It’s not easy to fill your kids’ lunchboxes with healthy, imaginative meals every day – but news that the government is considering banning them makes us want to up our game. Save your packed lunch with these recipe ideas

Food blog: Share your packed lunch memories

Packed lunches are coming in for a hard time. Proposals for the new school food plan even suggest banning them completely to encourage takeup of school dinners. Sure, they can be unhealthy, all too often comprising a few sandwiches, crisps and chocolate treat, with an apple thrown in. But we all know that the daily grind of filling lunchboxes doesn’t make it easy to come up with imaginative alternatives. Try some of these tasty and healthy additions.

Sandwich alternatives

Try these tuna-pepper pitta pockets from Allegra McEvedy, stuffed with kids’ favourites, tuna and cream cheese, as well as a handful of veg.

… Or these easy-peasy pitta pockets. Carrot and cheddar mixed with spring onions and just a little mayonnaise from Thomasina Miers.

Claire Thomson’s cherry focaccia – you can easily make savoury versions with herbs, cooked pumpkin, onion, aubergine, peppers or olives.

Tortilla is another transportable way to pack vegetables into your little one and this should please the grownups too. Get the basic recipe spot on with help from Felicity Cloake


Flatbread, baked golden and crispy, tossed in a light salad and dressing. This takes no time to throw together, but is full of flavour and crunch.

Nigel Slater’s cold noodle and tomato salad makes a nice grownup supper with leftovers for the packed lunch. Just remember to vary the spices for small people’s tastes.


Add some healthy and delicious fruit and vegetable drinks into the equation – from cloudy apple and mint juice to a creamy almond smoothie.


Claire Thomson’s strawberry leather is a fruity treat for lunchboxes.

These spiced nuts are totally addictive and can be made incredibly healthy too, providing magnesium, calcium and vitamin E and protein.

Thomasina Miers’ banana bread recipe isn’t too fatty, and keeps for ages so could last for a good few lunchboxes. © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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