Healthy lunchbox ideas

Remember that Toddlers like to nibble on small quantities of food, so try to avoid overwhelming their senses with a tightly packed lunchbox containing giant portions!

Try to add variety, and too avoid wastage, take into account birthday rings and cake and candy days at school.


Invest in a variety of small plastic containers and make the effort to prepare little tubs of various finger food the night before. Some children like to have their various food groups separated, and won’t touch a foodstuff if it has been “tainted” by something else in the lunchbox! Most toddlers balk at the sight of a whole fruit in their lunchbox, but will eat it if is cut up into little pieces.

In summer, freeze water or diluted 100 % pure fruit juice in a plastic bottle, the night before, so that by the time your little one drinks it the following day, it is still cold and refreshing.


Try including a variety of the following:

  • Small fingers of raw vegetables such as brocholli, sugar snap peas, baby marrow, cucumber, and carrot
  • Chopped up seasonal raw fruit, or a small bunch of grapes
  • Cooked corn on the cob
  • Boiled egg
  • Chopped up cooked, left over roast meat, shnitzel, sausages, lean bacon or chicken
  • A few pieces of cold roast or baked potato
  • A small tub of cooked pasta with a drizzle of salad dressing
  • Chopped biltong
  • Wholewheat, rice or rye crackers
  • Peanut butter (or any other filling except jam) sandwiches cut into small squares or triangles
  • Grated or sliced mozzarella cheese
  • Full cream, uncoloured cheese wedges
  • Cashew nuts, sunflower seeds and raisins
  • Sugar and preservative free fruit bar
  • Small yogurt


Every now and then “treats”:

  • Small, bite sized chocolate bar
  • Handful of crisps or popcorn
  • Two jelly babies, or marshmallows


Things to avoid at all costs:

  • Foodstuffs that your child is allergic to
  • Stimulants (food or drinks that may contain caffeine)
  • Food additives, preservatives and colourants (such as MSG, Tartrazine, sodium benzoate and sulphates)


Three main meals and 3 significant snacks are important in every child’s day (quantity may vary from child to child, so don’t panic if your child is a small eater).  This provides regular fuel for their metabolism and prevents low blood sugar and unhealthy snacking.  Keep lunchboxes fun and without stress. Good healthy fresh and seasonal food, good tap water, exercise, sunshine and lots of laughter will be a good start in helping your child get the best out of life.


Ann Richardson  RN, RM

Private Nurse Practitioner
Dedicated to managing your well baby
Author and Parent Coach


011 465 3480/8



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