Kids Lunch Box

My son Oliver, 6 takes a lunchbox to school every day and like all parents, I want to provide him with a tasty, filling and importantly, healthy lunch to help fuel him throughout the day.

Here are 5 lunchbox ideas for each day of the school week that are quick, convenient, easy, healthy and low-cost too. For those with more time, I’ve included a couple of my favourite easy recipes for you to try out – great for your own lunchboxes too!

I’ve worked closely with nutritionist Claire Basely to make sure these meals give kids that nutritional balance – AND something they actually want to eat!

I hope it gives you some lunchbox inspiration so your kids can enjoy vibrant, delicious lunches. They also work well on day trips out and picnics, ensuring the kids stay full and content.



Tuna sandwich packed lunch box for kids

● Tuna, sweetcorn and mayo sandwich on wholemeal bread

● Hummus with carrot sticks

● Chopped apple and black grapes (top tip – to keep the apple from browning a little squeeze of lemon juice will help).

● Hartley’s No Added Sugar Strawberry Jelly Pot.

Nutrition fact: tuna is a great source of protein to help little bones and muscle to grow.

Nutritious Lunch Box

Kids fruit

Tuna on brown bread

Hoummus and carrot

chopped fruit in a packed lunch

Hartley’s No Added Sugar Strawberry Jelly Pot.


Mediterranean Themed Lunch Box


● Pitta bread ‘pizzas’ spread with tomato puree and sprinkled with cheddar cheese and 1-2 sliced olives, grilled the night before and cut into wedges. You can alternate toppings adding chicken, ham, sweetcorn etc. I used to make these with my brother as a kid and remember the fun we had creating our own personalised pitta pizzas. I like to toast them lightly first before putting under the grill for a few minutes until the cheese melts.

● Red and yellow peppers.

● Chopped and de-seeded watermelon.

● Greek yoghurt with a drizzle of honey.

Nutrition fact: peppers are a source of vitamin C which can help support little ones’ immune systems.

Pitta Pizza

Kids Lunch Box - nutritious

olive and cheese pizza

chopped veg and fruit


kids pizza for lunchboxes


fruit and vegetables for kids

Greek yoghurt with a drizzle of honey


Brown pasta salad school lunch

● Brown pasta salad with chopped tomato and olive oil.

● A boiled egg.

● Sliced cherries.

● Hartley’s No Added Sugar Blackcurrant Jelly Pot

Nutrition fact: wholegrain foods like brown pasta are rich in fibre and some of the B vitamins like thiamine and vitamin B6 – these help to release energy from food.

school lunch box

appetising school lunch

Tasty Kids Lunch

Hard Boiled Eggs

brown pasta salad

blackcurrent Hartley's Jelly Pot

boiled egg



Gluten Free Lunch Box

● Sliced chicken, a little mayo and lettuce corn tortillas.

● Homemade coleslaw (I make mine with Greek yoghurt and mayo and the kids love it. Recipe HERE).

● Homemade gluten-free oat and coconut cookies (recipe here: quick- and-simple- oat-and- coconut-cookies/) but I omitted seeds in this one as my kids prefer them without!

● Chopped strawberries.

● Plain yoghurt with fresh fruit e.g. the blueberries left overnight in yoghurt sweeten and turn it purple without any added sugar.

Nutrition fact: oats are a good source of manganese which can help little ones to release the energy from the food they eat.

Sliced chicken, a little mayo and lettuce corn tortillas.

mexican inspired kids lunches

chicken tacos for kids

Homemade colslaw

Oat Cookie

Greek yoghurt and strawberries


Children's Packed Lunch Ideas

● A lentil and bean salad with sweetcorn and ham.

● Buttered rye crackers and slice of Edam cheese

● A banana.

● Sliced cucumbers.

● Hartley’s No Added Sugar Apple Jelly Pot.

Nutrition fact: cheese is a good source of calcium which helps to keep little bones growing properly.

tasty school lunches for kids

A lentil and bean salad with sweetcorn and ham.

cheese and ryvita

Hartley's No Added Sugar Apple Jelly Pot.


1. Get your kids involved with creating their lunch boxes from the shopping stage, asking them which ingredients and products they want for the week ahead.

2. Prepare what you can the night before. I like to pack the lunchbox and keep it in the fridge as I know the mornings can be a rush. Perishable items such as dairy products must be kept cool and consumed within 4 hours of preparation. Always cool these in the fridge overnight before adding to the lunchbox.

