Healthy lunchbox ideas for kids

So the kids have been back to school for a couple of weeks now. We all want to send off our kids with tasty, healthy packed lunches, but having rolled out all the trusty favourites, it’s about this time we all need a bit of inspiration when it comes to healthy lunchbox ideas for kids. In this back to school edition of The Health Hub Sessions, Jemma Thomas, Personal Trainer and Founder of online fitness community for women – Jemma’s Health Hub – shares some fun ideas to keep our small people’s lunchboxes fresh and healthy.

Easy asparagus pitta pizza and salad

This can make a brilliant dinner recipe – or perfect cold in a lunchbox the next day! It’s quick to cook and you could knock up two pitta pizzas in half the time it takes to order one!

Ingredients – serves 1

2 wholemeal pitta breads

2 tablespoons of tomato puree

2 asparagus spears, chopped into small chunks

5 cherry tomatoes halved

½ ball of mozzarella

Small handful of grated cheddar cheese

A bag of rocket

How to

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees celsius. Spread the pittas with tomatoes purée. Tear and spread the mozzarella in even spaces across the pitta. Add the asparagus, tomatoes and finish with the cheddar cheese and some pepper.

Cook for 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbling. You can serve cold in a lunchbox with a few handfuls of your kid’s favourite salad.

healthy lunchbox ideas for kids

Peanut butter and jam on rye bread

Rye bread keeps you fuller for longer, it’s low GI which means it doesn’t turn to sugar or give you an energy spike like white bread does. Peanut butter gives plenty of protein, vitamins and minerals like magnesium, potassium and zinc while jam gives a sweetness the kids will love.

Ingredients – serves 1

2 slices of rye bread

Peanut butter and jam

How to

Simply spread the peanut butter and a little bit of jam and make a sandwich!

Easy peasy messy mezze board

This is actually one of my favourite lunches but it’s superb for the kids too, and the only chopping to do is the little salad.

Ingredients – serves 1

1 large wholemeal pitta bread

¼ cucumber

5 cherry tomatoes

¼ red onion

¼ packet feta cheese

5 falafels

1 tablespoon of humous

How to

Heat the falafel balls in the oven according to the packet. Whilst they heat up, chop the cucumber, tomatoes and red onion into small cubes. Crumble over the feta and add a large tablespoon. Put it all into a tupperware and it’ll be a delicious Greek treat for them at lunch!

healthy lunchbox ideas for kids

Granola bars – Nigella style

These are adapted slightly from Nigella Lawson’s brilliant Nigella Express book. I have tried to find so many better and quicker recipes for granola bars but this is mine, and the kids’ favourite!

Ingredients – makes 16 bars

1 small can of condensed milk

250 grams of rolled oats (not instant)

2 tablespoons of shredded coconut

4 tablespoons of raisins or sultanas

A large handful of mixed seeds (pumpkin, sunflower and sesame)

A large handful of chopped mixed nuts

How to

Preheat the oven to 110 degrees Celsius and line a baking tray with baking paper. Warm the condensed milk in a large pan. Meanwhile, mix together all the other ingredients and then add the warmed condensed milk, using a spatula to mix.

Pop the mixture into the tin and press down with the spatula or your hands (it will be sticky though!). Bake for approximately 1 hour, but keep checking it. Let it cool, cut into 4 across and 4 down to make 16 chunky bars!

Carrot sticks with houmous

So easy to do and delicious! Simply wash and chop the carrots up into sticks. Put in the lunchbox with a little pot of humous and they’ll love it!

Ingredients – serves 1

1 carrot

One tablespoon of houmous

How to

Wash and peel the carrots and chop them up into sticks. Pop into Tupperware or wrap in cling film. Put houmous into a little tub.

Apple and cinnamon cookies

My kids have been known to eat these for breakfast, lunch and dinner! And I can’t really complain because they are a pretty balanced snack. The cinnamon will really curb their sugar cravings too.

Ingredients

5 heaped tablespoons of rolled oats

1 tablespoon of chia seeds

Handful of raisins

1 tablespoon of baking power

1 tablespoon off cinnamon

4 tablespoons of plain wholemeal flour

2 tablespoons of coconut oil melted

1 egg

½ apple, finely diced

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

2 tablespoons of maple syrup

How to

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees celsius. In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients together really well – got your hands in to make sure it’s all evenly mixed. It will be a little sticky but that’s ok – if it’s too sticky to handle, add a little more wholemeal flour. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Form the mixture into 7-8 small balls and flatten into cookies once they are on the baking tray. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until browned.

Personally, we can’t wait to try some of the above healthy lunchbox ideas for kids in the upcoming weeks. Which of the above do you think your kids would be happy to see in their lunchbox?

About Jemma Thomas

health hub sessions

Jemma Thomas is a Personal Trainer and owner of Jemma’s Health Hub, an online fitness community for women established in 2015. She is Mum to two lively boys – Jude, 8, and Buddy, 4.

Membership to Jemma’s Health Hub is £29 per month and for that you receive three or four workouts a week taking place on Facebook live at 6.30am. (Monday – leg day, Wednesday – arm day, Friday – cardio day, and kettlebells thrown in for good measure!). However, if you can’t make the 6.30am wake up call, you can log in and do it when it suits you.

You also receive a downloadable ‘How To’ guide including over 35 wholesome recipes to try out, as well as a downloadable ‘tick chart’ for you to print up every 4 weeks and stick to the fridge so you can see your progress. But, most importantly, it gives you an amazing support network and an instructor who will be there for you, helping you feel supported and mentally stronger as time goes on.

For more information visit www.jemmashealthhub.com and follow Gemma on Instagram @jemmas_health_hub.

12 comments

  1. Ok, but honestly, I may just make some extras for myself! These recipes are pretty good and look yummy! Staying healthy is so important, especially when your kids- or in my case the niece and nephews- are just full of energy, so training virtually is not a bad idea at all!

  2. There are some great lunchbox ideas here. I also like that there are healthy options for kids too. Apple and cinnamon cookies sound good for me!

  3. Peanut butter and jam is a great one, I will always love that. So simple yet perfect, every time.

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