10 easy and healthy lunchbox ideas for back to school 2021

Recipes Jan 31, 2021

For this year's back to school, here are some yummy lunchbox ideas Australian mamas have shared with us.

Check out these yummy easy lunchbox recipes and healthy lunchbox ideas for school.

Table of contents

Savoury snacks

  1. Gluten free & vegan potato tart
  2. Ham and cheese pizza pinwheels
  3. Easy lunchbox sandwich rolls
  4. Vegetable savoury muffins
  5. Vegemite and cheese scrolls

Sweet treats

  1. Apricot, cinnamon & coconut “no bake” energy bars
  2. Choc chip banana bread
  3. Gluten-free apple & cinnamon muffins
  4. Zucchini, date and carrot muffins
  5. Jam and poppyseed muffins

Gluten free & vegan potato tart

Recipe by Mamiko from 4evaeco

Gluten free, vegan potato tart, gluten free lunchbox recipes, gluten free lunchbox ideas, vegan lunchbox recipes, vegan lunchbox ideas, kids healthy lunchbox ideas for school
Gluten free & vegan potato tart from 4evaeco

Ingredients:

(For the crust)

  • 150g oat flour
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 80ml water
  • 1/4 tsp salt

(For the filling)

  • 2 potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 5 tbsp oat flour
  • 400ml water
  • 1 cup (75g) mozzarella style vegan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • White pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180℃.
  2. To make the crust, combine and mix oat flour, coconut oil, water and salt in a medium sized bowl. Knead the mixture until the dough comes together. If it looks dry, add a splash of water.
  3. Press the dough with your hands into silicone bases or greased tart tin and spread evenly to a thickness of around 3mm.
  4. Poke plenty of fork holes in the base and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the sides are firm. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  5. Slice the potatoes as thinly as possible. In a medium pot, bring water to a boil. Carefully add the potato slices and simmer for about 3 to 5 minutes until the potatoes are nearly cooked through. Do not overcook them.
  6. While the potatoes are cooking, heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium high heat and fry the onion until tender.
  7. Put the boiled potato slices and cooked onion in a large bowl and add salt, pepper and thyme. Mix well with your hands, making sure all the slices are coated and seasoned well. Set aside.
  8. In a small pan, place the oat flour first, then pour some water little by little and stir well. Heat over medium-low heat and continue to stir for around 3 to 4 minutes until the mixture becomes thicker.
  9. Remove the mixture from the heat and add cheese. Stir until cheese melts completely. Add a good amount of salt and white pepper to season.
  10. Pour the cheese mixture over the potato and onion in the bowl and mix well.
  11. Arrange the filling in the pastry. Sprinkle over some additional grated cheese.
  12. Bake at 180℃ for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden. Cool the tarts for 5 minutes before removing from the silicone base or tin.
  13. Sprinkle some fresh thyme on top and enjoy!

Ham and cheese pizza pinwheels

Recipe by Kerry from Bento Kids Lunch

Ham and cheese pizza pinwheels, bento lunchbox ideas, easy lunchbox ideas for school, quick lunchbox ideas, puff pastry lunchbox ideas preschool, kinder lunchbox ideas, lunchbox ideas picky eaters
Ham and cheese pinwheels from Bento Kids Lunch

Ingredients:

  • Puff pastry
  • Grated cheese
  • Ham slices
  • Pizza sauce

Method:

  1. Thaw one sheet of puff pastry.
  2. Spread pizza sauce all over the pastry, using the back of a spoon.
  3. Add ham slices evenly all over. Leave about 4 cm of just sauce at the top.
  4. Sprinkle grated cheese evenly over the ham.
  5. Roll up the puff pastry, ham and cheese tightly and seal the edges by pressing the puff pastry into itself.
  6. Preheat the air fryer to 200°C.
  7. Cut the roll into approx. 4cm slices (you should get about 6 pinwheels per sheet roll up).
  8. Cut a piece of baking paper slightly bigger than the bottom of your air fryer. Place the baking paper in the air fryer and add your cut puff pastry pieces swirl side up. Don’t let them touch.
  9. Cook for approximately 15mins turning the pinwheels over at around the 10 minute mark. Enjoy hot out of the oven, or they are very tasty cold the next day in your lunchbox.

Variations:

Vegemite pinwheels, pizza scrolls, bento lunchbox ideas, easy lunchbox ideas for school, quick lunchbox ideas, puff pastry lunchbox ideas preschool, kinder lunchbox ideas, vegemite recipe ideas
Vegemite and cheese pinwheels from Bento Kids Lunch

You can add any ingredients you like. Kerry's favourites are:

  • Ham, cheese and pizza sauce
  • Vegemite, cheese and pepperoni
  • Cheese and pizza sauce

Easy lunchbox sandwich rolls

Recipe by Sheetal from Glam Baker

Easy lunchbox sandwich rolls, cooking with kids, cold lunchbox ideas, bento lunchbox ideas, easy lunchbox ideas for school, quick lunchbox ideas
Easy lunchbox sandwich rolls from Glam Baker

Ingredients:

  • Wholemeal bread
  • Homemade mayo
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Roast chicken (from dinner leftovers 🙂)

Method:

  1. Remove the crust (if you want) and flatten the bread with a rolling pin. Kids can have fun doing this step.
  2. Layer the filling in the bread. You can start with the mayo, then some chicken and sprinkle some cheese on top.
  3. Roll the bread and flatten it slightly.

