Make a week of lunches in one hour

All you need is a shopping list with a few basic ingredients and an hour in the kitchen to prepare five easy, healthy lunches for the week ahead.

As any parent of school-aged children will attest, mornings can be an absolute nightmare. Trying to drag (sometimes literally) the kids out of bed and into school uniforms is hard work. Then you have to scramble to pack their lunch and try to make it healthy and nutritious but at the same time interesting enough for them to actually eat. This morning routine can leave you feeling positively exhausted all before 8am. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. We’ve got some great ideas that will make mornings easier. All you need is a shopping list with a few basic ingredients and an hour in the kitchen to prepare five easy, healthy lunches for the week ahead.

Step 1

Shop! You need to make a list and hit your local Hill Street for the following ingredients:

  • Grapes
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Oranges
  • 1 lemon
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Celery
  • Red capsicum
  • Salsa
  • Pita bread pockets
  • Small bag tortilla chips
  • Blanched slivered almonds (optional)
  • Small bag of cashews (optional)
  • Wholemeal cracker biscuits
  • Mayonnaise
  • Salad dressing
  • Peanut butter or Philadelphia cream cheese
  • Favourite dip / spread
  • Raisins
  • Hummus
  • Chicken breasts
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Dark chocolate
  • Dark chocolate chips

Note: swap or add other fruit and vegetables to your shopping list that your children like to add to their lunchbox

If your school has a no-nut policy, leave them out or swap them for sunflower or pumpkin seeds, and the peanut butter for Philadelphia cream cheese

Step 2

Prep! Now it’s time to get all the ingredients ready for assembly

  1. Start with the fruit and veg. Wash and dry everything.
  2. Chop one stalk of celery finely for your chicken salad and chop the rest into sticks big enough for spreading / dipping with dip
  3. Quarter a few cherry tomatoes and leave the rest whole
  4. Dice the red capsicum
  5. Tear the lettuce into bite-sized pieces
  6. Peel and segment the orange
  7. Separate the grapes into small bunches
  8. Shred half the cheese and cut the rest into cubes, roughly the same size as the cherry tomatoes
  9. Break the dark chocolate into squares
  10. Cook the chicken breasts. Put aside 2 cups for chicken salad and cut the rest into small cubes.

Step 3

Assembly! This is the part where it all comes together

  1. Line up your prepared ingredients and containers/lunchboxes
  2. For the chicken salad, combine 2 cups of chopped, cooked chicken with ½ cup mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, ½ cup almonds (optional) and 1 stalk of chopped celery in a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste

Chicken salad Monday

Pack chicken salad (see recipe above) and wholemeal crackers

Spread celery sticks with peanut butter or Philadelphia cream cheese and sprinkle with raisins or alternatively serve with dip of your choice

Place a chocolate chip inside some of the raspberries for a special surprise

Salad Tuesday

Make a salad of lettuce, cubed chicken, oranges and cashews (optional) and dress with favourite dressing.

Add wholemeal cracker biscuits spread with peanut butter or favourite spread

Make a fruit salad of strawberries and raspberries

Pita Pocket Wednesday

Stuff a pita with hummus, chicken, cheddar, lettuce, tomatoes and capsicum.

Add dark chocolate squares, orange slices and a bunch of grapes

Taco salad Thursday

Chicken cubes, shredded cheese, lettuce, cherry tomatoes and tortilla chips

Salsa for dipping


Cherry tomato and cheddar kebab Friday

Make skewers with cubed cheddar and cherry tomatoes (skewers are not recommended for very young children)

Add celery sticks and hummus for dipping

Make a trail mix of raisins, nuts (optional) and chocolate chips

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