This blog ‘9 ways to bring your healthy lunchbox to the next level’ is a collaboration between Bambino Love and Little Peeps Eats.
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut with packing lunchboxes, and choosing pre-packaged items that are convenient to pack. Unfortunately many pre-packaged items are high in salt, sugar, and other nasties, making them not always a fabulous option. Whilst there is nothing wrong with taking a shortcut once in a while, the good news is there are some simple healthy lunchbox swaps you can make to help your little peep reach their daily nutritional requirements.
I’d like to share with you some simple ideas and switches you can make to help your little peep meet their daily nutritional requirements.
9 ways to bring your healthy lunchbox to the next level
1. Invest in a good quality Bento Box
Having a good quality Bento Box is a must. A healthy lunchbox should always contain a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables, and a Bento Box makes this very easy. It’s a fab option for fussy eaters that don’t like their foods to touch. We just love our OmieBox! It’s great quality and provides the option of sending both cool and hot foods to school.
2. Switch store bought LCMs for home made
It’s easier than you think. Did you know the store bought variety have over 13 ingredients and seven of them are sugar? Access our favourite recipe here.
3. Switch store bought muesli bars for Cacao Nib Muesli Bars
Have you looked at the nutritional panel of a box of supermarket muesli bars? Most varieties aren’t a great option. I use a Cacao Nib Muesli Bar make-at-home mix, and the process couldn’t be easier. You can be assured it’s all organic, with no nasties, so a great option for a healthy lunchbox.
4. Switch packets of chips / crackers for Sour Cream & Chives Crackers
I find the biggest issue with most store bought varieties of chips and crackers is the high levels of salt/sodium. Try making your own Sour Cream & Chives Crackers as a tasty alternative. Tip: These are delicious served up on a nibblies platter with some cheese for all to enjoy!)
5. Switch juice poppers for fruit smoothies
Image: Kebbie’s Diaper Bag
Juice poppers typically contain preservatives, additives, flavours, colours or added sugar. Water is always the healthiest drink to pack with your lunchbox, but if your kids really love their juice, a fruit smoothie is a fabulous option to pack as well. What I love about making smoothies is you can add lots of goodness to them, as well as the fruit! Think chia seeds, baby spinach, the list is endless. Here are some of our favourite smoothie recipes, and I highly recommend the Squeasy Snacker to pack it in!
6. Switch packets of sultanas for Bliss Balls
There’s nothing wrong with sultanas (provided you don’t go too overboard in quantity due to sugar content). However, if your little peep loves dried fruit you may wish to try making them Bliss Balls! What I like about Bliss Balls is they allow you to include some added goodness in there too. Our favourite recipe contains chia! The great thing about chia is it is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, antioxidants iron, calcium and protein! Make your own Apricot, Chia and Coconut Bliss Balls from this recipe.
7. Switch butter for avocado on sandwiches
Butter is high in saturated fat, which if over consumed can lead to high cholesterol and create blockages in our arteries. Avocado is still high in fat, however it is ‘unsaturated’ fat, which is a source of energy and vitamins.
Tip: a little squeeze of lemon will help to stop it from browning.
8. Switch sandwiches for more nutritious alternatives
Image: Goodie Goodie Lunchbox
There will always be a place for the humble vegemite sandwich in my house. It is quick, easy, and the boys love it. It doesn’t contain a whole lot of nutritional goodness though! So whilst we do enjoy a simple sandwich from time to time, I generally try to pack other tasty, nutritious lunch options. Some ideas:
- Cheesy vegetable muffins
- Green Eggs & Ham
- Fried Rice
- Soup, such as Pumpkin Soup
- Mini Wholemeal Pizza
Are you looking at the Fried Rice and Pumpkin Soup and wondering how on earth you are going to keep these items warm in a lunchbox? This is where the OmieBox comes in… with its integrated vacuum insulated bowl, it makes it easy to pack hot foods so they don’t get cold by lunchtime.
9. Switch packaged cakes and muffins, for home made
Say no to excess sugar and preservatives and make your own! Try making Wholemeal Banana and Apple muffins which is simple to make, freezes brilliantly, and full of goodness!
Rachel Cassidy is the author of this article and the founder of Little Peeps Eats. She is a passionate food blogger and brand ambassador, but her most important job is being a mum! Little Peeps Eats helps families take the stress out of mealtimes by providing healthy, kid approved recipes, as well as fussy eating tips and tricks. Their website hosts a directory of nutritionists, resources and mealtime products to ensure that you have everything you need at your fingertips when it comes to feeding your family.