Sides:

To fill the lunchbox, Sheetal recommends these sides:

  • Cucumbers
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Cheese tubes with some Mediterranean seasoning
  • Orange segments
  • Blackberries, blueberries or strawberries
  • Homemade granola

Veggie savoury muffins

Recipe by Amy from Healthy Little Foodies

Veggie savoury muffins, zucchini muffins, easy lunchbox ideas for school, lunchbox ideas preschool, school lunchbox ideas healthy, easy muffin recipes, lunchbox ideas australia
Veggie savoury muffins from Healthy Little Foodies

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium (250g) zucchini, grated
  • 1 medium (120g) carrot, grated
  • 1/4 cup (30g) frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup (30g) frozen corn
  • 1 cup (125g) cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yoghurt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups (250g) plain wholemeal flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C or 350°F.
  2. Wrap the zucchini and carrot in a clean dish towel and squeeze all the juice out*.
  3. Place the zucchini and carrots into a large mixing bowl. Add the peas, sweetcorn, cheese, milk, yogurt, olive oil and egg and stir until combined.
  4. Mix the flour and baking powder together and then slowly add to the wet ingredients. Fold in the mixture gently, until just combined**.
  5. Oil or grease a 12 hole muffin tray with butter. Spoon the mixture between the muffin sections equally.
  6. Bake for 20 to 25 mins. Use a skewer to test your muffins a couple minutes before the end of the bake time. Your skewer will come out clean if they are ready.

Notes:

*Don't throw away the vegetable juice. Save it and add it to smoothies, pasta sauces, etc.

**Don't over stir the mixture. It should be lumpy, thick and looking very messy. It should only take around 10 strokes with a wooden spoon.

Variations:

You can use other ingredients and adapt the recipe to your liking. Amy recommends:

  • Finely chopped capsicum
  • Chopped spinach
  • Finely chopped and lightly fried onion, shallots, mushroom, celery or leek.
  • Chopped or sun-dried tomatoes
  • Fresh herbs

Vegemite and cheese scrolls

Recipe by Anna from the Pepper's Kitchen

Vegemite and cheese scrolls, vegemite recipe ideas, hot food lunch box, great lunchbox ideas, protein lunchbox ideas, cooking with teens
Vegemite and cheese scrolls from Pepper's Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 300g water
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 20g olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 500g flour
  • Vegemite, to taste
  • Cheese, or a substitute

Method:

  1. Add lukewarm water, yeast, oil and salt to a medium bowl and stir.
  2. Add flour and mix again. Place dough onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or until the dough springs back.
  3. Roll the dough into a ball and place into a bowl. Cover the bowl and put into a warm spot until the dough has doubled in size.
  4. Sprinkle some flour onto a bench and roll the dough out into a rectangular shape of a 1cm thickness.
  5. Spread Vegemite over the top of the dough, leaving 1cm from the top fold of the dough (this will it join when rolling). Top with grated cheese or a cheese substitute.
  6. Begin to roll the dough from the longest edge. Slowly fold and try to keep the dough tight. Roll the dough into a long log.
  7. Remove 2cm from each end with a sharp knife. Then cut the dough in half and half again - you will have 4 equal logs. Then cut each log into 3 pieces - you will have 12 scrolls.
  8. Place the scrolls into a baking dish, with the joining ends facing one another, so when they expand the scrolls don't open.
  9. Cover the scrolls with a tea towel and allow to rise again to almost double their original size.
  10. After the second rise is complete, place the scrolls into a cold oven and bake at 200C for 40 minutes. There is no need to preheat the oven.
  11. Remove and allow to cool before enjoying.

Storage:

The scrolls can be frozen and defrosted the night before.


Apricot, cinnamon and coconut “no bake” energy bars

Recipe by Dani, Ambassador of Pantry to Plate

Apricot, cinnamon and coconut “no bake” energy bars, lunchbox ideas for teens, protein lunchbox ideas, healthy snack ideas, fruit bar recipe, lunchbox ideas australia
Apricot, cinnamon and coconut “no bake” energy bars from Pantry to Plate

Ingredients:

  • 400g dried apricots
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut, with some extra for dusting
  • 1 cup traditional rolled oats
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp full flavoured coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup (optional)
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs (optional)

Method:

  1. Blend apricots, coconut, oats, cinnamon, coconut oil and maple syrup in a food processor until smooth. You should be able to easily roll the dough into a smooth ball, not too sticky, not too dry.
  2. Line a loaf or square cake tin with baking paper and lightly dust the base of the pan with extra desiccated coconut. Press the dough into the tin as evenly as you can, and use the back of a spoon or your fingers to smooth it out.
  3. Evenly sprinkle some cacao nibs and some more desiccated coconut on surface of the pan. Set it in the fridge to firm up for about an hour or so before slicing.

