Prepping for a week of lunches

Avoid the "what's for lunch?" hassle with our helpful food prep tips. In no time at all you'll be set for the week.

The healthy lunchbox famous four

The aim with every meal is to include the famous four: a green, a grain, an orange and a protein. This can mean green veggie sticks or a small salad, bread or crackers, carrots sticks, tomatoes or citrus fruit and some meat, fish, or eggs.

If those things sound like something your kids would balk at, you can try a tasty sarnie with ham and cheese, a fruit, and a treat instead. It’s not quite all four, but three out of four isn’t too shabby!

If you’re still not sure how receptive your little one will be to healthy foods, why not appeal to the “eat with your eyes” rule. If you can make their lunch look fun or interesting, they’ll gobble it up. For picky eaters, try a novelty lunch set or a cool lunchbox.

Next, try to make your child’s food as fun and colourful as you can. This could mean cutting a slice of cheese into a smiley face, making the sarnies into a fun shape, or drawing a design with jam or Nutella on a rice cake. 

Prepping for a week of lunches

Variety is the spice of life

While your little one may be okay with watching Frozen seven million times, she’ll lose interest if she has the same thing for lunch every day. Instead of one big sandwich or roll, how about dividing them between two of your kids and including some fruit and a treat to keep them filled up?

Invest in a bento box-style lunchbox with several dividers and you can include five or six small portions of food like a sandwich, fruit, cheese, or raisins—or if you’re short on time, try Dairylea Lunchables. If a mixed lunch sounds like a lot of work, remember that most of it can be prepared and refrigerated at the start of the week and then served out daily.

Sneak some fruit and veg in there

If your kids aren’t getting their five a day, or even one a day, think outside the box. The lunchbox, that is. Some kids will go to great lengths to avoid fruit and veg and will wiggle round the rules to swap their orange for chocolate biscuits.

Older kids are little devils for popping into the school tuck shop for sausage rolls and chocolate bars. If they won’t eat the fruit you pack, you can try smoothies or juices. If you have the time, you can buy a juicer and get them to help you make home-made smoothies.

If you want to go all-out and embrace a serious health-kick, you can sneak kale, spinach and even a superfood like spirulina into their juices. If that sounds a touch exotic, go with good old-fashioned bananas, strawberry, and milk—an old favourite.

Let the school know well in advance of any allergies or intolerances

Make sure you alert the school principal and class teacher to any allergies or dietary requirements your child may have.

Teachers often celebrate the last day of term or special occasions and events with sweets. Ask that no unsuitable treats are given out. As an alternative to sweets as a prize, ask that your child gets a special sticker. As a final precaution, get your little one a brightly coloured, unique lunchbox with their name very obviously written on it so they can’t mix it up with one of their friends.

While that might mean bypassing the popular lunchboxes, you’ll get peace of mind knowing she has a unique lunchbox—even if she has a sulk that her lunchbox doesn’t have Niall Horan’s face on it.

Stock up on all your school needs at Tesco

Whether you’re looking for cute stationary, a cool lunchbox, or the school essentials, we’ve got everything you need! If you follow any of our tips, let us know how it goes on Facebook or Twitter.