+ Well Nourished | Packing Healthy School Lunches (for new Kindi and Pre-Primary mums)

Packing Healthy School Lunches (for new Kindi and Pre-Primary mums)

So the time has come and your baby is off to kindi or prep. I understand this is a daunting time for both of you, so I thought I’d share some tips for tackling the world of school lunches and supporting your child to eat independently.

1. Choose and appropriate lunch box
Often your kindi or schools policy will dictate the types of containers and how you pack their snack and lunch. I know when my kids were at kindi, the morning tea and lunch had to be supplied in separate containers and the kids were given them at the designated break.

Even if they are being watched over at kindi, it is really important to support and encourage them to be able to eat independently at this stage or you may run into strife when they do go to school and have to fend for themselves. So make sure you only supply them with containers they can open easily themselves (even if there is a teacher there who will do it for them, they won’t be there come school).

Whether you choose a bento style lunchbox or provide food in separate containers is entirely up to you and what works best for your child. Personally, we have used both but found bentos worked best (my kids used to forget they had food left in other containers so there was a lot of waste). Since changing to one big bento, they have never come home with uneaten food (or lost a lunchbox), plus I find it easier to wash up.

2. Have a trial run
Start packing them food in their lunchbox before school starts or on weekends, that way you can iron out any issues and determine the sorts of things they do and do not like packed.

Make sure the food is easy for them to handle and also discuss with them the best order to eat the food (i.e.; cut fruit first so it doesn’t spoil). Also never pack a new food in their lunchbox – make sure they definitely like it before you do include it.

3. Get them involved
Kids that are even a little involved in making or packing their own, are way more likely to eat all their lunch. It can be as simple as asking them to place food you’ve prepared into their lunchbox (with lots of praise for how well they’ve packed their own lunch).

4. Communicate 
Make sure you talk to them and ask them what (healthy food) they want to have in their lunchbox. Give them choices (but not too many), all kids like to feel a little in control. If they bring food home at the end of the day ask them why. If it was to much, then you know to pack less food. What ever the issue, you need to understand what it is to deal with it.

Once I had determined what and how much food to pack my kids, I also set my expectations that they eat what they are given. I know this may sound a little old fashioned, but as a family we have rules and boundaries around food (like they need to ask to leave the table). This also applies to them being required to eat all of the beautiful food I pack for them at lunchtime.  They understand and respect that rule and rarely bring food home untouched.

4. Get teachers onboard
When they are little, it’s also great to have the teachers support in encouraging healthy eating habits. My kids were always really thrilled when a teacher commented on how delicious their lunch looked. So if you child is reluctant to eat their lunch, it’s a good idea to word up their teacher for extra support.

So that’s about it. I hope this helps all the new school mums feel on top of packing lunch each day (you only have to pack about 3,000 lunch boxes per child)!! Of course for loads of ideas (and all the inspiration you are ever going to need) to make lunch as nourishing and delicious as it can be, check out my bible of healthy lunch boxes “The Well Nourished Lunchbox.”

Do you have any questions or can you add any extra snippets of advice for new school mums? If so I’d love you to post a comment below. Some of the best discussions occur in the comments.

All of the content here at Well Nourished is FREE to assist you to be the healthiest you can be.  But you can help me to build a healthier world, please  Share this post with a friend Share this post with a friend .

You can also support my work by purchasing my ebook “Rise and Shine” – more details here or “The Well Nourished Lunchbox” – more details here.

Back to School

  • Brigitte James

    You’re the best Georgia! This is exactly what I needed … Now to STILL find the right drinking bottle … :0) It might end up being from my local health food store and hopefully they’re true to what they are – a HEALTH food store. :0)

    • Welcome Brigette, you’ll be fine once your up and running, Good luck G x

    • cath

      I LOVE the contigo autoseal drink bottles. no more water spills at the bottom of schoolbags, kinderbags and handbags for me.

      • Great tip, thanks G x

      • Brigitte James

        Thanks Cath. I just bought one from Woolworths (not a Contigo) but I’ll add the Contigo to my list to seek out for my next bottle for her. They look great. I just went onto the website. Yes!

Kind words…

“I downloaded your ebooks after hearing you speak at the Health and Wellness Summit in Melbourne. Love them, life changing… Don’t stop! Thank you for getting the whole food message out there, I certainly heard it.” Melanie

“I love your ebooks, I have all three of them now and they are now my only go to receipe books. They are simple, wholesome and taste great. THANK YOU!!! I have spent alot of money on courses about healthy eating and recipe books but your books have covered it all and my little man enjoys the snacks etc. Wish I would have found you earlier “. Brooke

“I just want to say a huge thank you for your amazing website and information. I’ve never liked cooking and never got excited by my ‘healthy’ cooking. My husband is even worse and if he could, he would just eat beacon and eggs every morning and steak every night. He hardly ate any veggies. Since I found your website I have gone through almost every recipe. My husband is loving every meal as well – even meat free Monday, and he’s taking left-overs to work for lunch (honestly, who thought that could be so hard?!)” Rose

“You have truly helped me and my family to lead a healthier lifestyle. I’ve been referring to your page every few days, very inspiring, so thank you!” Emily

“Thank you very much for your awesome website & facebook page posts, you have motivated & inspired me heaps!” Fiona

“Just discovered your site 3 weeks ago, its been a great help with kids lunches for back to school, thanks so much!” Ange

“What a fantastic blog filled with so many great recipes and information!” Carla

“I just wanted to let you know that you have absolutely inspired me to a better way of eating, I’ve been making my shopping lists based on recipes you’ve shared and am educating my kids with the reasons behind different foods and why they are good etc! This page has become my little bible hehe! Thank you so much for all the detail you give. It’s absolutely wonderful!” Sky

FREE Newsletter

Register to receive:

  • FREE Chocolate Ebook
  • Weekly whole food recipes
  • Practical health and nutrition tips
  • Subscribers only special offers

Sign up for our Newsletter

* indicates required