Before we focus on the food that goes into the lunch box, we have to make sure we have the correct lunchbox. The best option is a lunchbox with various compartments to ensure the food, flavours and sauces do not mix. If you do not have this you can also use a few different small plastic containers and pack it into a cooler bag to keep them together.

Include a variety of food in every lunch box

  • Body building food – Protein: this food group provides the building blocks that we need to build new muscles and cells in the body. We need to consume at least one portion at every meal to ensure we have enough building blocks.
  • Energy food – Carbohydrates: this food group provides energy, the energy helps us with our daily tasks like concentrating in class, playing with friends and participating in sport
  • Protective food – Fruit and vegetables: this food group serves as protectors as it contains various vitamins and minerals that boost our immune system. Our immune system help us to fight infection
  • Treats – Luxuries: this food group contains all of the luxuries that we can include into our diet on special occasions


Choose one of each group





Cold meat, Chicken, Fish (tuna / sardines), Egg (try egg muffins), Cheese, Milk, Yoghurt, Beans and lentils, Nuts
Bread, Pita, Wrap, Pasta, Potatoes, Crackers
Fresh fruit and vegetables (cut in fun shapes and sizes or skewered)
Jelly sweets, Hard candy, Marshmallows, Chocolate, Dried fruit, Milkshake, Drinking yoghurt, Fruit juice


Fun ideas with energy food

    • Make ‘bread’ sushi: Remove the crust from the bread, roll flat with a rolling pin, add filling (cheese spread OR ham and lettuce with cream cheese OR cream cheese and thinly sliced cucumber). Roll the bread and cut into 3 – 4 pieces.
    • Pita / wrap kebabs: Make sure to have small pita or wraps. Add a filling – sweet or savoury (peanut butter and jam OR tuna mayonnaise OR egg mayonnaise) and cut the wrap / pita in four. Use a small skewer and alternate between the wrap OR pita and a variety of fruit / vegetables and cheese Example: peanut butter and jam wrap with strawberry and banana
    • Pasta salad: Make extra pasta at dinner, drizzle with olive oil and let cool down. Add cooked beans or lentils, chopped vegetables and / or cheese cubes.
    • Croutons: Use a cookie cutter to cut small shapes out of a slice of bread. Brush with thin layer of olive oil on both sides and bake in the oven (175 degrees Celsius) for 15 minutes or until brown. Store in an airtight container

Ways to keep fruit and veggies interesting

  • Use a cookie cutter to cut the food into fun shapes
  • Use a variety of colours – if you have strawberries, add grapes or pineapple
  • Use toothpicks to make interesting combinations – add tomato, cucumber and peppers onto a skewer to make a colourful combination.

Getting enough dairy for strong bones

    • Choose one diary product for every lunchbox
      • Milk (regular) / yoghurt (plain – add a drizzle of honey) / cheese (cubes of cheddar, small container of cottage cheese or cream cheese.


    • Choose one day a week where a treat can be included in the lunchbox. Let your child choose which treat they want for that day. Make it easy by portioning the treats into small plastic bags when you buy it

Ways to keep everything cold

  • Use a frozen water bottle as an ice block – fill a water bottle 2/3rd and freeze. Fill the rest with water before you freeze and add to the lunchbox to ensure all the food stays cold.