Therese Hodgkinson (Naturopath)

The lunch box.

It certainly can drain you of all enthusiasm for new ideas after years of packing lunches.

Thoughts of …where do I start, what do I add, how do I keep it interesting yet healthy? As a mum who has literally packed hundreds of lunch boxes over the years (& still packing) I understand, we have all been there.

So let’s turn that lunchbox frown upside down. Here are my tips.

The key to a  healthy lunch box is to provide a nutrient dense lunch which will give long lasting energy. This will improve:

  • ability to focus on tasks for better learning
  • reduce mood swings
  • assist behaviour &
  • improve overall health (including digestive & immune health)

Make sure you include the following in each packed lunch…

  • Fruit & Veg – high in antioxidants, fibre, vitamins & minerals
  • Protein – a good serve at both morning tea & lunch is very important (not to mention breakfast) – think eggs, meat, poultry, fish, dairy, legumes
  • Fibre – fruit, veg, legumes,
  • Healthy fats -olives & olive oil, oily fish, avocado, coconut, seeds


Try to broaden your children’s diets by regularly introducing new nutrient rich foods. This will help keep it interesting while improving their health. Presenting foods in new ways can help to make them more attractive e.g. adding raspberries to their yoghurt, crazy sandwich shapes, try wraps, a new cute patterned lunch wrapper (see below).

Serving veggies & salads in a jar can be a great way to make food more interesting & fun.

Now for ideas….

Cucumber sushi with salmon & avocado

Cut cucumber into 3cm thick discs, scoop seeds from middle of ring, pack centre with salmon (tinned) mixed with avocado to create pieces of “sushi”. Cucumber ring replaces rice. Keep cold.

School friendly trail mix (Nut Free)

Pepitas, sunflower seeds, yoghurt buttons, coconut chips & dried apricots (chopped). Adults can try dark chocolate drops & cranberries in place of yoghurt & apricots.

Coconut wraps with kidney beans, salsa, guacamole & salad

Garden salad with boiled eggs

Greek salad

Egg & lettuce sandwich on spelt bread

Last night’s left overs

Chocolate coconut yoghurt with raspberries

Celery sticks dipped in salsa

Capsicum strips & snow peas with guacamole

Carrot sticks with hummus

Paleo bars (without nuts)

Sultanas & cream cheese on kamut bread- my daughter loves this as a treat

Tub of olives & sweet baby tomatoes

Bundle of berries

Cut up a kiwi- kids love scooping the flesh out of a halved kiwi

Home made fruit salad

We love non-toxic containers & wrapping:         

berries in wax wraps

100% Cotton & Natural Beeswax Food Wrap

Healthy food also includes the container by which it is stored. We recommend:

  • Environmentally friendly lunch wraps made from beautiful fabrics waterproofed with beeswax.
  • Containers & lunchboxes made from nontoxic plastics (We recommend Neoflam)
  • Reusable BPA free drink bottles
  • Reusable BPA free plastic sandwich & snack bags  (We recommend Full Circle)

See our Natural Homewares section in store or online.