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The key to making a lunchbox healthy is easy 

We all want our kids to eat a healthy diet. Healthy food helps our kids be at their best – giving them brain power to learn and energy to play.

Kids eat about a third of all their food at school, so it’s important that we pack their lunchboxes with the right stuff.

Pick and mix 1 to 6

Pack something from each of the core food groups, plus water, every day. Pick and mix 1 to 6:

Homemade crunchy bread with grains isolated over white background

1./ Breads and cereals (choose wholegrain)

Rich in carbohydrates – the body’s main source of energy, these foods help kids to play and learn all day. Options include pasta, rice, noodles, bread, and crispbreads. Look for wholemeal or wholegrain varieties.


2./ Vegetables and salad

High in fibre and packed full of vital vitamins and minerals. Easy lunch box options include cherry tomatoes, carrot- and celery sticks. Boost snacks, sandwiches and meals with extra veg and salad.

Composition with vegetables and fruits in wicker basket isolated on white

3./ Fruit

The original fast food. Fruit is full of vitamins, minerals, and fibre which are so important for growing bodies. The options are endless; fresh, whole fruit, cut-up fruit, dried or canned fruit add variety.


4./ Lean meat and alternatives

Packed full of protein, helping keep tummies fuller for longer. Healthy options include tinned tuna, lean beef, skinless chicken, turkey, boiled egg, falafel, or hummus.


5./ Dairy and alternatives (choose low or reduced-fat)

Dairy foods are vital for growing healthy bones and teeth. Try plain milk, cheese or yoghurt tubs.


6./ And don’t forget water!

Water is the best way to keep kids hydrated.

Try this interactive lunchbox builder to pick and mix your 1 to 6
Adapted from Cancer Council NSW and Nutrition Australia.

Healthy lunchbox combos
Fruits and vegetables are often cheaper per kilo than packet snacks!
  • Potato chips $20/kg vs. Veggie sticks $5/kg
  • Tiny teddies $17/kg Vs. Oranges $3/kg


Healthy lunchbox inspiration:

Nude food lunchbox swaps:
  • Swap ‘this’ for ‘that’, to go for a healthier option, reduce cost and reduce excess packaging
  • Packet of chips → Air popped pop corn
  • Packet of shapes or similar → Veggie sticks with dip (carrot, cucumber, cherry tomatoes)
  • Fruit roll up → Fresh fruit or dried fruit pack
  • Jelly snack pack → Plain yoghurt with fruit topper
  • Ham and cheese topped bread roll → Egg and lettuce sandwich on multigrain bread
  • Fruit box → Water in refillable drink bottle

Blog article: How to get children eating healthy school lunches

Website: Quick, Cheap & Easy Healthy Meal Ideas | No Money No Time

Budget shopping: a cheat sheet to healthy, affordable groceries | Latrobe Community Health Service (

How to cook healthy and simple meals with only your microwave | Latrobe Community Health Service (

Microwave cookbook:

*Reach for the Stars is a Latrobe Health Innovation Zone initiative with funding provided by Latrobe Health Assembly and the Victorian Government.