Here are our 50 best buys and recipes for your kids' lunchboxes, so you'll never be struggling for packed lunch inspiration again! We've got loads of cheap and healthy suggestions.
Do your kids take a packed lunch to school with them? If you lovingly prepare sandwiches each night only to find they come back half-eaten and you worry that all your child has had all day is a packet of crisps and a chocolate bar, then we can help.
We’ve done the hard work for you and have come up with 50 healthy lunchbox buys and recipes that we know kids will eat and love, from exciting sandwich fillings to homemade treats like marshmallow crispy bars.
In our gallery of sweet and savoury lunchbox fillers there are also protein-packed chicken sarnies that won’t go soggy, real fruit rolls that taste like sweets and healthier chocolate bar alternatives, so you can make sure your kids are getting more of the good stuff, plus everything they need to keep them going until home time and concentrate better in class.
If you know your kids are a bit fussy try our fruity peanut butter wraps – they’re packed with brain-boosting vitamin B3. And if they’re always falling over, pop a blackcurrant and apple drink, crammed with vitamin C, in their lunchbox to help them heal faster.
Whatever your kids are like, you’ll find them the perfect lunchbox fillers with our helpful guide.
Now your kids can have their favourite party pud in their lunchbox. These Jelly Delight pots combine fromage frais with delicious strawberry jelly. Plus they contain real fruit juice!
Price: £1.28 for a pack of 4 from Asda.
Pop these pure fruit rolls that taste like sweets into your child’s lunchbox and they won’t even notice they’re eating their way to 5-a-day. They’ll love trying all of the different flavours too like blueberry, raspberry, peach and strawberry.
Price: £2.28 for a pack of 10 from Asda.
Help your kids fight off school bugs with these fruity oat flapjacks, which they’ll have no problem munching their way through. The dried cherries and apricots in these snacks are full of health-boosting antioxidants, plus the oats will keep your child fuller for longer.
Get the recipe now: Cherry, apricot and chocolate chip flapjacks.
Packed full of wholegrain goodness, these bite-sized savoury snacks come in a variety of flavours. You can also buy them in jumbo packs so you can stock up for the whole school week.
Price: £1.89 for a pack of 6 from Tesco.
Frubes are a great way of getting yogurt into your kids’ diets. They’re fun to eat, only take up a tiny amount of space in their lunchbox and there’s no need to pack a spoon either.
Yogurt provides just as much bone-strengthening calcium as milk so this snack is perfect if your kids don’t like drinking the while stuff.
Price: £2 for a pack of 9 from Tesco.
Crackers are low in fat and a good source of fibre. They’ll fill your kids up and you can put just about anything on top of them. Plus, you don’t have to worry about these crackers going stale by the end of the week as they come in individual wrappers.
Price: £1.59 for a pack of 8 from Tesco.
These strawberry jelly lunchbox pots contain no added sugar and are completely free of anything artificial.
Price: 35p each or £2 for 6 from Asda.
If they never eat that apple you pack in their lunchbox, swap it for these crunchy snacks made from a whole fresh apple. Who knew ‘crisps’ could provide your kids with 1 of their 5-a-day?
Price: 59p each or £2 for 4 from Tesco.
A fun and nutritious way to eat cheese! Each cheesy snack stick is made with 1 glass of wholesome, calcium-rich milk.
Price: £2.75 for a pack of 8 from Tesco.
Cut down on your child’s daily sugar intake by swapping their usual bar of choccie with a small slice of this tray bake, topped with just a single chocolate button.
Get the recipe now: Chocolate buttons slice.
For a more filling cheesy snack, pop these Dunkers (that come with big breadsticks) in with their lunch. They’re free from any artificial preservatives, colours or flavours.
Price: £2.20 for a pack of 4 from Tesco.
These pro-biotic yogurt drinks provide your child with 100% of their recommended daily intake of vitamin D and 20% of their vitamin C allowance in one gulp! Your kids need both of these vitamins for strong and healthy bones.
Price: £1.75 for a pack of 6 from Tesco.
Apples and pears contain calcium and iron, plus the natural sugars in them are a great alternative to chocolate or sweets, providing your child with slow-releasing energy.
