Munch and MoveThe following information provides a guide for the sorts of foods that should make up a healthy lunchbox and those products that are best left out.

Fruit & Vegetables

Fruit and vegetables are a good source of vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre. Chop fruit and vegies for the lunchbox so that it’s quick and easy to eat.


  • Pieces of fresh fruit eg. Apple, pear, strawberries, orange, grapes, bananas, kiwi fruit etc.
  • Corn on the cob, cooked jacket potato
  • Celery sticks, carrot sticks, snow peas, cherry tomatoes, cucumber
  • Salad bowl, salad filling in a wrap or roll
  • Diced or chopped fruit in natural juice
  • Dried fruit

Breads & Cereals

Breads and cereals are a good source of nutrients and help to fill hungry children. Use wholegrain or wholemeal varieties to boost dietary fibre.


  • Sandwiches, rolls, wraps, lavish or pita bread
  • Fruit bread, scones, pikelets
  • Homemade fruit/ savoury muffins
  • Savoury cracker biscuits, dry biscuits, plain rice cakes
  • Plain popcorn
  • Cruskets, Saos, Vita Wheat or  Salada’s
  • Home cooked rice or pasta

Dairy  Food

Dairy foods- such as milk, yoghurts and cheeses are a good source of essential vitamins and nutrients including protein and calcium is vital for building strong, healthy bones throughout life. Use reduced fat milk and yoghurt (approx 2% fat) for children over 2 years of age as it contains the same essential nutrients but less fat and kilojoules.


  • Cheese slices or cubes as a snack
  • Cheese dips
  • Cheese as a filling in sandwiches, rolls, and wraps or on dry biscuits
  • Fruit or plain yoghurt or plain custard in small tubs with or without added chopped fruit
  • Calcium- enriched soy alternatives (soy milk, cheese and yoghurt)
  • Cream Cheese
  • Plain low fat milk popper

Meat & Other Protein Sources

Meat and other protein sources – lean meat, fish, chicken and legumes are a good source of protein and iron.


  • Baked beans, lentil patty
  • Fish – fresh or tin
  • Spaghetti
  • Homemade soup
  • Sausages
  • Eggs – Boiled, sandwiches, quiches
  • Left-over meat-based casserole, rissoles, meat-based pasta sauce
  •  Lean beef, lamb, pork, chicken (trimmed of fat) – filling in sandwiches, rolls and wraps or added to salad


Water – is the best thirst quencher and therefore the best choice for the lunchbox.  Tap water is safe to drink and provides fluid without the added sugar and kilojoules found in sweet drinks.  Tap water in most areas contains fluoride which helps the development of strong bones and teeth.


  • Freeze the water bottle overnight; it will help to keep the rest of the lunchbox cool
  • Pack a water bottle even if you are sending milk – the milk can be consumed at morning tea or lunchtime and the water at other times of the day when your child is thirsty

Food to leave out of the lunchbox

Snack food and drink that are high in added sugar, saturated fat or salt are generally low in  nutrients and provide lots of kilojoules that can contribute to children becoming overweight or obese. We call these ‘sometimes’ foods and drinks because they should only be consumed sometimes and in small amounts. Sticky, sweetened foods can also cause tooth decay.

Muesli bars Potato chips Cordial
Fruit bars/ roll ups/ LCM bars etc. Dry Noodles Fruit Juice
Lollies/ chocolate/ Cacao 2 minute noodles Flavoured Milk
Sweet cakes/ slices Pre-packaged/ quick cook meals
eg 2 minute noodles/ 10 minute pasta etc.
Soft Drink
Sweet biscuits eg. Tiny Teddies Pies/ sausage rolls
Flavoured deserts eg. Jelly cups, Yogo’s Frankfurts
Fairy bread Cabanossi/ Salami
Strings Pretzels

The above are suggestions and are not limited to those listed but provide a guide for parents/carers. The Denman Children’s Centre excludes ‘sometimes’ foods and drinks in lunchboxes. These foods will be left in children’s lunchboxes and a note sent home for parents.

Parents are reminded that Denman Children’s Centre is a nut free zone.