Comments 13

Back to school: simple lunch box ideas

The summer has been flying by and all too soon (or not, for us, parents!) the kids will be back to school.

I have been very busy here ordering things for Emma returning to school as a big P2: her school shoes, the name labels and loads of pretty stationery.

We will be heading to Tesco as soon as we arrive for new shirts, Emma loves their embroidered collar ones and her PE shoes. Their are all good quality and very good value for money, too.

One thing I will not be worrying about this year, compared to last year, when she was only starting school, are her packed lunches.

Last year, with a bit of creativity, a few cheap shape cutters and loads of seasonal props, we finally managed to overcome our fear of eating sandwiches and just in time for school.

These very simple changes were so very successful that her lunch box came home empty every day, without fail, and I never worried that my little girl would go hungry while in school!

Emma likes to have the same things every day in her lunch box: cheese, a ham or cheese sandwich, fruit and a little sweet.

Saying that, I did manage to keep her lunches varied by adding little touches which I will tell you all about it here.

Emma loves her ham to have a strong taste. We buy ours from either Sainsbury’s or Tesco’s, she simply adores their German ham sliced versions.

The secret for us has been to use pretty shape cutters we bought from EatsAmazing, which provide a small child with exactly the amount of food they need in a lunch sandwich while making them look all cute and easy to hold.

She likes to have cheese or yoghurt in her lunch box so I always give her a choice of Babybels, string cheese or “long cheese”, as we call it, and an easy to open yoghurt, as she likes to feel independent and not depend on her teacher for opening things.

Her school has been very good from the very start and has encouraged us to give children a healthy packed lunch. Fruit has been in Emma’s lunch box from the very beginning and then we started adding a small sweet treat, when we realised that her friends all had one and I didn’t want her to feel left out.

The emphasis is on small here, not only for the sake of her dental health but also, to give her time to finish her lunch without hurrying! The children are usually given 15 to 20 minutes to have their lunch and I know that a lot of chat happens once the lunch bell rings so I do not want Emma to feel pressured to munch in a hurry and then end up with a sore tummy.

All this being said, here are some ideas for you to spruce up your little one’s lunch box:

– add seasonal touches and fruit (Halloween, Valentine’s Day or spring can all be good excuses)

11018326_10152577053531512_8436844091030439959_n– use your planned holidays trips as an opportunity to talk about new countries and add a bit of colour to the lunch box as well(here is Emma’s lunch box when we returned from France, great conversation opener for the lunch break;-)!

11084656_1431416933821618_811558821_n– prepare special birthday themed lunch boxes too with the things left over from the birthday party( can you tell which one was ours this year :-)?

10547443_10152190212151512_9206415561086608409_n 1907986_10152353132966512_3103806707743051010_nHope this post will help mothers of small children about the start school relax about lunch boxes. Give me a wee shout if you have found this helpful!

Disclaimer: this post has been written in collaboration with Thirst Pockets and will feature in their September, back to school newsletter. We were honoured to be able to offer our expertise in the matter.

This entry was posted in: Parenting


Mum of one beautiful girl on earth and one sweet baby boy in heaven. Daughter of a wonderful woman. Wife of a very entrepreneurial man.


  1. Some really great ideas and they certainly make her lunch box look very appealing. Think I will give the sandwich shapes a go when my little girls starts having her lunch at preschool in September. May I ask where you got the little picks that are in her fruit? My daughter gets herself in such a mess sometimes when eating fruit if I’ve cut it up and they seem a really good idea for us I try

  2. Really lovely lunch boxes, I’m going to get a bit more experimental come September as I tend to do the same things everyday x

  3. Some great ideas here. We have hot dinners at school but the kids love it when I cut their sandwiches into shapes or stamp pictures into their toast.

  4. karaguppy2015 says

    I have to cut sandwiches into shapes for mine – we have a butterfly and a jigsaw cutter. I am sure Eliza will want you making her lunch for now on though

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