Calcium is an important mineral in your child’s diet as it strengthens their bones and teeth. And iron plays an essential role too, carrying oxygen all around their body and to their brain – they couldn’t function without it.
Price: 50p per bag or £1.50 for 4 from Asda.
A low-fat dessert option that provides a good source of calcium and dairy. These custard pots are perfectly sized so they’ll fit snugly in your child’s lunchbox.
Price: £1.63 for a pack of 4 from Sainsburys.
For a delicious and quick cheese fix, pack these little Cheddar cubes in your child’s lunchbox – each and every nibble is made entirely of real cheese.
Price: £2 for a pack of 6 from Tesco.
Rice pudding is the ultimate packed-lunch dessert, with energy-boosting rice, calcium-rich milk and added apples and raspberries, which are high in vitamin C. This healthy pud will help your kids ward off any colds going about.
Price: £3.59 for a pack of 6 from Tesco.
No added bits, just a smooth and fruity lunchbox snack that’s made with whole milk yogurt for an extra kick of calcium.
Price: £1.50 for a pack of 4 from Tesco.
Asda snack packs are the perfect lunchbox-sized portion of fruit, which keeps fresher for longer in its recyclable packaging, so your child won’t get soggy grapes.
Price: 50p per bag or £1.50 for 4 from Asda.
Pitta bread won’t go soggy like sliced bread, so stuff a pitta pocket with our tasty Moroccan chicken filler and we bet the kids will love it.
Get the recipe now: Moroccan chicken pockets.
Veg is notoriously low in fat and contains lots of vitamins and minerals to keep your kids healthy. Carrots are high in vitamin A, which helps boost their eyesight, so wrap a few of these in foil and add them to your kids’ lunchboxes.
Price: £1 for a 350g bag from Asda.
Treat them to this yogurt dessert, which comes with crunchy sprinkles to pour in.
Price: £3 for a pack of 6 from Tesco.
Couple these creamy dips with carrot and cucumber batons for a healthy lunchbox snack.
Price: £1.75 for a pack of 4 from Tesco.
Mini Babybels are the original lunchbox filler that kids will love unwrapping and eating. They also contain the bone-strengthening mineral calcium, plus vitamin A for healthy eyes and energy-boosting vitamin B12.
Price: £1.75 for a pack of 6 from Tesco.
Fresh apples are perfect for lunchboxes as they can literally be thrown in without any hassle and the best part is, an apple a day keeps the doctor away!
Price: £1.35 for a bag of apples from Asda.
A pack of mini chocolate chip cookies are better for your kids than a chocolate bar, so pop one in their lunchbox every now and again as a lunchtime treat.
Price: £1.59 for a pack of 6 from Tesco.
Samosas are brilliant as you can fill them with just about anything you know your kids will love. These contain immune-boosting apple and calcium-rich cheese – a really tasty pairing.
Get the recipe now: Cheese and apple samosas
A tasty treat that’s a perfect fit for lunchboxes because they’re thin squares of shortbread, covered in an even thinner layer of milk chocolate.
Price: £1.29 for 6 from Asda.
Baby corn is a fun and sweet way to help your kids get their 5-a-day. It’s delicious eaten raw and full of B vitamins, which help build new cells.
Price: £1 per pack from Asda.
Celery sticks can be filled with hummus or even peanut butter to help fill your kids up for longer. Celery also contains potassium which is good for healthy muscles and can help to reduce exam stress, too.
Price: £1 for a 350g pack from Tesco.
Your kids will love these seedless satsumas because they’re really easy to peel and you’ll love them as 2 count as 1 of their 5-a-day.
Price: £1.25 for 1kg from Asda.
Raisins are a tasty alternative to sweets and contain lots of fibre, which is great for healthy tummies.
Price: £2.43 for a pack of 6 from Tesco.
These baked stars come in a variety of flavours and are a fun snack for your kids, with 70% less fat than other potato crisps.
Price: £1 for a pack of 6 from Asda.
Turn a simple ham and cheese sarnie into a tastier lunch by using Italian bread. No more of those soggy sandwiches!
