• The Ultimate Guide to Packed Lunches for School and Work

The Ultimate Guide to Packed Lunches for School and Work

summer entertaining

Heading back to school and work doesn’t have to mean swapping out those elaborate home cooked holiday lunches for a fruit rollup and a pack of chicken crimpys. With a little food prep, you’ll be able to enjoy an enviable packed lunch without the usual morning craziness, and spend your lunch break actually taking a break! 

We have a couple of great ideas that’ll stave off mid-afternoon hangry spells, save you plenty of time and see school lunch boxes actually coming home empty.

GET THE KITCHEN READY

The first step to food prep is, prep (surprise, surprise). Stay with us here. If you’re going to be getting organised for the week it’s essential to make sure you are ready for the long haul. There’s no point in losing steam after making one wrap. Then for the rest of the week all you have to do for lunch is nab your pre-prepared lunch from the fridge as you dash out the door. Sounds easy, right?

Begin by ensuring that you have your chopping board, prep bowl and knife ready to cut your cheese, toss that salad and slice your bread. Not only do you ensure that you are not making a 1 pm walk of shame to the nearest service station, but you’ll save an extra 10 minutes in the morning to do all the important things — like enjoying your morning coffee.

If you have leftovers instead of placing them straight into the fridge, try dividing them first into smaller food containers. That way you’re much more likely to take one for lunch. Or if you’re getting sick of leftovers, freeze them instead. Step one of lunch prep complete!

knife food prep


SANDWICH SUBSTITUTES

The days of the classic white bread sandwiches are over. Make it a little more exciting and swap that bread for pita and wraps. Or if you’re feeling extra healthy ⁠⁠— wrap your favourite fillings in lettuce. Bagels are a delicious alternative too and can even be put into a sandwich press. Combine with a salad, pop it into your bag and you’re ready to go. 

If you have a whole lot of leftover salad, try turning it into rice paper rolls or sushi for the perfect bite size morsels for school and work. Not only are they filling, but you’ll also reduce food waste. 

Want to ditch breads, wraps and rice? There are plenty of baked lunch treats available! Fritters are a great way to use up leftovers, and all you have to do is fry them the night before in your non-stick cookware. If you're more into baking, why not try stuffed capsicums? See, no more boring sandwiches! Once you’ve made a mess making them, make sure you clean up with a tea towel. What are you waiting for? Break out your fry pan or baking dish and start prepping your delicious creations.

food baking lunch

BRING ON THE SNACKS AND DRINKS

It’s not all about the main meal. Bring a little variety to your packed lunch with some tasty homemade snacks for recess and afternoon tea. Zucchini muffins make the perfect snack for school or work. All you need is a muffin pan and mixing bowl to create these delicious snacks. Hot tip — fold in some cheese with spatula to make them even tastier!  

Protein balls or bliss balls are also a great way to use up some pantry items and make a filling and nutritious treat. To get the perfectly round shape, use a flat spoon utensil to give them a quick roll after you have placed them on your baking tray. You can even keep them in your freezer and place them into your work bag in the morning and they will be ready to eat by lunch. Or grab one (from your countertop food container of course), along with your water bottle as you head out to the gym. 

Once you’ve sorted your lunch and snacks, don’t forget to pack a drink. For a tasty alternative without the high sugar content, infuse some water with citrus or other fruits in yourdrink bottle for a delicious and refreshing thirst quencher.


drinks snacks lunch


Follow these tips and you'll be a packed lunch culinary master in no time.