Ten lunch box ideas … that aren’t sandwiches


Do you have a child who just doesn’t eat sandwiches? Or perhaps they have a gluten intolerance so that sandwiches are not on the agenda at all.  Read on for some great ideas for alternatives to sandwiches which will get you out the door and off to school in no time.


The Aussie lunch box traditionally contains sandwiches, a piece of fruit and a treat.  And it’s enjoyed by millions of kids across the country every day.  But if you’re getting ‘sandwich refusal’, your child has a gluten intolerance, or you have just plain run out of inspiration, it might be time to mix things up. With a well-stocked section of your fridge or a few containers marked “lunches only” (this is to stop members of your household chomping on your lunch ideas the night before!) you will be able to assemble a healthy and interesting lunchbox in less time than you can say ‘ham-and-cheese-sandwich’.


Here are ten non-sandwich lunch box ideas:

1.    Mini-quiches, savoury mini-muffins or sausage rolls.  If you are a baker, you can bake and freeze batches of these and simply pop a frozen one in the lunch box in the morning – by lunch they will be defrosted. Store bought ones are also fine, just buy half a dozen early in the week and keep them refrigerated for use throughout the week. If you are catering for a coeliac, of course use gluten free versions.

2.    Sushi.  These are such an easy go-to and are gluten-free to boot. We stock great sushi in all the deli departments at Hill Street.

3.    Buttermilk chicken strips and Greek salad.  Another two Hill Street deli staples to the rescue.  If your child doesn’t like feta or olives just make up a simple cucumber and tomato salad yourself.

4.    Rice or pasta salad. An economical choice - make up a batch of your family’s favourite on the weekend and this will stretch a few days.

5.    Boiled egg and salad. Warning:  boiled eggs do smell a bit when closed in a lunch box for a few hours – vet this with the child concerned to make sure it doesn’t worry them. This is a great way to get some protein into a lunch box.

6.    Rice paper rolls. While they can be time consuming to make in the mornings, on a Sunday evening you can roll up quite a few ready for the week.

7.    Tuna or veggie patties. Also a great grab-and-go lunch idea from the Hill Street deli, or of course, you can make your own.

8.    Fried rice in a thermos. Fried rice isn’t great cold, so a small wide-necked thermos is ideal.

9.    Grazing platter. Kids love grazing on different things so make up a little ‘platter’ with cheese, chopped raw veggies, sliced ham or chicken, crackers, and some strawberries and grapes.

10.    Soup. A great idea for winter, a warming soup in a wide-necked thermos and a crusty bread roll or gluten-free focaccia will hit the spot.

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