Get the recipe now: Cheesy ham panini
Twiglets are high in fibre, suitable for vegetarians and contain vitamins B3 and B2 which will help your kids get more energy from the foods they eat. A great crunchy snack that will help to keep them going after lunch.
Price: £1.78 from Asda.
Scotch eggs will make a tasty snack addition to any lunch box and the eggs in them are a good source of protein. Popping 2 of these mini ones in your child’s lunchbox won’t take up much room and each one contains just 2.8g of fat.
Price: 90p for a pack of 12 from Tesco.
Snack a Jacks are a lower-fat alternative to crisps and come in sweet and savoury flavours that your kids will love like sour cream and chive or caramel.
Price: £1.68 for a pack of 4 from Asda.
Quorn sausage rolls are meat free so they’re lower in fat but are still a good source of protein for growing kids and they taste great eaten cold.
Price: £2.25 for a pack of 12 from Asda.
Add half a bag of unsalted, roasted peanuts, cashews, almonds, raisins and cranberries to their packed lunch and they can nibble on these energy-boosting snacks, which will keep them going for the rest of the day.
Price: £1.48 for a 90g bag from Asda.
Tuna is a great source of protein and contains Omega 3 fatty acids which are good for your child’s heart. Get them eating more of this fish by making these fun and delicious tuna mayo sandwiches with crunchy sweetcorn.
Fussy kids will love these tasty wraps containing peanut butter, crunchy
apples and creamy bananas. This sweet but healthy lunch idea could help improve your child’s concentration in lessons, as peanuts contain the brain-boosting vitamin B3.
Get the recipe now: Fruity peanut butter wraps.
Wrap up 2 slices of sticky and sweet, fruity malt loaf for a delicious snack your kids can chew on. This lunchbox treat is low in fat and full of energy from all the dried fruit crammed in.
Price: £1.25 for a 370g loaf from Asda.
Hummus and grated carrots in seeded bread makes an easy, meat-free sarnie that will help to regulate your child’s blood sugar levels, avoiding a mid-afternoon energy slump.
If your kids are tired of sandwiches for lunch, whip up this this healthy and simple-to-make couscous, which you can add lots of veggies to, to make it colourful and nutritious! Throw in some leftover chicken or shredded ham too if you like.
Get the recipe now: Easy couscous salad.
These chewy cereal bars with added raisins and nuts, are fun to make with the kids and can be popped into their lunchbox for a filling, sweet treat to share with their friends.
Get the recipe now: Marshmallow crispie bars.
Pack a couple of these orange and chocolate cakes on the days your kids have PE, for fast fuel for their muscles.
Price: £1.15 for a pack of 12 cakes from Asda.
If you struggle to get your kids eating fruit, pack a carton of freshly-squeezed blackcurrant and apple juice, with no bits, in their lunchbox and they can drink up 1 of their 5-a-day.
This fruit drink also contains over half of their recommended daily intake of vitamin C, which will help them heal quicker if they get hurt.
Price: £2.92 for a pack 4 cartons from Asda.
Asda supermarket deal: Buy 2 packs for £5
These delicious pasties, filled with Cheddar cheese and onion, are perfect if you’re in a rush and need something quick and filling to put in your child’s lunchbox.
Price: £1.65 for a pack of 4 from Tesco.
Quick packed lunch idea: 2 cheese and onion pasties, an apple, 2 malted loaf slices, a pot of rice pudding and half a bag of dried fruit and nuts.
Falafels are easy to make and contain lots of goodies like chickpeas and garlic. The kids will gobble them up as they are or you could stuff them into some wholegrain pitta bread with salad for a healthy and filling lunch.
Get the recipe now: Homemade falafels.
Swap your kid’s chocolate bar for a healthy, cereal chewy bar. It contains just enough chocolate chips for choccie addicts but it’s also packed full of wholegrain goodness.
Price: £1 for a pack of 9 from Asda.
Your kids will love these crunchy, sweet snacks made from sesame seeds and syrup. Each snap contains B vitamins, which will help boost their energy and keep their muscles and brain working. Plus it’s a healthier and cheaper alternative to a chocolate bar.
Price: 50p for a pack of 4 from Asda.