It’s a new school term. You’re feeling super pumped. You’re ready to showcase your serious mad school lunch ideas and skills and prove to your children that you are the school-lunch-making master.
You’ve got your mum-mojo going strong. But… then life happens. Seriously, how do you keep up the packed lunch momentum when you’re SUPER busy? Ain’t no Mumma has time to make adorable little pandas out of boiled eggs every morning.
Never fear. We’ve got a list of easy-peasy school lunch ideas that you should be adding to your shopping list every week (or every second week for a bit of variety).
Here’s what you need.
Stock the freezer
All it really takes is a day of meal prep to stock your freezer with items to last for several weeks. Shop in advance, pump the tunes and start baking up a storm on a Sunday arvy. Just be sure you have plenty of Tupperware containers, cling wrap, alfoil and ziploc bags to keep and store all these goodies.
Five easy mains (one for each day of the week)
1. Pre-made and wrapped sandwiches (Meat and cheese or spreads work well for these. Leave fresh ingredients out when freezing, adding them in the morning when defrosting).
2. Mini quiches – Super easy to make and a great source of protein.
3. Pizza pinwheels – Kids LOVE puff pastry and these morsels will be devoured in minutes.
4. Sausage rolls with hidden veggies – Everybody wins!
5. Zucchini slice – A top notch veggie smuggler! Check out these Sausage Roll Maker Zucchini Slices bars – so cute!
Something sweet on the side
All of these are freezable too!
6. Muffins – Sweet and savoury muffins freeze really well.
7. Banana bread – A cafe favourite, banana bread is always a welcome lunch box treat!
8. Mini cupcakes – Perfect for a little sweet something.
9. Pikelets – REALLY easy to make. Spread with butter and jam before freezing.
10. Muesli bars – Hide these well in the freezer as kids are known to eat them frozen.
11. Apricot balls – Three ingredients for the win!
Stock your fridge
You can also save loads of time in the morning by having healthy snacks on hand, grouped together in the pantry or fridge. Dedicate one of the fridge crisper drawers as a school snack only space, with items read to decant into pouches, bento boxes and food containers. This way, you can have school lunches packed in just a few quick minutes.
12. Carrot sticks (kept crisp in water and airtight container)
13. Celery sticks (kept crisp in water and airtight container)
14. Capsicum pieces (kept fresh in an airtight container)
15. Mini tomatoes (kept in an airtight container)
16. Qukes (kept fresh in an airtight container) – we have a whole bunch of extra awesome Qukes lunch box ideas! Check them out here.
And, of course, some fruity goodness
Fruit rockets/fruit skewers – This is a big winner in our house. Grab some mini kabob sticks and makeup two or three in the morning (or the night before) using:
18. Berries – Strawberries, Raspberries, Blueberries
19. Melons – Watermelon, Rockmelon and Honeydew
20. Pineapple slices
21. Kiwi fruit
22. Sliced apple
23. Sliced pear
24. Orange slices or mandarin
HOT TIP: Alternate the fruits depending on what’s in season (or what your kids like). If you happen to have marshmallows in the pantry, you can add a few marshies to the mix for a tasty treat.
A few more lunch box staples:
25. Cheese sticks – Alternate different cheeses each week to see which ones your kids enjoy the most.
26. Yoghurt (decant into small containers or pouches). Top it with some hundreds and thousands for a bit of sweetness!
27. Pretzels (stored in the pantry in an airtight container)
28. Popcorn (stored in the pantry in an airtight container)
29. Dried fruit (stored in the pantry in an airtight container)
30. Hard-boiled eggs
HOT TIP: If food is cut, ready to be packaged and easily accessible – the kids can pack their own school lunch! #WINNING
We’re always on the lookout for lunch box ideas to help make this task a little less monotonous. If you’ve got any easy-peasy yummy lunch box recipes, please share them below!