It feels like the kids only just broke up for summer, and suddenly all you can think about is new stationery, memorising bus timetables, and whether or not their school blazer will hold up for another year! Time really does fly when the little ones are having fun. 

It’s never too early to get things ready to go back to school, and we know there’s nothing trickier than navigating fussy appetites and trying to keep lunchtimes exciting as well as nutritious. To help you prepare for the school year ahead, we’ve put together our best ideas for an exciting but healthy children’s lunch box.

Treat them to an eye-catching sandwich box, stock up on sealable sandwich bags, and grab some smaller pots to store break-time snacks. From healthy to hydrating; here are our top school packed lunch ideas!

Start with a filling main

The key to a healthy packed lunch is a main that’s going to keep them feeling motivated and focused for the rest of the day. You can never go wrong with a simple sandwich, but with kids being notoriously fickle, it might not be long until the complaints roll in about feeling fed up with the same old thing.

To save you from running to the shop twice a week (or more!) to hunt for fresh new ingredients and ideas, keep some time-saving sandwich solutions at your fingertips with tinned items such as lunch meat and tuna chunks. These protein-packed fillings are ideal for keeping kids brimming with energy for both work and play! Top these with some irresistible Heinz sandwich spread for an even more flavour-packed experience.

If you don’t eat meat, why not pair some classic Branston pickle with cheese and salad leaf? Items such as these in durable tins offer prolonged storage potential, meaning they’re guaranteed to last you well into the school year. 

Include a satisfying snack

When you’ve got the main part of their packed lunch sorted, you’ll need a snack, either to complement the main or to be enjoyed at morning break.

Multipacks are a must when it comes to snacks, and a pack of Happy Snax crisps is ideal for treating your little one to a new exciting flavour every day. The generous multipack of 15 means you’ll have plenty to keep you prepared during those hectic first weeks back.

If crisps aren’t a favourite with your little one, Burtons Fish and Chips are bursting with classic salt and vinegar flavour and have a satisfyingly crunchy texture.

Another break time classic comes in the form of Jacob’s best-loved crackers paired with a layer of smooth cheesy filling! Tucs provide irresistible savoury goodness to curb mid-morning hunger. 

Help them stay hydrated

Keeping hydrated is a must during a long school day, but we know how tricky it can be to convince kids to drink water.

Flavoured water offers a tasty, fruit-flavoured alternative that’s sure to stop dehydration standing in the way of a fun-filled playtime dashing about the playground or climbing on the climbing frames. 

If they’re partial to fruit juice, Squeeze-It drinks or Fruit Shoots are a perfect, lunchbox-friendly option that come in a variety of flavours. 

Alternatively, if you feel like making their packed lunch feel extra sweet, why not treat them to a Yazoo flavoured milk, perfect for little chocoholics! 

Make sure there’s a healthy option

Making sure kids get 5 portions of fruit a day poses a similar problem as getting to stay hydrated; it can feel like a daily battle. If you’re in need of some tricks for convincing little ones that healthy foods can in fact taste delicious, why not try a tasty Fruitypot featuring chunks of chopped fruit irresistibly soft, sweetly-flavoured jelly? 

Not keen on peach and pear? Why not try some dried tropical mix? Not only does it provide an exciting assortment of exotic flavours, but it’s perfect for kids who can’t stand the texture of fresh fruit. 

If it’s protein their diet is lacking, an fruit and nut variety pack offers a tantalising mix of textures and flavours too. 

Finish with a treat

Feel like celebrating the end of the week, or want to give them a treat to help them through hump day?

Fun-sized items such as Milky Way Rolls and Cadbury Little Bars provide a portion-controlled, kid-appropriate alternative to full-sized chocolate bars and are also the perfect size for fitting in lunch boxes. 

If chocolate isn’t their jam, why not opt for some sweet biscuits such as Paw Patrol Biscotti with its irresistible honey flavour and character design? These perfectly bite-sized biscuits come in a handy multipack and will brighten any child’s day when they discover them in their lunch box.

Make sure treats are always packed alongside a healthier snack too! 

Now you’re one step closer to being ready to take on the school year! Let us know what your favourite kids’ lunchbox fillers are by tagging #CherryzUK

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