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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

Examples:

  • 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.

Stay up to date on news, health tips and more from Unity Health Toronto at UnityHealth.to/newsletter.

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