The LunchBox Refresh – 5 Days, Zero Sandwiches

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Week one, Term 3.

Uniforms, PE gear, homework, bus money, making lunches…………’s THAT time again!

Because we’re all about keeping it real, it’s totally ok to admit that you’re already tired of packing the lunch-boxes after just one week back at school.  My bet is the kids are probably getting sick of eating them too!  School lunches are tricky; what my boys will devour one day is returned untouched the next in a seemingly random, arbitrary lottery of lunch-time success or failure.

But, the answer is right there ^ VARIETY.  Some of us are creatures of habit and prefer the same lunch, eaten at the same time each day – many children are like this too, in which case, find what they love and stick with it.  Nixon prefers the predictable but Ethan would be happy to never see another ham and cheese sandwich in his lunch box ever again.  I feel ya son!

So, I challenged myself to come up with some different school lunch options, NONE of which included a sandwich.  Not as difficult as it sounds, plus, I know Ethan loves leftovers so that’s always another option.  I figure that by alternating a normal lunch with a ‘sandwich free’ lunch, we’ll stave off lunch-box fatigue – at least for a little while this term.  These also tick the box for Nix as there is a familiar fave, a ‘constant’ in there each day, in this instance, a Dole Fruit Bowl which he loves.


Pikelets & Peanut Butter

Who doesn’t LOVE pikelets???  Next time you’re standing over the frying pan, whip up a double batch and freeze half for lunches.  If you freeze them on the baking tray they won’t stick together when you transfer them to a sandwich bag or container for storage : )


On the menu: pikelets, peanut butter, apple, dried cranberries, Dole Fruit Bowl – Tropical Fruit & Juice.

Frittata & Friends

I was a bit stumped for my next idea so came up with the idea of packing lunch based upon a colour scheme!  This would be fab for picky eaters whom you are trying to gently encourage to experiment a little more.  Everything looks better when it’s colour-coordinated after all!  I based this lunch around yellow and orange food, but there are so many options.  Totally easy and do-able once a week.


On the menu:  Ham & cheese mini-frittata, banana yoghurt, banana, carrot sticks, Dole Fruit Bowl – Mango & Custard, popcorn.

A Sausage Roll for Lunch!

This was def Ethan’s favourite, and the kiwi classic sausage roll tastes almost as good cold as it does hot (at least according to a bottomless pit, 12 year old boy!).


On the menu: Sausage roll, pear, watermelon slices, bliss balls, Dole Fruit Bowl – Blueberries & Custard.

Cheese & Bacon Twist

This is an easy-to-bake idea that glams up plain old bread.  Try this calzone recipe and tweak the filling to suit your kids tatses.  Yum!


On the menu: Cheese and bacon calzone, kiwi fruit, mandarin, Dole Fruit Bowl – Tropical Fruit & Juice, marmite and cheese bagel crisps.

Roast Chicken Sliders

We usually have a roast chicken on the menu each week and there’s always leftovers so I’ve repurposed them into a kid-friendly lunch option on a tasty, soft slider bun.  Nix struggles with full-size bread rolls so sliders work really well for him. I was expecting to find these in the bread aisle but I picked these up from our local supermarket, baked in-house!


On the menu: Roast chicken sliders, kiwi fruit, pear, Dole Fruit Bowl – Tropical Fruit & Juice, bliss balls.

Hopefully, these ideas will give you some lunch-box inspo, and may even eliminate at least one of the #schoolrunsighs I know we can all relate to on a daily basis!  Finding your kid’s go-to snack like the Dole Fruit Bowls, that’s easy to slip into lunch-boxes and after school activity bags can be a life-saver when you’re in a hurry and running out the door.

This post was sponsored by Dole, thanks for helping to keep me writing!