Back to School Lunch Box ideas and other stuff

Back to school lunch box ideas

Can you believe it?  Two months of holidays gone, just like that!  We were all starting to get a tad tetchy with each other but I’m going to miss their smiling, bickering little faces, we’ve had some good adventures.  So now it’s time for “Back to School” and the dreaded lunch box, arrgh!  Well I’m here to help but would also love to hear what goes down well in your lunch boxes too as we can all learn from each other!

If you are a first time school parent I wish you and your child a very happy first year of school.  It’s such an exciting time for them and so much to learn as a parent too!  You will probably go through a zillion lunch boxes and water bottles.  Miss E left hers behind on the last day of school last year and I had to wait until the office opened last week to get it back, thankfully they had washed it out when they found it otherwise it would have been a rather revolting science experiment.  Speaking of lunch boxes there are so many choices out there I’ve always like the Nudie ones with the different compartments & the Smash water bottles but up here in the stinking hot north, mini eskies are the go.   Miss E chose hers last week, I suggest perhaps you don’t leave it until very close to Australia Day to make esky choices or you to may end up with this…..

Aussie Esky



Miss M is holding out for one that Bunnings is getting in (not something I would have ever thought I’d be saying) as I say a sad farewell to their cute, personalised Tinyme lunch bags that weren’t quite big enough for all the ice packs and frozen drinks required up here but they served us well for 4 years.

So what do we put in these lunch boxes?  I didn’t do much cooking over the holidays but in anticipation of the girls going back to school I experimented with a few new things that went down well, yay!  In the top photo we have a simple Crunchy Yoghurt Cup.  All we did for this one was chop up some favourite fruits, the “crunch” comes from the apple, and mixed them up in the pot.  They will make a healthy and filling recess or “sip & crunch” or whatever it gets called at your school, I think ours now calls it “brain food” or “super snack break time”. Do you like the idea of it or not?

Tuna & Corn muffins for the lunch box

These Tuna & Corn Muffins Cups were well received, I liked them too.  I’ve posted the recipe on it’s own page if you want to check it out, with both Thermomix and regular methods.

For a sweeter muffin we tested out some Orange & Date Muffins on a play date – delicious was the verdict!  Phew!

orange & date muffins for the lunch box

The wrap is shredded poached chicken, avocado and baby spinach on mountain bread.  E likes this, Miss M does not! A plain vegemite wrap is all she wants, every single day!  The lunch box is the Tupperware one that we used when the girls were toddlers and now take on car trips, it’s not quite big enough for school lunches these days.

I’ve got a raft of ideas, in fact, last year I produced a free printable with over 100 lunch box ideas for you to print out and stick up on the fridge when you are seeking inspiration. Here it is again if you missed out.  Unfortunately it doesn’t come with a guarantee that they will actually eat anything in the their lunch box!!!!

100+ lunch box ideas printable

Go here to print it off BE&S Lunch box printable 1 copy

Some other favourites are:

Skewer baguettes for the lunch box

Even the “I don’t eat sandwiches” amongst us seem to like these, anything on a stick, fingers crossed they are not used as weapons though!  More details on this here.

healthy chicken nuggets in the lunch box

These are my healthy parmesan polenta chicken strips and a lunch box favourite Oaty Chia Biscuits plus a Vegemite Sandwich of course!

sushi for the lunch boxes

I have a DIY sushi tutorial on the blog but if you don’t have the time or inclination buying it the night before or on the way to school morning of school and keeping it chilled is something we do regularly.  The Vegemite and Parmesan crispy lavosh always seems to go down well too.  While this bento box is a cute one it doesn’t really fit in enough food for the a filing lunch so we don’t often use it.

Over the life of the blog I’ve published a few back to school lunch box idea posts that you can check out here here and here are a weeks worth of lunch box snacks that I made for a trivia night prize I donated last year if you want more inspiration!

Are you ready for the return to school?  Do you kids eat their lunch? Got any lunch box ideas to share?



25 comments on “Back to School Lunch Box ideas and other stuff

  1. Lisa @ Chocolate Meets Strawberry
    January 26, 2016 at 6:24 am

    So many fantastic ideas here, Vicki! I love all your bird’s eye shots of the lunchboxes – so good to have that visual inspiration. When I was in primary school, we used to call the breaks ‘little lunch’ and ‘big lunch’, then in high school it was just ‘morning tea’ and ‘lunch’ (pretty boring – I prefer ‘super snack break time’!). I’m a bit of a lunchbox failure myself unfortunately…I always leave it to the last minute in the morning before I head off for work, but refuse to go out and buy something at lunchtime, so I end up taking all sorts of bits and pieces randomly thrown together about 10 minutes before I head out the door. Lately, though, I’ve been doing up plenty of homemade protein bars to grab on my way out, which also double as a yummy after-dinner treat if we need a little extra something to nibble on before bed. I think I will need to try and make my own sushi from your tutorial – now that would really make me look forward to lunchtime. All the ladies at the office would be rather impressed, I think!!

