16 ideas for lunchboxes to keep kids healthy and happy

The little ones will never be bored with these combinations

Struggling for inspiration on how to fill school lunchboxes? Pick an option or two from each section, then mix and match your way through the months ahead:

THE MAIN EVENT:

These savoury items are intended to form the central element of lunch and bring protein, carbs and vegetables. They’re also interesting to eat and easily varied day by day.

1) Swap your conventional sandwiches for spinneysFOOD Wraps and fill with bresaola, cream cheese and spinach or grated cheddar and mashed avo combos.
2) Chop up leftover jacket potato and serve with spinneysFOOD Tuna mixed with yogurty mayo, asparagus, spring onion, broccoli and dill (trust us on this one).
3) You’ll find something for every child’s taste within the range of ready-prepared salads and snacks available in our deli.
4) Top a slice of cold spinneysFOOD Pizza with salad ingredients and you’ll have a new spin on a lunchtime treat (the same idea works for tarts, quiche and pies).
5) Older children will relish the freedom of assembling their own cracker-based lunch – vary the toppings depending on preference.

SNACK ATTACKS:

Bolstering lunchboxes with a serving of fruit and veg is must. Ensure they don’t return home uneaten by making them as enjoyable to eat as possible...

1) Carrot, cucumber, broccoli, asparagus and celery look more appealing sliced into dippable sticks – add a little pot of cream cheese or hummus for top marks.
2) ClemenGold mandarins are spot on: sweet, juicy and with hardly any seeds. And while they are easy to peel, you could always start the process off yourself.
3) With Cotton Candy grapes the clue’s in the name. Their super-sweet flavour makes them a hit with little lunchers (and adults too, for that matter).
4) While figs might not seem like an obvious choice for kids, it’s worth encouraging young ones to try as many different types of fruit as possible.
5) A hard-boiled egg is a top-quality source of protein. To make it a welcome lunchbox addition, boil for 10 minutes and shock in cold water (this can be done ahead).

LITTLE SWEETIES:

It doesn’t need to be every day, but a sweet element provides an incentive for polishing off the savoury items first.

1) Popping an Oreo mini pack into a lunchbox on a Thursday will have your little ones grinning and excited about the weekend ahead.
2) The spinneysFOOD Raisins and Mango Snippets packs were essentially designed with kids in mind – no fuss at all to eat and the perfect size for a snack.
3) These roll-ups (or YoYos) may look and taste like sweeties, but they’re made from pure fruit with absolutely nothing else added.
4) These bite-sized Barni biscuit bites will always raise a smile and are free from artificial colours and preservatives too.
5) Chewy, easy-to-eat dates provide natural sweetness, a boost of energy and a whole host of health benefits (that will please parents more than kids).
6) Quaker cookies are made with wholegrain oats, meaning they provide iron, fibre and calcium in treat form.

Find out more about lunchbox essentials with advice from Freda Molamphy, Spinneys’ nutritional expert. Have a question? #AskSpinneys on social media – we’re happy to help!