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Packing a healthier lunch box

black bean burrito lunch box

How to make a nutritionally approved lunch box

Packing a lunch box with healthier, tasty food – that actually gets eaten – is every parent’s mission. To take the guesswork out of it, take a look at our Fresh Food Kids recipes for plenty of tried-and-tested nutritionally approved ideas.

We work with our team of nutritionists to develop a range of delicious lunch-box recipe ideas, ensuring they contain a variety of foods from the five food groups. Here’s a guide to packing a healthier lunch box.*

Sushi lunch box


Vegetables (2-3 serves)

Aiming to include two to three serves of vegetables in your child’s lunch box is not as hard as it seems. You can get one serve just by including a medium-sized tomato or one cup of baby spinach.

This cricket wicket tuna & cheese sandwich with snacks already contains two serves of veggies. To boost the amount of veggies in your child’s lunch box, try adding extra veggies into sandwiches, wraps and sushi. You can also transform veggies into fun snacks, such as these crispy carrot ribbons or change the texture entirely by making dips.

Tortilla egg cups


Protein (1-2 serves)

Meat, fish and dairy foods like milk, cheese and yoghurt all contain protein, but so do tofu, lentils and beans. One serving of protein foods is equivalent to two hard-boiled eggs, one cup (150g) cooked or canned legumes, two slices (40g) cheese or one cup of milk.

For variety, you can even spread protein serves across multiple food items, such as this smashed egg and veggie wrap served with cheese as a snack.

Tuna and cheese pasta bowl


Whole grains (1-2 serves)

One serve of whole grains is equivalent to a slice of whole grain or wholemeal bread, 30g oats, or ½ cup cooked wholemeal pasta or brown rice.

This tuna and cheese pasta bowl has one serve of whole grains and is a great option to pack into lunch boxes. To better understand what your kids prefer, include different types of whole grains in their lunch boxes and ask for feedback. For example, alternate between including whole grain pasta, couscous, crackers, bread and wraps, brown rice, and other options like quinoa.

Pork katsu bento box


Fruit (1 serve)

Most kids love fruit because of its sweetness, making it easy to meet the recommended serve. One serving is equivalent to a medium-sized piece of fresh fruit, such as an apple, banana or orange, or one cup of fresh berries or canned fruit in juice.

To keep things interesting, offer fresh fruit to your kids in a variety of ways. For example, instead of packing a whole banana, include chopped apples or peeled orange segments. To broaden your child’s palate, include a variety of fresh fruits from all the colours of the rainbow.

For more nutritionally approved lunch box recipe ideas, click here.

Our fun and interactive Woolworths Fresh Food Kids Discovery Tours are back, with a digital twist. The program helps kids learn all about where fresh food comes from, exploring the wonderful world of fruit & veg, from the comfort of their own classroom.

*The serve size recommendations are a guide not a hard and fast rule. Head to the Eat for Health website for more information about recommended serve sizes and serves per day.

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