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60 easy, healthy lunchbox ideas for your kiddos

If you're like most parents and you need some inspiration when it comes to filling lunchboxes, print this list and stick it to your fridge. Then when you're half-asleep and struggling to get everyone ready in the morning, your 'lunchbox ideas' list will give you a helping hand.

In no particular order, here we go...

  1. Popcorn Trail Mix – popcorn, mini pretzels, raisins, coconut chips & puffed wheat, with a sprinkle of cinnamon
  2. Cooked pasta (farfalle or penne are good choices) and cheese cubes
  3. Quesadillas – fill with grated cheese, beans (refried beans are good!), leftover meat if you have it and toast in fry pan or George Forman grill. Cut into triangles.
  4. Cookie-cutter shape sandwiches
  5. Homemade pitta chips – cut up pitta pockets, spray with olive oil, sprinkle with mixed herbs and bake in oven.
  6. Pinwheel wraps – spread wraps with cream cheese, sprinkle with grated carrot, raisins, shaved ham, chicken or grated cheese. Roll tightly and cut into pinwheels.
  7. Boiled (and pre-peeled) eggs
  8. Shredded chicken or chicken drum-stick
  9. Toasted seeds – mix together sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds, and cook on stove top in frying pan until golden.
  10. Cheese on toast (option to spread bread with vegemite first)
  11. Left-overs or homemade soup in a flask (with crusty bread on the side)
  12. Lebanese cucumbers
  13. Homemade or store-bought bliss balls
  14. Homemade rice pudding (add cinnamon and fruit)
  15. Mini meatballs (good for freezing)
  16. Carrot sticks and hummus
  17. Chunks of roasted kumera and pumpkin
  18. Bacon and egg pie
  19. English muffin mini pizzas – spread with tomato paste, add grated cheese and salami circle and a sprinkle of oregano and bake in oven
  20. Pita pockets – fill with grated cheese, shaved ham, grated carrot, lettuce and mayo or relish
  21. Mini muffins – sweet or savoury
  22. Left-over cooked sausages
  23. Olives and sundried tomatoes
  24. Corn on the cob
  25. Pita pizza – add your toppings of choice to round pita bread and bake in oven.
  26. Manuka Honey on rye bread sandwiches
  27. Waffles – super-easy with a waffle maker
  28. Cruskits, corn thins or rice crackers with cheese slices
  29. Cucumber, celery & cheese chunks
  30. Dried apricots or dates filled with cream cheese
  31. Mini tins of pineapple (for kids who can manage opening a pull-back tin lid)
  32. Yoghurt with fresh fruit added
  33. Cooked streaky bacon
  34. Mini fruit salad of fruits in season (add a toothpick to prevent sticky fingers)
  35. Fruit bread (with butter)
  36. Sweet (apple and cinnamon) or savoury (cheese and ham) pinwheels
  37. Frittata, quiche or cheese omelette (chopped up)
  38. Homemade jelly with fresh fruit added into jelly mixture
  39. Japanese or Korean mini rice balls
  40. Edamame beans
  41. Crispy cooked chickpeas
  42. Falafel balls
  43. Corn chips, salsa & sour cream
  44. Cheese straws – cover ready-rolled puff pastry with grated parmesan cheese (press down), slice into strips, twist and bake in oven
  45. Homemade Anzac cookies
  46. Weetbix Slice
  47. Homemade fresh Thai spring rolls
  48. Chunks of salami or sliced ham
  49. Biltong
  50. Coconut Chips
  51. Square of good quality dark chocolate
  52. Homemade muesli with yoghurt
  53. Mini carton of plain milk
  54. Mini corn fritters (good for freezing)
  55. Mini bread savouries – grease muffin tins, line with slice of bread, add beaten egg, bacon or ham, veges of your liking, sprinkle with cheese and bake
  56. Old fashioned club sandwiches – with mashed egg, grated cheese, ham, lettuce
  57. Homemade sausage rolls (add grated carrot and mixed vegetables in the meat mixture)
  58. Old-fashioned cheese rolls
  59. French toast (add a dash of cinnamon in the mixture)
  60. Rice salad – use leftover rice and add, grated carrot, chopped cucumber, peppers, chicken and corn. Add a dash of soya sauce.

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