of 3, Nikki packs over 500 lunchboxes a year. Her e-book includes over 30 pages of information and colourful images, dozens of lunchbox friendly food suggestions, a five day lunchbox planner and shopping list, a lunchbox Planner Template, and 10 healthy recipes! Available from here.

This article was published in Issue 8 of our print magazine, February/March 2015.

Photo of author

Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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