School lunch box

I find lunches the trickiest meal for me, but relatively simple for the school lunch box. On my work days I therefore often buy my lunch from near work.  I find this is the simplest way for me to get in a decent lunch and also get out of the office for a break. I’d therefore love to hear your views on what works for you as good options to take to work for lunch.  So please share your tips in the comments section at the bottom!

Same as for breakfasts and dinners, to make my top 7 list:
  • The food needs to taste good and be something that the whole family can eat
  • It needs to be healthy-ish, including some fruit or veggies and protein
  • From start to finish take less than 7 minutes to prepare.

Here are our “go to” lunches

1. I always look for a Japanese place near my work. Salmon and Avocado hand rolls are my favourite.  I sometimes also buy extra and put them in the work fridge to then take home that night for  dinner or the school lunch box the next day.  Hand rolls are therefore also good if you’re picking up tired and hungry kids at the end of the day.  They are easy for the kids to eat them in the car on the way home

2. Chicken salad:

  • Have the following items in your fridge: store-bought roast chicken, lettuce / carrot / capsicum / celery / avocado / cheese / whatever you like
  • Combine them all in a school lunch box to take to work or school
  • For a dressing, I like 2 parts olive oil with 1 part balsamic vinegar mixed together

3. Simple wrap. Smother hummus on your wrap and then add whatever protein and salad you like.  I like roast beef slices (from the supermarket – I definitely don’t cook from scratch!), lettuce and cheese

4. Chicken and salad sandwich.   It’s as simple as it sounds.  Butter bread, add roast chicken (see lunch no.2) and your choice of salad fillings. So simple, yet works!

5. Corn cakes.  Just buy packets from the supermarket.  They are usually found near the rice crackers.   Spread with any dip you like (e.g. hummus, cream cheese), add a thin meat like roast beef slices or ham (otherwise the corn cakes break too easily), sliced cheese (I buy it already sliced) and lettuce. My kids’ favourite in the school lunch box!

6. “Desk drawer lunch”. If you need to work through lunch, this one is a goodie:

  • Stock at work some salad lunch items that don’t need refrigerating.  Good examples are tin of tuna, salmon, chickpeas, corn
  • Bring to work some items to add to your salad that do require refrigerating.  Good examples are lettuce, avocado, tomato, cheese
  • Bring to work a cupful of rice if you’ve done a big cook-up of rice earlier in the week
  • Bring a small jar with 2 parts olive oil to 1 part balsamic vinegar
  • Finally add it all together at work

7. Buy your lunch.  I often buy my lunch at or near work as I find this the hardest meal to plan ahead for. As a result, I usually buy a salad with protein and then eat it in a meeting with team members (not when giving a presentation!). I’m not a big fan of always multi-tasking.  However, combining lunch with a meeting is a time-saver that works for me.

How do you make lunch work, whether it’s for you or to put in a school lunch box box?
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