Packing a healthy (I mean really healthy) lunchbox


Litter-free lunchbox helping the environment and stainless steel bottle, ‘cheetah’ banana (to engage master ‘Africa’ 3) and healthy lunch helping the boys grow and learn.

How many hours do you spend packing lunches?  Yes it takes a lot of time but try to think of it as a worthy exercise in feeding your child wonderful nutrition for their growth and development!  Master 3 and 1 are gluten and dairy free and with no nuts at daycare, we are definitely restricted but this also encourages some healthy eating.  We also avoid all preservatives and are starting to turn to organic everything to avoid more health issues – see below for links to more information.  The more you look into what preservatives, pesticides and chemicals are doing to us, the more you start wondering about what are we really putting into our bodies… 😦

Oh and not to mention avoiding sugar and salt as much as possible!  Yes I spend some time in the kitchen but it feels good to know we are avoiding a lot of health and development issues by avoiding preservatives, sugar, salt and the boys’ allergens.

We use a ‘Nude food’ lunchbox which has enough compartments and containers to avoid any packages/cling wrap.  It also saves money and sugar/salt by not buying any pre-packaged items and buying in bulk (such as sultanas, seeds, yoghurt when we used to buy it).

Here are a few of our ideas.  Please add your own healthy ideas to this post too 🙂


  • Plain Sakata rice crackers (no preservatives or MSG) or rice/corn cruskits with dip such as homemade hummous/beetroot hummous or homemade refried beans – fry garlic and then blend with tin of red kidney beans, cumin and oregano.  You can of course use other crackers if not GF.  Just be careful of numbers and ‘flavours’.
  • Rice/corn thins with spread such as avocado or dip.  Master 1 is happy when they go soft but otherwise I break into pieces for Master 3 to dip.
  • Roasted chickpeas – tin of chickpeas (preferably low/no salt), rinsed, put straight onto a baking tray.  Bake 40mins at 200degrees celsius.  Longer if you prefer more crunch.
  • Homemade baked beans – tin of cannelini beans rinsed.  Add to saucepan with 1/3 tin of tomatoes plus some herbs.  Simmer on medium heat until there is just enough sauce and the beans have softened (around 10mins).
  • Raw vege sticks – carrots, cucumber, green beans, capsicum.
  • Roasted vege sticks – we do more sweet potato over potato for better nutrition and low GI.  Also pumpkin roasted with cinnamon.
  • Frozen veges such as corn, peas, broad beans, carrots.
  • Boiled egg.
  • Cut up pear/apple or any other fruit in season.  And a banana.
  • I give the boys sultanas at home where I can brush their teeth a lot sooner.  They are little morsels of sugar (albeit not white sugar) that will sit on their teeth for the whole day at daycare.
  • Pumpkin seeds/pepitas, sunflower seeds.
  • Puffed rice/corn.
  • Yoghurt.  Bornhoffen plain yoghurt is fantastic without the sugar and thickeners that exist in many others, including ‘baby’ yoghurts.  It’s also full fat.  Kids love the taste!!  And don’t forget you can add texture for variety such as dessicated coconut (organic is the only type without preservatives..), frozen blueberries (start looking for organic frozen), crushed biscuit or cinnamon.
  • Cut up cheese.  Cutting your own cubes saves money and is healthier than the kids’ cheese sticks or pre-cut cubes.


  • Sandwich with spreads such as avocado, hummous, refried beans, mashed roast pumpkin or cottage cheese if you can do dairy (avoid homebrand with preservatives).
  • We avoid vegemite/mighty mite (GF option) due to ‘yeast extract’ actually being MSG… 😦 And also any ham/deli meats as these also have the nasty preservatives 😦  Oh and butter or coconut oil to avoid the processed margarines and transfats in them (including nuttelex) 😦
  • Leftovers are also another good option.

Pair this with a drink (we use stainless steel bottles as any plastic is proving to be not so good for health) and a ‘cheetah’ banana and done.!

Some suggested facebook pages to follow and learn more about really eating healthily:

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About heidelightful

Hello friend! I am a paediatric speech pathologist and health coach. My vision is to create a world where parents can understand the real link between diet and their child's health and behaviour, and know how to create true health for their family. My two young, wonderful and sensitive sons both have food intolerances and have also taught me about my own, that I have never known about until now! Topics I have looked into for my own family's health and also from my role as a speech pathologist with children with picky eating are food intolerances, fussy eaters, creating healthy eaters and eating to prevent and ‘cure’ childhood issues such as ADHD, autism, eczema/skin issues, trouble sleeping, low immunity, frequent snot/ear infections and bedwetting, to name a few. I write many posts coming from being an exhausted mum trying to keep up with fussy boys who can only eat certain foods and also as a professional who has worked with other children with similar issues. I live on the Sunshine Coast in Australia with my husband and two boys and was previously an exchange student in Brazil! I hope to inspire you to help your child achieve their potential through health and well-being. Thanks for stopping by :) Heidi

2 thoughts on “Packing a healthy (I mean really healthy) lunchbox

  1. Thanks for the snack ideas! I am always looking for some more fun healthy foods for the kids. I’ve roasted chickpeas a fair few times and the munchkins love them! (Me too actually). I’d love to get a few more recipes off you 🙂

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