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St. Joseph's Health Centre Toronto

Making school lunches fun for everyone

Kids are returning back to school and that means finding a lunch that is nutritious and delicious for your child. Melissa Murray, a registered dietitian with the St. Joseph’s Urban Family Health Team, shares her recommendations for making school lunches fun and healthy.

What to pack:

  • A variety of foods, food groups and colours so that it is visually appealing and balanced
  • Include foods that are crunchy, hard and that won’t mush in the lunchbox or backpack
  • Consider finger foods that are fun to eat, perhaps with a tasty dip like hummus or tzatziki
  • Snack foods that can be eaten quickly or eaten throughout the day, for those that eat slower or are overwhelmed with large amounts of food
  • Pick water or milk for a drink — try flavouring water with lemon, cucumber or mint


  • Veggie sticks, hummus, whole grain crackers and cheese
  • Yogurt, fruit, meat and cheese roll-ups
  • Hard-boiled eggs, whole grain crackers, veggie sticks and guacamole
  • Homemade chicken nuggets, cucumber sticks, tzatziki and a low-sugar granola bar
  • Canned tuna, pita and fruit salad
  • Quesadillas, a homemade muffin and yogurt

Other tips:

  • Include your child in meal planning. Ask them what fruit and/or veggie they want to bring and what they don’t like in their lunch box. Ask them what their friends bring to school.
  • Cut sandwiches or fruit into fun shapes or make designs out of them.
  • Bento boxes are popular with kids. They separate foods and help to keep textures intact.

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