Great Lunch Box Ideas for Kids from our Lunch Box Twitter Party

We held our first ever Twitter Party on 10th January 2013 on the subject of kids lunch box ideas with the hashtag #lunchboxparty.  Here are some of the great tips for kids lunch box ideas that were contributed:

kids lunchbox ideas

Deciding on lunch

@jenlucy: listen to your kids. If they don’t like it, don’t give to them. Stop food waste!

@wholesomeIE: Great advice from @BumblesofRice there. Key is not to give them too much choice!

@lhales: the kids choose what goes in choosing from options I set

@wholesomeIE: I think you need to look at it being sustenance and not have fights about forcing things that a child won’t eat anyway.

@mykidstime: school of thought that says involve them in the making of the lunches

@wholesomeIE: I think that’s easier when they’re older. For smallies it’s not as easy. Say from age 8 up….

@wholesomeIE: I give the 4yo the option of a wrap/crackers/bread/pitta & then 2 fillings. Always include fruit that he likes.

@BumblesofRice: it depends on what the child will eat. My two get different boxes- as much fruit/veg as I can make them eat

@wholesomeIE: Try to find out what their classmates are eating. Nothing like kids eating together to encourage new flavours.

@cailindana: always looking for new ideas for lunches. I try to give a portion of protein, dairy & fruit, with odd treat

@wholesomeIE: Remember the most important meals are the ones the kids eat with you so if the child doesn’t eat lunch it’s not a disaster.

@mykidstime it’s more important that they eat at lunch can always do variety at dinner

@wholesomeIE: If your child insists on eating the same thing everyday for lunch in school then don’t fret. You can vary their diet at home.

Lunch successes

@subkiteu: my top tip is chop chop chop chn eat more fruit veg salami etc at lunch time this way than in a sandwich!

@PaulaNLuke: I put chopped veg, grapes, apples in a small plastic cup and label it ‘shake me salad’ after my kids loved it

@cailindana: recently discovered son loves guacamole, so I pop some in little tub with plain tortillas for dipping

@jcdal: egg fried rice salad with chopped veggies and chicken or smoked salmon & cream cheese on BB/wraps swirls

@UnaMacSha: no. 3 not allowed nuts in Anything. Other 2 get Nutella on Fri :-(. Find wraps, crackers & roll win

@BumblesofRice: lunches- roll/wrap/bagel/sambo with mix of fillings, 2 pieces fruit and lunchbox treat like ricecake, muffin, cookie

@lhales: meatloaf using ground beef or Turkey and use lots of mixed veg, handy in wraps pitta or on its own

@7MJB: Some children bring pasta and children in Japan eat little balls of rice.

On the subject of equipment

sistema lunchboxes@mykidstime: 5 lunchboxes recommended by parents

@FingalFoodie: Bento boxes (found on eBay) are fantastic for keeping foods separate. & adding interest.

@mykidstime: Used Sistema lunch boxes this year and last, can go in dishwasher and has separate sections for different bits

@7MJB: Green schools are cutting back on plastic & prefer chn to have a paper bag rather than plastic bag.

@mykidstime: anything washable really a bonus, those “fabric” style lunchbox/bags just end up stinky

@cailindana: another here recommending the sistema boxes. Also the @tupperware beakers are fab, no leaks!!!

@mykidstime: with compartment lunchboxes or small tubs don’t need plastic bags. Can also get paper lunch bags at superm’kt

@mykidstime: look out for or keep once grown the small toddler forks/spoons for future lunchboxes

Small break snack ideas

@fionatphelan: i pack a snack pot of grapes/berries and a snack pot of sesame sticks/cashew love opening them up

@mykidstime: mini rice cakes work well or big one buttered halved put together as a crescent to fit in the box and not smear the butter 😉

@fionatphelan: homemade flapjacks are great

@BumblesofRice: we love flapjacks and fruit muffins – apple flapjacks gorgeous And ones with seeds on too

@cailindana: carrot sticks with hummus dip is big hit in my sons lunchbox

@BumblesofRice: “secret surprise lunch”, creamcheese and pesto “dip” with carrot/cucumber sticks, fruit muffins, flapjacks

@BumblesofRice: Here’s our “secret surprise lunch” that’s a school salad – made night before, keep fridge

@7MJB: Apples, bananas, flapjacks, small sandwich/roll are handy for small break. Chn in older classes often bring this to yard

Tips & Shortcuts

@BumblesofRice: I always keep a spare pack of wraps in press or frozen rolls/mini bagels in freezer in case I run out of fresh

@country_ramblin: I freeze small yogurts so they are cold when lunch time comes round & they keep the whole lunch cool.

@BumblesofRice: On Sunday night I try to arrange fruit for the week, individually wrap ricecakes etc to cut down on weeknight lunch jobs

@cailindana: important to keep certain items cool in lunchbox, meat,chicken,egg mayo. Reusable ice packs are handy

@wholesomeIE: Be careful not to create loads of work for yourself when packing.

@wholesomeIE: use small coolbag and wrap each item in Cling or small tubs

@7MJB: Make sure your child has enough food. Some infants want to eat everything at small break!

@lhales: have frozen water or juice, need to pop it into a plastic bag the condensation can make things a bit wet

@TheDublinDiary: “Jamie’s Dinners” recommends freezing juice box and reckons it will defrost before lunch, keep the rest cool too

Fruit & Veg

carrots@BumblesofRice: usually a small tub with mix of peppers and corn.

@mykidstime: we have always squeezed a little lemon juice on our apple slices

@BumblesofRice: cherry tomatoes, peppers, corn and cucumber are favourites in our house

@mykidstime: Have tried a few frozen peas before as they will defrost and help keep lunchbox cold…

@Coeliacpages: cucumber and tomato salad.Sugar snap peas and orange for 6 year old, great man eats veg before meat! great chat!

@mykidstime Lunchbox tip: include veggies as well as fruit portions. Try new ones you’ve never thought of like strips of swede/turnip

Keeping it healthy

@celaV: @mykidstime I thought I was clever, buying custard pots to sneak eggs into Small1’s diet. Ready-custard: no eggs #fail

@jcdal: the #fooddudes programme was a huge success should be mandatory and funded

@Coeliacpages: Kids encouraged to drink water in class in our school. #dentalhealth. Fooddude programme run last year was fantastic.

@7MJB: It’s very important to give your child a bottle of water. Children get v thirsty working and after yard.

@BumblesofRice: healthy lunch policies? Our playschool has no junk/nuts/crisps/cake/buns/fizzy except once a term

@Coeliacpages: Our kids school has healthy eating policy. My kids love raw veg, cheese, water bottles. Food dudes! Milk with snack at home.

Useful links

lunch box tips and recipes@mykidstime: here’s our Mykidstime Pinterest Board on Lunchbox Ideas

@wholesomeIE: Great idea! How to pack an apple in a lunchbox & stop it going brown!

@gimmetherecipe: I prep the ingredients and kids assemble their own lunches, links to useful tables at end of this post

@mykidstime: Free lunchbox ideas e-book available to download

@bordbia: Healthy lunch box & snack ideas

@Caccabus: this is a useful place for ideas MuffinTinMeals

@cailindana: @annabelkarmel has some great recipes and ideas on her site for lunches.

You might also like: 21 Top Tips for Making Back to School Night Super Easy

Have you got other tips for lunchboxes? Share them with us in the comments below

Did you like this article? Sign up for our free newsletter and join us on facebook and follow us on Twitter

Tagged under

Jill is one of the co-founders of Mykidstime and a mum of 2 girls