3. Place an ice pack in the lunch box to keep food cold and fresh. Not all schools have fridges for lunch boxes.

4. Always ensure children are hydrated with water and give them a full water bottle each day and a carton of semi-skimmed milk too.

5. Shop seasonally when it comes to fruit and veg, for instance, soft fruit like strawberries in the spring and summer and satsumas and fresh dates (de-stoned) in winter.

6. Keep bread in the fridge to keep it fresh for longer.

7. Vary the starchy carbohydrates you offer opting for wholegrain bread, pitta, crackers, wheat-free options, rice cakes, tortillas, pasta, potato or rice salads and savoury muffins.

8. Always chop and de-seed items that could be a choking hazard including grapes, olives, apples etc.

9. Watch high-sugar content snacks like raisins and chocolate bars.

10. Don’t forget a napkin or wet wipe to keep those hands clean!

This is a collaborative post commissioned by Hartley’s.

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29 Responses

  1. Ebabee

    Great ideas here. A isn’t allowed to take lunch (has to eat school lunch) but I do send a snack and always looking for ideas for that. Love the pitta pizza idea – shall definitely be trying that.

  2. Alison (MadHouseMum)

    There are some great ideas here. It’s always good to get inspiration, as there is a tendency to get stuck in a rut with lunchboxes. Alison x #brilliantblogposts

  3. John Adams

    Great suggestions. My daughter might revert to packed lunches in the new term and if so, I may be making use of this post! So important to get the balance correct.

  4. Kim

    Great ideas! I find it so challenging to find new ideas, let alone nutritious ones! #brillblogposts

  5. becca farrelly

    Lovely lunch ideas! I’m always looking for new things for Mia as she gets bored easily of things I do regularly! Shes great at eating fruit and veg so we focus on those for lunch but shes not keen on jelly as a texture just yet so we are working our way to that! I also think its really important, like you say, to get kids involved in cooking and putting meals together as it means they are learning about good food practice early on 🙂


  6. Kate Orson

    These suggestions look great. My daughter just started Kindergarten in Switzerland and although it’s only mornings they have a snack time, which is good for her as she hates mornings, and struggles with breakfast! I’m definitely going to try some of these out thank you. #brilliantblogposts

    • Honest Mum

      Oh wonderful, so glad you’ve found this post useful. I didn’t realise you are in Switzerland, my Dad used to have a place there, just stunning part of the world x

  7. Jacqui Paterson (@Jax2000)

    I always struggle with lunchbox inspiration but you’ve given me some really great ideas. I used to give the girls jelly pots years ago, but had totally forgotten about them. Ta for that, chuck! 😉 x

  8. teacuptoria

    Wow Vicki these look amazing, will you make my lunch?! I love Hartley’s jelly pots and I’ve not thought about using them in lunch boxes. Great idea. #brillblogposts xx

  9. Sunita

    What a nice selection! Do they get to finish all
    of their healthy treats? I’m a big fan of pitta pizzas for the girls. I also get them to help make them with me. Even though my girls aren’t at school yet, these are great ideas for Summertime dinners and picnics. #brillblogposts

    • Honest Mum

      Yes they would work perfectly for summer dinners and picnics too and pitta pizzas are fab, I used to eat them as a kid myself. Thanks for your comment x

  10. Kat

    Great ideas! B eats quite a few of these. In fact, his diet is more nutritionally balanced than mine at the moment! Oops. But, there’s lots of great pinnable inspiration here! We don’t really give him sugar, except fruit and a bit of honey, so I would definitely be interested in the no added sugar jelly. I wonder if they have a gelatine free one for me! :o) xx

  11. Al

    Jeez! Wish my mum made me pack lunches like that when I was a kid! And jelly is always a winner in my eyes. ??

  12. Sharmin de Vries

    Love all those lunch box suggestions. Really thinking I should be creating some of these for myself as well 🙂 Also, think it’s a great idea to involve the kids at the planning stage, if they get more involved in choosing the ingredients, they will be much more likely to eat it. Great post and vlog! xxx

    • Honest Mum

      Thanks lovely and you are so right, I often take a packed lunch with me on days out for me too, so glad this has inspired you 🙂

  13. Kat | Beau Twins

    Oh wow. What fabulous ideas. Most definitely bookmarking this and Pinteresting on my board. Love the pitta pizzas. My girls love Mediterranean food. They also LOVE jelly. Love the bright yellow boxes. Xxx


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