Do you struggle with making your kids a healthy school lunch every single day? For a freezer packed full of grab-and-go school lunches that you and your kids will actually look forward to eating, try these tips and healthy lunch box recipes below. These healthy school lunch ideas will save you SO much time and stress in the kitchen and change the way you think about making lunches!
Healthy School Lunch Ideas
Do you hate making school lunches?
If you are anything like me, you might find yourself struggling for lunch box inspiration. And that is completely understandable when, if you think about it, one child alone will eat around 2,340 school lunches in their entire school life. That’s a lot of lunches! And that number is just for one child!
Like me, you may have experienced the stress of chaotic school mornings.
On busy mornings, pre-packaged store bought snacks can seem like an easy option for lunchboxes. They are quick and convenient and can be added to lunches in no time, but they can also contain refined sugars and other hard-to-pronounce ingredients that aren’t always the healthiest choice.
I want to show you how, in a few short hours over the school holidays, you can have an entire freezer full of school lunchbox snacks that will keep your kids smiling and last for a whole school term.
Follow my tips below and never stress about school lunches again!
Preparing school lunches in bulk saves you time and money;
Rather than spending time every single day making school lunches, try spending just one day on the school holidays or a weekend preparing for the term ahead.
Make some batches of easy, freezable lunchbox ideas that can be stored in the freezer and added to lunchboxes within seconds on busy school mornings. Most snacks can be added to lunchboxes completely frozen and will be thawed by snack time!
Preparing a whole term of food in one day over every school holidays adds up to only four times a year that you need to spend on the hardest part of the school lunches.
Before the beginning of each school term, I make bulk quantities of sausage rolls, scrolls (cheese and Vegemite, ham and cheese or pizza), healthy lunchbox muffins and berry cupcakes, amazing chewy and healthy raw cookies, breakfast cookies, healthy and nut-free bliss balls, quiches, chia pudding, healthy muesli bars, veggie packed nuggets, banana bread and more.
These lunchbox fillers can sometimes replace sandwiches and save so much time when mixed up with pre-prepared snacks and fresh fruit. And your kids will always have variety and excitement in their lunches. Win-win!
There are so many benefits to making your own healthy school lunches and snacks;
- Preparing food in large quantities saves time and hassle
- Avoiding packaged food means that you get to control of the ingredients going into your kids’ bodies
- Making simple recipes at home saves time and money
- You will always have something on hand and ready to place into lunchboxes when you are short on time. And plenty of choice means no boring lunchbox repetition!
To prepare a whole school term of healthy school lunches, follow these tips below;
School Lunch Storage;
Make sure you have enough storage, including large, airtight containers and freezer space for the amount of food you are making.
Good quality, airtight containers will make your food last longer and protect it from getting damaged in the freezer. I pre-wrap my kids’ food in baking paper so that they are ready to go straight from the container into lunchboxes.
Pre-wrapping further protects your food from freezer damage and means that you don’t have to waste time packaging food in the morning. You can find some fantastic eco storage containers and ideas here.
Plan School Lunches Ahead and Bake in Bulk;
Bulk making of school lunchbox snacks will give you a wide selection of snacks on hand and save you so much time!
First, decide what you are going to make and write down the ingredients that you need. You can find a lot of great school lunch box recipes online, but if you need further lunch box inspiration or some freezable lunchbox ideas and recipes, see here or try my 50 Healthy Freezer Friendly School Lunchbox Snacks E-BOOK here.
Try batching together recipes with similar ingredients or methods to save on time. For example, a batch of bliss balls and raw cookies contain similar ingredients and can both be prepared, one after the other, in a food processor.
Look at how long each recipe will take you and work out how much time is required to make what you need. Ensure that you have all of the ingredients on hand and that you have the right equipment so that you are ready to go. For example, baking trays, bowls, cooling racks, food processor, loaf tins, etc.
Once you have everything ready, dedicate a few hours on a day where you have no (or minimal) distractions to get it done. In a few hours, you will have a freezer full of snacks and lunches to use throughout the term.
Healthy lunchbox ideas for kids that can be stored in the freezer;
Savoury Lunchbox Ideas;
- Cheese and Vegemite scrolls
- Quiches, savoury muffins, frittatas or zucchini slice
- Corn and feta fritters
- Veggie packed nuggets
- Healthier pork sausage rolls
- Easy roast pumpkin soup
Healthy Sweet Lunchbox Ideas;
- Healthy lunchbox muffins (try these healthy chocolate zucchini or banana lunchbox muffins).
- Banana bread
- Muesli bars
- No bake muesli slice
- Healthy kids fruit gummies
- Healthy raw cookies
- Breakfast cookies
- Overnight oats
- Vanilla bean chia pudding
- Healthy chocolate coconut slice
- Blueberry quinoa cupcakes
- Bliss balls (chocolate, choc mint, apple pie, apricot, raspberry). Healthy bliss balls are my favourite healthy lunchbox snack to make. They literally take less than five minutes to make and are a great portable snack for little fingers!
Dinner leftovers can also be stockpiled in the freezer in lunch sized portions. Leftover lasagne, roast meat and veggies, pasta and fried rice all make great lunches.
Invest in good quality lunchboxes and storage containers;
Do you spend lots of time hunting for missing lids or containers that fit? #storyofmylife
Consider investing in some bento-style lunchboxes which don’t require any loose containers or food wrapping. Eboo bamboo bento boxes are a perfect size for kids lunches and remove the need for plastic waste. You can also find some fantastic and well priced lunch boxes, lunch bags, bento boxes, drink bottles and food storage from Lime Tree Kids.
Good quality lunchboxes are great time savers too, because you can reduce time spent wrapping and covering foods.
Invest in good quality airtight containers with leak-proof seals for extra snacks. You can pre-cut fruits, veggies and other snacks into ready to go portions and keep them handy in the fridge.
Label and date everything;
For busy mornings, having clearly labelled containers means you can easily see which items you are grabbing without any hassle. It also helps you keep track of what is freshest so that you can rotate and use older foods first.
Weekly School Lunch Plan;
Now that you have a freezer full of school lunchbox snacks at your disposal, spend some time planning what is going into your lunchboxes throughout the week. Consider what you have ready to grab from your freezer and which fresh foods are going with them. In half an hour on the weekend, an entire week of snacks can be prepped, ready to place into lunchboxes.
A container of sliced cheese or vegetables will last in an airtight container in the fridge for the school week. Consider cutting a large container of pre-cut snacks to save time during the week. Fruits can also be washed and strawberries, blueberries, grapes added to individual containers.
A large batch of chia pudding can last for a school week, so it can be prepared in bulk and added to individual containers, ready to grab and go. Consider using a large container of yoghurt spooned into small containers.
If your child eats biscuits or popcorn, consider purchasing a larger bag and adding serves into reusable containers. Preparing food this way (rather than packaged individual serves) saves on plastic waste.
Other healthy lunchbox ideas that can be prepared ahead of time;
- Hard boiled eggs
- sliced fruit and yoghurt
- chia pudding
- sliced veggies and dips
- baked veggie chips
- air popped popcorn
- fruit salad
- cheese and biscuits
Thanks for reading!
Bulk school lunches are an incredible time saver for busy families. Storing a selection of healthy school lunches for kids (and adults too!) reduces stress as well as saving time and money. I hope you find these healthy school lunch ideas and tips useful.
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For more healthy school lunch ideas, check out these recipes.
To save time and money on healthy school (and work) snacks, see my 50 Healthy School Snacks E-BOOK which contains a bonus Guide to Making 2 Minute Lunches.
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