What’s the magic formula when it comes to packing school lunches that are actually eaten?

Even the most organised of moms will admit that packing a school lunchbox day in and day out can be challenging. After all, you need to balance the nutritional needs of your child, with packing foods that they will actually eat.

If you’re feeling stuck, here are five lunchbox hacks to help you out:

5 Lunchbox hacks you need to try

1. Get the basics right…

If the peanut butter sarmie comes home untouched each day, it’s likely that your child is just not a fan!

Use what your child eats (and doesn’t eat) as a clue to what she enjoys eating at school. Once you’ve figured it out, pack more of it!

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2. Involve your child

Children are more likely to eat their lunch if they have a say in packing it. So, get your child involved; give him a list of foods that are currently in the fridge and pantry, and allow him to mix and match his own lunch box items.

3. Lunchboxes with different compartments are great!

Obviously, you want to include lots of energy-boosting protein, veggies and carbs so lunchboxes with different compartments are great (think Bento boxes!).

Plus, kids love snacking – and will enjoy the fact that mom packed them a variety of things over one sarmie and fruit that they may not feel like!

4. What’s in the box?

  • Biltong and dried wors is always a hit – and a good way to get protein in!
  • Fruit on sticks (think colourful fruit kebabs) are more likely to be eaten than whole, unpeeled fruits.
  • Dips are a great way to entice kids to eat their veggies. Try carrot or celery sticks dipped in hummus…
  • A wrap or quesadilla, filled with chicken and salad makes a great handheld snack – and is healthier than bread!

5. Re-purpose leftovers

Dinner leftovers make great lunches. Planning to make more than you know you’ll eat – intentional leftovers – is a great lunch packing strategy…

Think roast chicken mayo wraps and toasted mince and cheese!