healthy packed lunch ideas

5 healthy packed lunch ideas that are easy to make


Packed lunches have changed a lot over the years. A sandwich and some crisps used to be the norm, but as more healthy eating initiatives are launched, attention has turned towards schools and the food that pupils bring in with them from home. With regulators putting a strong emphasis on healthy school lunches, it makes sense that packed lunches should follow suit, paving the way for a new wave of healthy packed lunch ideas.

If you’re concerned about what you’re able to provide as part of a healthy packed lunch at school, try some of the following ideas that are easy to make.

Healthy packed lunch ideas

Low-fat sandwich fillers

Recommended guidance encourages including a starchy carbohydrate in your child’s packed lunch, like bread for sandwiches. Some pesto, light mozzarella and some spinach make a great sandwich filling that kids will love, while some salmon or mackerel makes a great alternative to typical tuna. Make sure your fillings are low in fat and contain plenty of protein, sticking to wholewheat bread or rolls.

Make salads more interesting

A salad may sound like a boring lunch for your child, but it doesn’t have to be all lettuce, cucumber and tomato. Get creative with salads by shredding different kinds of leaves mixed with carrot and red cabbage as a good base, adding different toppings to keep things interesting. Seasoned chicken, sweet potato and feta cheese are some of the tasty protein sources you can add to liven up a salad – making a change from the traditional lunch box.

Batch-prepare punchy pasta

Pasta is an excellent healthy lunchbox idea that will contain some essential carbohydrates to make a filling lunch. You can batch make pasta at the beginning of the week so that it’s easy to dish up a healthy meal. Use tomato and vegetable-based sauces and add proteins such as chicken or beans and pulses for a balanced lunch. Investing in a cool lunch bag will help keep food fresh and is particularly useful for the summer months.

Make a takeaway granola pot

A granola pot is a great idea for a post-lunch dessert that can be made with yoghurt and fruit to ensure your child gets their recommended dose of vitamins and dairy. There are some amazing sugar-free dessert sauces available which you can drizzle over the top to create that sundae-style appeal without the sugar.

Swap crisps and chocolate bars for fruit and vegetables

Crisps might make a good partner for a sandwich, but they’re packed with salt and saturated fat. There are many different things you can add to a packed lunch instead that will be just as fun to eat. Some crudités and homemade hummus is healthy and filling, or you could make some sweet potato fries at home with some seasoning to give them added flavour.

Why healthy packed lunches are important

Providing your child with a healthy packed lunch is important for making sure that they eat a balanced diet. A lunch packed with the right ingredients will make sure they get everything they need to make it through the day and teach them about healthy eating as well.

Healthy eating is something that will benefit the whole family, helping you to maintain a healthy weight and making sure everyone eats nutritious meals. You can find out more about healthy eating from NHS Choices, including some fantastic recipe and healthy packed lunch ideas and guidance on making healthy food swaps.

It’s important to practice self care, and eating healthily can help you to avoid a number of health conditions and diseases that can be caused by obesity or an unhealthy lifestyle. Bracknell Forest is supporting a year of self care through different initiatives and campaigns, so take a look at their website for information on how you and your family can practice better self care for a healthier lifestyle.