As a parent, coming up with new and exciting lunch ideas for kids to take to school can be hard. The school lunch box shouldn’t be a stressful place – it’s where colours, shapes and nutrition all meet to nourish your child as they grow and play.\n\nWhen you’re low on ideas, it can be easy to skip the meal prep and pay for lunches at the school canteen, but over time that can get expensive. To save you the headache (and a few dollarydoos) we’ve put our thinking hats on and come up with a range of options for you. So say ciao to bland school lunches and hello to a whole new world of culinary delights!\nFirst thing’s first: Organise your school lunch box\nKids don’t love a sandwich squished into a tupperware container, so make sure you’ve got the right shaped lunch box for the food you’re packing. You can actually use the lunchbox as inspiration for your school lunch ideas too and get creative when it comes time to slice, dice and display. \n\nA good strategy here is to get your kids to pack their own lunches (if they’re old enough). You can set the rules but they get to choose. This is a good idea because kids can often change their mind at the last minute, so letting them choose their food is one way to ensure they’re going to enjoy what they’re eating. \n\nHowever, if you’re in charge of lunches, there are two distinct ways you could approach this task:\n\nStart with the main course and work your way down to the snacks, or\nPlan your snacks and design a main meal that will complement it.\n\n\nJust for fun, let’s start with the snacks (because let’s be honest, they’re the best!). \nSnacks for morning and afternoon tea\nFor snacks, the key is to think small – a good sized snack for a growing body is the size of your palm. \nSomething fresh and healthy\nLet’s kick things off with a few healthy snack ideas for kids. Young ones should consume 1 to 2 pieces of fruit and 3 to 4 servings of vegetables a day, depending on their age. A great way to make sure this happens is to include slices of fruit and veg, like apple and cucumber, in their lunchbox with a few spoonfuls of peanut butter. \nSomething sweet\nFor that mid-morning sweet treat, we absolutely love Houghnuts donuts. They’re free from gluten, refined sugar and dairy but they’re so good that the kids won’t even notice how healthy they are! Our top picks: snickers, lamington and salted caramel.\n\nIf donuts aren’t on your menu, a great go-to snack is popcorn. Our friends over at Serious Popcorn have some amazing flavours to pick from, like sweet \u0026amp; salty or peanut butter \u0026amp; almond. And if that wasn’t delicious enough, they also have cookies! \n\nAlternatively, take a scroll through the iPantry bakery and patisserie to find lunch box ideas like slices, cupcakes and other delicious baked goods.\nSomething savoury\nFor those who don’t have a sweet tooth, we’ve got a range of savoury snacks to boot. The paleo puffs from Lesser Evil are very moreish or for something a little out of the ordinary, check out the Favalicious salt \u0026amp; vinegar roasted fava beans. \n\nWe couldn’t talk about savoury without giving a shout out to the OG snack: corn chips. Perhaps for a special Friday treat you can surprise your child with a packet of Proper cheeza-peno tortilla chips (they’ll love you for it!). \nSomething ready-made\nShort on time in the morning? No sweat – we have stacks of ready-made snacks for you to choose from on iPantry. Check out these small lunchbox-sized hommus dips from Yumi’s. Perfect with carrot sticks or crackers and they don’t take up much space!\n\nOr if the kids don’t like hummus, add either Mainland on the go extra tasty cheese \u0026amp; biscuits or create your own cheese and cracker mix with Ceres Organics sea salt rice crackers and a few squares of vegan or dairy cheese. \nLunch ideas for kids\nLunch for kids doesn’t have to be a big extravaganza, but it should be something your child enjoys and packed full of all the nutrients they need. Next time you’re short on school lunch box ideas, consider going back to basics with these options.\nDIY sandwiches\nOne of the easiest school lunch heroes is the humble sandwich. We’ve got fresh bread for you to use as a blank canvas and here are some flavour combos you can try:\n\n\n Cheese, green oak lettuce, cucumber and free-range ham\n\nMashed boiled eggs and baby spinach with vegan mayonnaise\n\n Crunchy peanut butter and sliced tomato\n\nSliced chicken breast, cheese and cos lettuce.\n\nSushi \nWhen it comes to healthy lunch box ideas, many kids love sushi. It’s as if this Japanese dish was designed for smaller hands! Whether your child loves tuna, salmon or prefers to keep it simple with veggies, sushi is a good lunch for kids because of how versatile it is. \nReady-made meals for kids \nWe know you’re busy and sometimes you just don’t have the space to whip up sandwiches ahead of time. Explore ready-made meals on iPantry like wraps, pasta bakes, salads, focaccias and more. \nHealthy drinks for school lunches\nBeyond their trusty water bottle, you might like to include another drink in your kid’s school lunchbox. To avoid anything sugary, check out some of our favourite brands, like Nudie juices, Dash Water and the Famous Soda Co. They’ve got all the fun and flavour of soft drink without the unreasonable sugar content.\nAdd to your list of lunch ideas for kids with iPantry\nTurn lunch prep into an adventure at our online grocer. You’ll find a range of fruit and veg, pantry essentials and weekly specials to set yourself up for success (and keep the kids happy at the same time!).