Expert tips on how to make the best healthy lunch boxes for kids. 

It’s can be a real challenge to know exactly what’s good for our kids, and which types of food we should send them with to school for lunch every day. At The Village, we’re keen to make shopping for healthy food as easy as possible, so we asked local dietician Courtney Bates to recommend some great healthy lunch boxes, and give her five top tips to keep kids healthy and happy.

Words: Courtney Bates, Accredited Practising Dietitian, Healthy Bods Nutrition

With my five top tips for building a healthy lunch box and five-day menu, you can be sure you’re fuelling your kids correctly:

  1. Include low-GI carbohydrates, such as wholegrain bread, rolls and wraps for sustained energy release.
  2. Make sure you include a protein such as lean meat, boiled egg, peanut butter (not allowed if your school is a nut-free zone) or tinned tuna.
  3. Use avocado as a spread instead of butter or margarine.
  4. Use reduced-fat dairy foods or fruit as snacks.
  5. Make nutritious food fun – get some inspiration in the five-day healthy lunch box menu below.

Schoolchildren sitting at table eating lunch

Day 1
  • Goodness Superfoods barley wraps (available at Woolworths) with avocado, cucumber and cheese
  • Veggie ‘dippers’ (carrot, celery and snow peas) with a small container of hummus (try Romeo’s SUPA IGA)
  • Naturally Nood muesli bar
  • Whole Kids Frooshie: fruits and vegetables disguised as a squeezable smoothie… a great one for the fussy ones who won’t eat their fruit and veg!
Day 2
  • Low-GI white bread (available at Baker’s Delight) with avocado, boiled egg and lettuce
  • Apple with Mayver’s cacao super spread (kids will love its chocolate-y taste!)
  • Babybel mini cheese
  • Small packet Sunbites Grainwaves chips
Day 3
  • Wholegrain bread roll with vegemite
  • ‘Smiley eggs’ – draw a smiley face on boiled eggs
  • Frozen Chobani Grab’n’go Pouch yoghurt
  • Healthy ‘banana split’ with a banana sliced in half and spread with Mayver’s peanut butter
Day 4
  • Cold pasta salad with cherry tomatoes and tin tuna
  • Small container of fresh strawberries and blueberries (in season now at Harris Farm Markets)
  • Babybel mini cheese
  • ‘Ants on a log’– celery sticks spread with hummus and topped with sultanas
Day 5
  • Mountain Bread wrap with avocado and bbq chicken (skin removed)
  • Kiwi fruit halved, with a spoon
  • Small packet Cobs Popcorn
  • Frozen CalciYum Squeezie yoghurt

Woolworths and Harris Farm Markets both have a great initiative where they offer free fruit for kids to eat while you shop. This is a great way to get kids excited about fruit and keep them happy while you’re doing the groceries! Take it a step further, and why not take the kids shopping and let them choose their own fruits and vegetables? Research shows kids are more inclined to eat fruits and vegetables if they are involved in the selection or preparation, too.
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Courtney Bates, Accredited Practising Dietitian, Healthy Bods Nutrition. For consultations or enquiries visit healthybodsnutrition.com.au, or connect with Courtney on Instagram: @courtneyb_apd

Find fresh and healthy food for kids at St Ives Shopping Village.

The Village has a whole range of fresh food retailers ready to help supply you with everything you need for your kids’ healthy lunches. If you’re thinking about other meals in the day, you could also try Fare Game for poultry and salads, Seafood @ St Ives for fresh fish, and Sutcliffe Meats and Prime Quality Meats for steak, pork, skewers and a range of other meats.

Bakers Delight Level 2, shop 120, 9983 1711
Woolworths, Level 1, shop 51–52, 9308 7361
Harris Farm Markets, Level 1, Shop 33-37, 9440 8717
Fare Game, Level 2, shop 119, 9144 2024
Seafood @ St Ives, Level 2, shop 116, 9144 4001
Sutcliffe Meats, Level 1, shop 2, 9144 6912
Prime Quality Meats, Level 2, shop 111, 9440 2533