Storage:

Best kept in the fridge, although they are perfect for a lunchbox, picnic or as a snack.

Quick tip:

If you have any leftover mixture, roll it into small spheres and cover in coconut to make bliss balls.


Choc chip banana bread

Recipe by Claire from Super Kids Lunchboxes

Choc chip banana bread, easy lunchbox ideas for school, yummy lunchbox recipes, easy banana bread, lunchbox ideas australia, easy lunchbox recipes
Choc chip banana bread from Super Kids Lunchboxes

Ingredients:

  • 3 cup plain rolled oats
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2-3 mashed bananas (depending on their size)
  • 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup milk (any milk you prefer)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 100 g choc chips

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C or 355°F.
  2. Combine wet ingredients in a bowl: mashed banana, maple syrup, eggs, milk, choc chips and vanilla. Mix well.
  3. Add dry ingredients to the bowl: oats, choc chips, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; and mix to combine.
  4. Spoon mixture evenly into a loaf pan either oiled or lined with baking paper. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Variations:

  • Replace choc chips with dates or frozen blueberries.
  • Add 1/4 cup of cocoa/cacao powder to make Double Chocolate Banana Bread.
  • Add in 2 tbsp natural peanut butter or shredded coconut.

Gluten-free apple & cinnamon muffins

Recipe by Kiana from Mumma Of Two Youngins

Whole apple food processor cake, apple cake, pink lady apples, easy lunchbox ideas for school, cold lunchbox ideas, lunchbox ideas picky eaters, lunchbox ideas for fussy eaters
Gluten-free apple & cinnamon muffins from Mumma Of Two Youngins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of self raising gluten free flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 3/4 cup of caster/raw sugar
  • 2 apples - grated
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon- 1 teaspoon for the flour mixture and 1 teaspoon for dusting on the top of the muffins
  • 1/3 cup of light olive oil
  • 1 cup of milk (you can use the milk of your liking)
  • 2 eggs - whisked
  • 20g of melted butter - to brush on top of the muffins

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Place muffins into a well-greased or lined muffin tin.
  3. Mix flour, baking powder, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.
  4. Grate apples.
  5. Whisk eggs, oil and milk in another bowl, add in the grated apples and combine.
  6. Fold the flour mixture and apple/egg mixture together
  7. Spoon into muffin wrappers, brush with a little melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
  8. Bake in the oven for around 18-20 mins until slightly brown on top and a skewer placed in the middle of the muffin comes out clean.

Zucchini, date and carrot muffins

Recipe by Jo from Jo's Kitchen

Zucchini, date and carrot muffins, zucchini muffins, lunchbox ideas for teens, easy lunchbox ideas for school, school lunchbox ideas healthy, easy muffin recipes, lunchbox ideas australia
Zucchini, date and carrot muffins from Jo's Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup self raising flour OR wholemeal self raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1 cup zucchini, finely grated and moisture squeezed out
  • 1 1/2 cup dried dates, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 90 g butter melted
  • 2 egg lightly beaten

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C or 160°C fan-forced. Line a 24 hole mini muffin tray with patty pans (muffin cups).
  2. In a large bowl sift the flour, bicarb soda and cinnamon. Stir in sugar, grated carrot, grated zucchini and chopped dates. Add butter, milk and egg. Mix until just combined.
  3. Spoon evenly into each patty pan so they are about 3/4 full.
  4. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.

Jam and poppyseed muffins

Recipe by Kelsie from Mrs Heemskerk

Jam and poppyseed muffins, kids muffins, great lunchbox ideas for kids, lunchbox ideas for school, lunchbox ideas healthy, easy lunchbox recipes, lunchbox ideas australia
Jam and poppyseed muffins from Mrs Heemskerk

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups self raising flour
  • 1/4 cup poppyseeds
  • 5 tbsp melted Nuttelex OR butter
  • 1 1/2 cups milk of choice (oat milk recommended)
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • Jam, to fill

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C and grease or line a 12 hole muffin tray.
  2. Mix all the ingredients (except jam) in a large bowl.
  3. Fill the muffin holes halfway, and leave a good amount of mixture in the bowl.
  4. Spoon a teaspoon of jam on top of the mix already in the holes, and cover them up with the remaining mixture.
  5. Pop them in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden on top.

Note:

Let the muffins cool down completely before trying them as they may crumble and the jam will be very hot.


Share some snaps of your yummy lunches with us by tagging @schoolholidays.com.au on Instagram!

Daria

Content creator and editor at schoolholidays.com.au. I love to travel, read and write!