No more soggy sandwiches: A dietitian shares her simple, five-day lunchbox plan.

Whether your kids are just starting school or moving into a new grade, all parents know the daily hassle that comes with packing your kid’s lunchbox.

And with lunchbox shaming and ‘nude food’ trends taking over, it seems school lunches have become even more complicated.

Not only do you need to pack a healthy and nutritious lunch, but it also needs to be something your kids will actually eat so you don’t end up finding a squashed half-eaten sandwich at the end of the day.

Side note.. there are two types of people when it comes to packing a lunchbox. Post continues after video.

Video by Mamamia

To help you out, Mamamia asked accredited practising dietitian, Sharon Natoli, the Founding Director at Food & Nutrition Australia, to share her simple five-day lunchbox plan:

Weekly lunchbox plan:



  • Sliced fruit (e.g. orange, mandarin & watermelon)


  • Cheese and Broccoli Fingers. See the full recipe here.
  • A slice of wholegrain or high fibre bread
  • A handful of cherry tomatoes
  • Water
Cheese and broccoli fingers
Cheese and broccoli fingers. Image: supplied.



  • Fruit salad and one tub of yoghurt


  • Tuna and pasta salad made with tuna, corn, cooked pasta, cherry tomatoes and a tbsp of mayonnaise stirred through (add olives as an optional extra)
  • Water



  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Carrot sticks with hummus


  • Chicken and avocado roll. Spread a whole grain or white high fibre bread roll with mashed avocado. Top with shredded chicken, a slice of cheese, cucumber and lettuce.
  • Strawberries or mixed berries
  • Water



  • Wholegrain crackers with cheese and a bunch of grapes


  • Egg muffins three ways. See the full recipe here.
  • A carton of milk
  • Water
Egg muffins.
Egg muffins. Image: supplied.



  • A sliced peach/plum and one tub of yoghurt


  • Turkey, cream cheese and cranberry wholegrain sandwich made with cream cheese, baby spinach, sliced turkey breast and cranberry sauce
  • Cherry tomatoes and baby cucumber
  • Water

Holly Wainwright and Jo Abi discuss lunchbox politics on This Glorious Mess. Post continues after podcast. 

Healthy lunchbox tips:

  • With kids heading back to school in summer, Sharon says "it’s important to take steps to keep the lunchbox cool to reduce the growth of any harmful bacteria. Choose an insulated lunchbox, a small freezer pack, or include a wrapped frozen water bottle."
  • Sharon suggests letting kids get involved in planning and packing their lunchbox by providing them with a list of healthy lunch options. "Children are more likely to eat something they have helped to select," she explains.
  • If you want to avoid soggy sandwiches but still pack something healthy, Sharon says you should "include options such as snacking cucumbers, colourful cherry tomatoes, celery sticks and crunchy snow peas."
  • Don't forget a bottle of water. "Water is the best drink for children and should be packed with the school lunchbox every day," says Sharon. "It can be frozen to help keep foods in the lunchbox cool. Sweet drinks such as fruit juices, juice drinks, cordials, flavoured mineral waters and soft drinks are high in sugar and best minimised."
  • Sharon also suggests providing kids with a different mix of fruits to help keep things interesting. "Cut up different types of fruit on the weekend and keep it in different containers," she adds.

Do you have any healthy lunchbox tips of your own? Let us know in the comments below.