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Fuel for school - how to make school lunches healthy and easy

School holidays are just around the corner and I bet you are thinking “great! A break from making school lunches”. No doubt you will use this break to plan for the new school year; uniforms, text books, school shoes…make sure you add school lunches to the list!

What can I put my child’s school lunch in?

Have plenty of small plastic containers, including a sandwich box, that can be reused and then you are doing your bit for the environment. A cooler bag with an ice pack is ideal to be able to keep lunches fresh especially with our hot Queensland summers. Buy a big drink bottle so your child has no excuse not to drink water.

Fuel for school needs to include?

  • dairy products (they contain calcium for healthy bones)
  • meats (for iron, helping concentration
  • fruit and vegetables (for a healthy mind and body
  • wholegrain breads (for long lasting energy).

These foods will give your child sustained energy that they need to be able to concentrate at school. If our children do not eat this variety with their school lunch then it can be difficult to fit it in at other meals.

Which foods make good snacks for kid’s lunchboxes?

  • Frozen low fat yoghurt tub or tube
  • Frozen low fat milk popper
  • Vegie sticks with hummus or avocado dip
  • Fruit, fresh or snack packs
  • Dry cereal pieces
  • Fruit loaf
  • Homemade pikelets, savoury scones
  • Crackers with peanut butter
  • Mix nuts, seeds and dried fruit
  • Sandwiches get boring, what else is there for lunch?
  • Mini pizza
  • Pasta salad with pesto
  • Wrap with baked beans and grated cheese
  • Pita bread with chicken and coleslaw
  • Finger food lunch – mini quiche with vegie sticks, cheese with crackers and salad
  • Corn/tuna fritters

What about drinks?

Juices, soft drinks and cordial contain sugars and acids that cause tooth decay and provide empty, unnecessary calories. Tap water is cheaper, has fluoride for the teeth and is better for the environment than purchased bottled water.

When can my child pack their own lunch?

Get your child to assist with packing their lunch to start off with as children don’t always know what food is best for them. This gives you the opportunity to guide them on how to include variety and appropriate foods and snacks.

*Please check the lunch policy at your school before packing lunch i.e. nut free, no packaged foods.

If you would like to find out more about school lunches, please book in to see a Mater Health and Wellness dietitian by telephoning 07 3163 6000..


Level 1, Mater Corporate

Services Building

Raymond Terrace

South Brisbane Qld 4101