Pack those lunch boxes smarter

18 July 2019 | Clare Hughes

For most families, getting everyone out the door in the morning, with a healthy packed lunch, can be a slow process. Try our ideas to help you save some time every day.

Planning ahead can save you time in the morning. Get the kids to help plan their lunch boxes for the week using our fun and interactive Healthy Lunch Box builder. You can print or email their packed lunch box which helps with shopping as well. If you prefer something printed to put on the fridge use our weekly lunch box planner.

With some simple preparation at a time that suits you, you can save a lot of stress in the morning.

  • Buy snack sized veg that don’t require cutting e.g. cherry tomatoes, baby cucumbers and snow peas
  • Keep some shelf stable items like beans and milk poppers in the pantry
  • Make and pre-pack individual serves of healthy snack mixes suck as
  • Spend some time on the weekend preparing freezer-friendly lunch box items such as fruit or veggie muffins. Making a loaf of sandwiches with simple fillings such as cheese, tuna, hummus or left over roast meat that you then freeze will also save time. Take them from the freezer into the fridge the night before so you can quickly add some salad in the morning or pack some salad separately
  • Invest in some silicon egg cups that boil eggs without their shell. No more peeling eggs before they go in the lunch box. Use eggs in a smashed egg and lettuce sandwich or just plain for a snack. Curried eggs make a nice change.
  • Kids love leftovers so cook extra at dinner time. Turn leftovers into lunch when you are cleaning up after dinner and store in the fridge ready for the morning. Wrap left over salad in a wrap with hummus or cheese or mix left over rice or pasta with veges for a quick salad.

And let your kids help.  Start with simple tasks for young children and before you know they will be doing it all themselves.

For more recipes and ideas visit

The Healthy Lunch Box website was created by Cancer Council NSW to save you time and money, and our clever tips for adding fruit and vegetables to your diet can set yourself and your family on a path of lifelong healthy eating, to reduce your cancer risk. Help us continue our work in cancer prevention – Donate now