    • Vicki
      January 26, 2016 at 10:18 pm

      The DIY sushi is much easier than you think (especially if you have a kit), it’s a bit of fun to make too. I like the sound of your protein bars

  2. Lyndall - Seize The Day Project
    January 26, 2016 at 9:01 am

    Will print out your list of lunchbox ideas and use them in the coming weeks. My kids often make their own lunches (they are teens), but if I buy the ingredients, they will probably make some of these.

    • Vicki
      January 26, 2016 at 10:20 pm

      Hi there I’m looking forward to the day my kids can make their own lunches, I hope yours do make something from this.

  3. Natalie @ Our Parallel Connection
    January 26, 2016 at 9:22 am

    Oh you have just made my day Vicki. I need ideas for my lunch for work and this is fantastic. I will be saving this one. #teamIBOT

    • Vicki
      January 26, 2016 at 10:26 pm

      Thanks Natalie it made my day that this made yours!

  4. Emily M Morgan
    January 26, 2016 at 9:55 am

    I LOVE your ‘sandwich on a stick’ idea! I’m definitely giving that a go. My kids are only 1 and 3 but I still pack their daycare lunches three days a week and it can be hard to get inspired sometimes. And have you found that some of these kid’s lunch boxes are incredibly hard for kids to open?! What’s with that?

    • Vicki
      January 26, 2016 at 10:38 pm

      Oh I know, mine are ok now that they are a bit bigger but I remember getting them to test it out before we bought anything to see if they could open them.

  5. Belinda @ bindybee
    January 26, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    Thanks Vicki. It’s my daughter’s first year of school this year so I need lots of inspiration. Vegemite sandwiches don’t cut it these days do they? ?

    • Vicki
      January 26, 2016 at 10:40 pm

      Oh all the best for the first day, very exciting. One of mine would be happy with a vegemite wrap every day but will never eat a sandwich!

  6. Hugzilla
    January 26, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    Oh god I am so shithouse at this. There are so many amazing ideas here – will have to start including more of these in my rotation.

    • Vicki
      January 26, 2016 at 10:43 pm

      Lunch boxes are so tedious so I thought this might make it more interesting for us!

  7. Tegan
    January 26, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    This is an awesome list! I have trouble getting Mr 6 to eat fruit at school as he says it takes him too long to eat. Cutting it up seems to work well for him though thankfully.

    • Vicki
      January 26, 2016 at 10:44 pm

      Thank you. One of mine is a slow eater (and disinterested) so I’m always trying to think of food that will get her to focus on eating!!!

  8. Lauren @ Create Bake Make
    January 27, 2016 at 4:20 am

    These are such great ideas, and the list is brilliant! Our little guys starts kinder this year so I only have to worry about lunch boxes a few days a week thankfully. Good luck with the start of school x

    • Vicki
      January 30, 2016 at 9:53 pm

      Thanks so much Lauren and I just read about your exciting news! Congratulations lovely x

  9. Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid
    January 30, 2016 at 9:03 pm

    So much deliciousness for kids of all ages (including adult ones.) I got hubby a bento style lunch box for Christmas which he is yet to use, but I’m hoping he will soon with all this lunchbox inspiration!

    • Vicki
      January 30, 2016 at 9:56 pm

      So much inspiration this week on the interwebs isn’t there – should keep us going until at least Easter! x

  10. Karin @ Calm to Conniption
    January 31, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    This is my first “real” year of dealing with a lunch box… One week in and I am struggling already. This Tuesday I have to pack two!!! Argh!

    • Vicki
      February 1, 2016 at 10:45 pm

      Good luck for Tuesday. I actually met someone the other night who truly loved making lunchboxes, strange but true!

  11. Ashlea @ Glamour Coastal Living
    February 1, 2016 at 10:19 am

    This is FABULOUS Vic! Loving all the lunchbox food inspo– although I work from home I like to have a bit of a packed lunch, otherwise I find myself staring into the fridge endlessly ha! thank you x

    • Vicki
      February 1, 2016 at 10:50 pm

      Thank you Ashlea I should do that too!

  12. Kim @ Land of Zonkt
    February 6, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    lots of great ideas hun.
    we are lucky as our school is still happy with plastic wraps, so I don’t have to have multi compartment lunchboxes.
    Seeming never wants the same thing every day, it keeps it pretty easy.
    Cheese sandwich, cheese stick, apple or grapes, pack of chips. done.
    Not a lot of fuss required at all, which is nice.
    These may come in handy for Ed though, he eats a lot more than his sister, and at least not as fussy either.


    • Vicki
      February 8, 2016 at 10:03 pm

      Thank you, mine change their minds all the time as to what they will and won’t eat and I never can tell!

  13. Joshua Roth
    March 18, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    I simply love your ideas. There still more ways to think outside the box. You have shared useful points from which mothers can get many ideas for a healthy school lunch box for the kids. Thanks a lot!

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