As the new school year commences, families return to morning routines.  One routine required almost every weekday morning is packing your child’s lunchbox.  Parents/caregivers ask themselves the same questions:   What can I give me child today?  What will they feel like eating?  What do I have in the pantry for today?

Do we give enough consideration to the balance of what we place in our child’s lunchbox?  The research say no, many students are not getting enough nutritional value from their meals, especially lunch and recess.   The contents of a student’s lunch box (including recess) contributes to 1/3 of their daily intake of nutrients.  The morning fresh snack time should not be the nutritional high point of a student’s school day.  We know it’s challenging  particularly with the way processed foods are marketed, and more time consuming to get a better balance that your child will eat. There are many parents who are trying different ideas  and having good success … our Kitchen Garden  recipes are popular with our  primary age students …

Jamie Oliver’s TED Talk entitled,  ‘Teach Every Child About Food.’ The talk is based on Jamie’s work in Huntington, West Virginia and the repercussions of families worldwide consuming copious amounts of processed foods.

The Australian Healthy Kids Association website looks at ideas for packing a balanced, nutritious lunchbox.

Here are some examples:


Reduced fat cheese with wholegrain crackers

Sultana snack pack

Reduced fat yoghurt

Vegetable sticks with dip

Fruit spice English muffin

Air popped popcorn


Chicken, hommus and cucumber sandwich

Ham, reduced fat cream cheese and salad wrap

Egg, celery and reduced fat mayonnaise sandwich

Tuna and sweet potato patties

There are many more ideas on the website.