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As a mum who is keen for her kids to stay on the OMS diet as a preventative measure, I sometimes find school lunch boxes to be a real challenge, both from a finding-the-energy perspective and an ideas perspective. I thought I would create a topic where we could swap some ideas on interesting and tasty things to put in our children's lunches for school in order to encourage them to eat well and stay healthy. The main lunch and the snacks are both of interest to me, particularly since my son's school doesn't allow any form of nut product.

Any great ideas? Have at it!
No nuts... but are seeds OK? Sunflower seeds are a good snack, or mixed seeds with, e.g., sunflower seeds, green pumpkin seeds and linseeds.
I love crunchy vegetable sticks (carrots, celery, peppers, cucumber) which can also be paired with a little pot of hummus or another dip and strips of toasted pitta bread.
Pitta bread "pockets" are a nice variant on a sandwich - stuff with beans and vegetables.
That's a good idea re the seeds, thanks. I'll check with the school first (and may wait until next year to send them since, as a kindy kid, he isn't the most careful/slow eater in the world!).

And I love the pita bread pockets idea, I'll have to give that one a go! Any variation I can add in to lunches is sooooo welcome.

I also do the veggie sticks with homemade hummus idea but it goes down like a lead balloon. I still send it along once a fortnight in the vain hope that he'll eat them but they usually come home with a stern warning not to send them again. He reckons they don't have time to eat that at recess (unsurprisingly he never has this issue with something like fruit leathers or mini muffins!).

Some ideas I use:

- sandwiches, of course (Vegemite, avocado and Vegemite, the odd attempt at sneaking in a salad sandwich <- usually fails, hummus and grated carrot, hard boiled egg with the yolk removed and mixed with a v small amount of egg- and dairy-free mayonnaise)
- once a fortnight a "special treat" sandwich like jam or slices of banana with honey
- pasta salad: pasta shapes mixed with any combination of olives, diced red capsicum, peas, corn, grated carrot, cherry tomatoes, tinned tuna, etc, and with a dressing added, eg. balsamic and olive oil, hummus, lemon juice and olive oil, sometimes even plain tomato sauce :?

- fruit
- organic dried fruit (we seem to have a few issues with sulfides in our family!)
- medjool dates
- Corn Cruskits (he likes having processed items sometimes, probably because most of his friends do, and these seem ok - ingredients are maize and salt <-- But I've learnt not to put anything on them because they go a bit soft or, worse, soggy)
- a little tub of cherry tomatoes mixed with a few olives
- mini fat-free homemade muffins (I make up 24, wrap them in cling wrap, pop them in a ziplock bag and freeze them - one or two a week lasts for ages, is quite healthy, and feels like a treat)
- occasionally, fruit "leathers" with nothing but fruit as the ingredients
- air dried popcorn
- soy yoghurt in a little tub
- polski ogorski/gherkins (he has strange tastes for a 5 year old!)

As an aside, I'm really struggling to counteract the broadly accepted "dairy is good" message sent out by schools, health professionals, etc. It's hard to explain to a little kid why he shouldn't have dairy when everyone around him maintains that it's absolutely necessary for a child's health.
thanks for sharing those food ideas :-) Lots of things for me to try!

Yeah the "dairy is good" thing is hard to avoid. People are always asking me where I get calcium (answer = soy yoghurt, tinned fish, green vegetables).
I answer same as cows, I eat my greens!

Dairy and kids a common theme of eczma and asthma and I expect he has a friend with either or both.
but then again there are also loads of kids who eat dairy and don't have eczema or asthma - seems to be a problem for some kids but not for others?
Agreed but there is so much money behind dairy propoganda to make it ,normal, to eat it, talk about confusing the public and labeling it essential.
Exactly. People can try to make you feel guilty for being over-restrictive about your child's diet (some even try to subvert it, in my experience) and when they hear "no dairy" without the presence of allergies some react as if you're neglectful. My nutrition knowledge isn't strong enough to give them really good evidence/arguments about it so it can be a difficult conversation. I'm actually going to see a nutritionist in the next few months, one familiar with the Jelinek approach, so I can ensure my children are meeting their nutritional requirements. At least then I can tell any busy-bodies very succinctly that their diet has been approved by a professional!
You already have some great ideas on your list.

I sometimes make little baked frittatas for my kids to take for lunch - I line muffin pans with flattened bread to act as the 'tart' case, and fill with egg-white mixed with whatever I have on hand - add in creamed corn and you even get the expected 'yellow' colour.

Little sushi rolls (cucumber or avocado +/- tuna) are their favourite though!

I bake a lot and freeze things for recess snacks - muffins, banana and blueberry or pear and raspberry bread slices. I'll also make things like anzac cookies or little egg-white meringues as 'treats'. Homemade muesli bars are also good.

I feel like my boys lunch boxes are pretty repetitive - luckily they don't complain!

warm regards,
Your tips are really useful many thanks! My eldest often tells me that he's only one who have vegs in his box - usually cherry tom, red peppers and cucumbers as well sandwiches. So your ideas'll make it more interesting! Am lucky that he will eat them.
X :D
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