Now we’re back to school, it’s time to shake off that holiday brain and start thinking about inspiring wholesome snack ideas for the kids’ lunchboxes—sigh, yet again!
While it can be tempting to reach for those easy but not so nutritious pre-packaged items—aka sugar and salt hits—you know you can do better.
Luckily, we’ve got you covered with a selection of simple ideas for healthy snacks that are easy peasy to prepare and full of good nutrition. Not only that, we’re pretty sure kids will love them.
We’ve even got an exclusive recipe created by Larissa Takchi to elevate lunchtime rolls to a whole new level.
Read on to discover six ideas to keep hungry school tummies happily sated and some useful lunchbox tips to boot. You’re welcome.
1. Larissa’s Vietnamese Bahn Mi Rolls
With these fabulous bahn mi rolls singing with Vietnamese freshness, soggy sandwiches can be a thing of the past (which, let’s be honest, is where they truly belong).
We’re talking crispy cucumber, grated carrot and fresh mint, among other goodies, all served in a crusty long white roll from Shepherd’s Bakehouse. Vegemite sangas on white – stand down!
You can check out Larissa’s full recipe created exclusively for Castle Towers here.
2. Fruit Salad with a Twist
Image: Trang Doan, Pexels
What’s a lunch box without fruit? Fruit salad is an ideal school snack solution, packed with fibre and natural goodness, and often in its own edible packaging.
The key for kids is to keep mixing it up. There’s an entire world of fruit variety at Fresh World that changes with the season to keep the kids’ taste buds tingling.
Cherry tomatoes, raspberries or easy-to-peel mandarins are super simple additions, or chop up fruit into different sizes or shapes. Perhaps choose a colour a day—pink watermelon cubes with berries one day or green kiwi fruit with grapes the next or maybe go wild with an entire fruit salad rainbow.
For something a bit different, try dipping slices of banana into lemon juice then roasting in the oven (turn once when cooking) to make your own banana chips.
3. Go Nuts with Nuts
Nuts are a fabulous healthy snack packed with fibre, protein and energy, but first things first—be mindful of your school’s nut policies to protect children with allergies. Some schools have a blanket nut ban while others have allergy-awareness policies to minimise risk.
If allowed, nuts are a super easy lunch box choice and Nuts Galore is a nut lover’s paradise. Grab some walnut brain food for a midday kick start, cashews for an iron hit or pecans for a bit of extra calcium. For a super healthy choice, take your nuts raw without any extras.
If nuts are a no-go, Nuts Galore has a selection of dried veggies to stave off the munchies instead: spicy, cheesy, roasted or plain, the choice is yours. Or pack a protein punch with some chickpea snacks to mix it up.
4. Your Daily Bread – In Banana Form
Image: Shepherd’s Artisan Bakehouse
What’s better than freshly baked bread? How about freshly baked delicious banana bread!
All that fruity goodness packed into a bread that looks and tastes like a cake, and the kids have no idea.
Shepherd’s Artisan Bakehouse has a delicious gluten-free version, made with almond meal and coconut that ticks the boxes for the little ones in your lives with sensitive tummies. Dense and moist, everyone’s going to love this one.
5. Dip into Dips
Image: Nicholas Barbaros, Unsplash
Dips are the new black for lunch box treats—think hummus, avocado dips or yogurt tzatziki—oozing with flavours and possibilities.
If you don’t have the time to create your own, don’t despair. You can pick up freshly created ones from Jean Louis Joseph Deli to lighten your load and keep the kids happy.
Just add crackers or some carrot or celery sticks and you’re home and hosed. Otherwise, use the dips as spreads on sandwiches, wraps or on rice cakes as a nutritious alternative to butter.
6. In The Raw
Fruit and nut (if permitted) bars are a sure way of getting good things into kids without raising a sweat.
The no-nasties nut bar recipe by Gewürzhaus contains a hearty mixture of nuts and seeds, with a bit of coconut, maple syrup and Gewürzhaus Granola Spice tossed in for good measure.
Who’s hungry yet? That’ll have the kids pumping with clean energy and just happens to tick all the boxes for vegan friendly, dairy free and gluten free.
And to Finish
Now you’ve got your ingredients worked out, don’t forget a few lunchbox basics:
• consider a ‘bento box’ if you haven’t already, to separate items and avoid soggy messes
• get your kids to help prepare and pack their own lunches for extra buy-in
• include different textures and colours
• use seasonal produce (fruit and veg, we’re looking at you).
There! You’re sorted. All the best for the lunchbox months ahead!
(Header Image credit: Vanessa Loring, Pexels)