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Tips for packing a healthy school lunch

The school year has begun, and so to has the discussion about healthy school lunches. Many schools have even gone so far as introducing the traffic light system, which grades packed foods into a green, yellow or red category according to their nutritional value. This has made us contemplate what healthy actually means for kids lunches, and how large of a role our schools should play in our kids nutrition.

What we firmly believe, is that when it comes to little ones, keeping it simple is the best way forward. Unless allergies or intolerances apply, we always suggest following the Australian Food Guidelines and packing an unprocessed, healthy school lunch that provides a balance of the five essential food groups.

Our friends at The Dairy Kitchen have come up with three easy lunchbox combinations that you can pack for your kids. With a good balance of fruit, veg, meat, dairy and carbohydrates, these ideas are sure to help your little one power through the day.

Amanda from The Dairy Kitchen also suggests that if you’re worried about adding dairy to the lunchbox in this hot summer weather, you should “Opt for harder cheeses such as cheddar, which keep better and simply pop a frozen ice pack or flavoured milk in the lunchbox to keep it cool until lunchtime.”

Each of these three lunchbox ideas feature healthy snacks alongside a more substantial lunch option. If you want to change up these ideas, why not try one of the delicious recipes below:

Healthy school lunch recipes


You might be surprised to find out that Australian Statistics show that vegetables and dairy foods are the two most under-consumed food groups among Australians, with less than 1% of children 2-18 years meeting the recommended serves of vegetables and less than 10% of children 9-11 years meet the recommendations for the dairy food group [1].



*DISCLAIMER: The Dairy Kitchen is a contributing recipe Partner at This feature includes a mix of content sourced from The Dairy Kitchen team and our own opinions. Find out more about The Dairy Kitchen

[1] Australian Bureau of Statistics [Internet]. Canberra: ABS; 2016. Australian Health Survey: Australian Health Survey: Consumption of Food Groups from the Australian Dietary Guidelines, 2011-12. Cat 4364.0.55.012.

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