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Back to School Healthy Lunches

Summer holidays are nearly over, and the kids will be back to school soon, much to the relief of many exhausted parents! For some the continual problem about how to make your little one’s packed lunches appealing and healthy will be rearing up once more.

With this in mind The British Dietetic Association (BDA) is issuing some quick and handy tips to create not only healthy packed lunches, but packed lunches that are full of flavour and variety, and that don’t include packets of salty crisps, bars of chocolate and fizzy drinks.

Packed lunches can be exciting and full of healthy options and variety. They need to provide children with the energy and sustenance to help them grow and develop healthily and to enable them to concentrate in class.

The BDA tips for a healthy packed lunch for the new school year include:

Bread, Cereals and Potatoes:

Try to keep a selection of breads in the freezer for sandwiches. Using a different type of bread each day can make sandwiches more interesting. Try multigrain and seed rolls, bagels, baguettes, pitta breads, wraps…the list is endless!

Raid the fridge for leftovers – some foods taste just as good cold such as pizza or pasta. Cook extra pasta, couscous or rice. Mix it with cut-up vegetables, a few nuts flaked tuna or mackerel.

Try to include lean meat, chicken, fish, eggs, nuts, beans or pulses in your lunchbox:

· Tuna with cucumber, green pepper, sweetcorn or tomato

· Low fat hummus and cucumber

· Egg and cress (grow your own?)

· Cottage cheese and dried apricots

· Cooked chicken or turkey, tomatoes, and lettuce

· Peanut butter and banana

· Grated cheese and tomato

· Oily fish, such as salmon sandwich or mackerel pasta salad

Vegging out or Feeling fruity..?

It’s important to eat 5 (or more) portions of fruit and vegetables every day:

· fresh fruit e.g. apple, grapes, banana, kiwi fruit (children have also said they like different fruits every day and not always the traditional choices e.g.. wedge of melon / peeled orange / kiwi and spoon / pot of strawberries. Why not surprise your child with a different fruit / veg choice every day of the week?)

· dried fruits, e.g. raisins, apricots

· chopped raw vegetables e.g. carrot sticks, cherry tomatoes or a mixed salad

· tinned fruit in natural juice – pop in a small container or buy small tins with a ring pull

Dairy delights…

Try to include some dairy products in your lunchbox – important to keep your teeth healthy and your bones strong (remember to look at sugar levels – 5g equals about one teaspoon):

Tasty treats…

Fancy something sweet in your lunch-box? There’s nothing wrong with this. Just try and make healthier choices when you can.

More information about healthier lunches can be found at the BDA here.


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