Tuesday, November 6, 2012

School Lunches Switcheroo

I try very hard to pack a school lunch that is both adventurous and healthy. I would love to follow the ideas in those magazine articles that we see every January before school goes back, but I know in my heart of hearts that there is no way The Gentleman will eat a tuna pasta salad for lunch, not even if I pack a fork. He needs to be able to eat his lunch with one hand, while he gallivants around the playground. Wrap sandwiches are ideal for this. His lunch is a compromise of what I know he will like (he is a hungry 7 year old) and what will not upset my conscience. (I do care about my children's health).
He has inherited his father's love of deli food, and will happily eat some form of salami every day. We have a garden full of crunchy lettuce, so fresh it won't go limp in his lunch box. Any type of leftover meat (like the roast turkey, above right) will be perfect. He is not a big fruit lover, but likes blueberries from our garden, and was adventurous enough to try some gooseberry's. The apricots returned home.

Most fruit returns home, and this makes me sad. My conscience makes me put it in, though, and every day I live in hope. Sometimes I substitute fruit with carrot sticks or cut up cucumber, and he is more likely to eat these; but not if they are there every day! 

He is not a cake or biscuit eater at all, which is in stark contrast to the rest of the family. He will eat the occasional muesli bar or cheese and cracker set up. Occasionally he might have a surprise, like that leftover Halloween eyeball, but this is very rare. Most days there will be a small packet of chips. I used to think this was terrible, but then years ago attended a 'healthy kids canteen seminar' and was surprised to find that when you consider fuel in/energy out - a small packet of chips is acceptable for active children.

5 year old Monkey Boy has yet to start school, and currently eats like a Hobbit - first breakfast, second breakfast, morning tea, second morning tea, elevenses....we will have to work on a new routine before next year! He loves what we call 'a cut up lunch', which is basically a selection of items, cut up on a plate. I used to make this for Teenage Daughter when she was little, her cut up lunch always included raw mushrooms, olives and sometimes a boiled egg. Monkey boy will have none of these things! His current favourite snack is a bowl of frozen peas, followed by crackers with 'butter.' He hasn't noticed it's Meadow Lea, and he didn't notice that it was Meadow Lea on those crumpets, or even in those choc chip pancakes! To be completely honest, apart from the packet in the fridge, no one has noticed the Swticheroo at all!

It's nice that something that tastes so great can be good for your health.


I've loved reading everyone's healthy lunch ideas, keep them coming! Thanks to Meadow Lea and Soup, you can win a $50 Westfield XS Voucher!

To enter, please leave a comment telling me what your children take to school in their lunchbox.

The winner will be drawn on 11th November.

Open to Australian residents only, and please make sure your email address is included in your comment, either in the body of the comment or set as your blogger default address.


Linking up to IBOT with Essentially Jess


  1. Boo has taken the same thing every damn day since he was 5. Only change is the bread from the gluten free crap to normal bread.

    I wish he would eat something different. I AM BORED!

    Chicken and cheese sandwich, sultanas, apple/orange, 2 mini lamingtons. Yawn.

  2. My girls usually have a the same thing everyday. It's stops me from having to think while I make it.

    Wholemeal vegemite sandwich
    Fruit of some sort
    something yummy like a packet of bikkies or sesame snack etc.

    The fruit never comes home. They must know to either eat it or hide it. Rachel xx

  3. Mine are fussy eaters but usually go a chicken, lettuce and mayo roll or sandwich, a juice and a brunch bar.

    Fruit it better off at home rather in the bottom of a school bag rotting away.

    Your lunches look great actually and I would eat them in a heartbeat!

  4. I'm always amazed at what you find in kids lunch boxes at school! Some parents go to such extremes with them. I'm really basic. Nothing flash here. Fruit, a sandwich and a muslie bar.

  5. I'm always amazed at what you find in kids lunch boxes at school! Some parents go to such extremes with them. I'm really basic. Nothing flash here. Fruit, a sandwich and a muslie bar.


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