Table spread with lunch box planning

I love cooking but when it comes to lunch box ideas I am more the kind of ‘open the fridge and fling it in’ kind of person.

My default packed lunch seems to be a cheese sandwich, a banana, a yoghurt and a piece of fruit… nothing wrong with that I suppose, but I want to produce more interesting and healthy food for my family.

So I’ve been doing some research and here are some ideas for your next packed lunch.

Sandwich fillings

Your sandwich could be two slices of bread but it could also be a wrap, pita, soft torilla or bagel. And inside, you could put:

  • chopped hard-boiled egg and pickles with mustard and mayo;
  • drained tinned tuna, finely chopped celery and spring onion, with mayo and a squeeze of lemon juice;
  • BLT – cooked bacon with lettuce, and cherry tomatoes on the side (so it doesn’t go soggy);
  • hot dog – frankfurter and mustard/ketchup;
  • hummus, raw grated carrot and lettuce (particularly good stuffed in toasted garlic pita pieces);
  • Sloppy Joe – shredded cooked chicken and raw grated carrot with barbecue sauce;
  • bacon and scrambled egg;
  • Warldof – shredded cooked chicken, chopped apples and celery, walnuts, raisins, and mayo;
  • ham and cheese melt (add mustard, fresh greens, ham and cheese to a wrap, fold in half and grill until the cheese is beginning to melt);
  • cooked chicken, pesto and peas;
  • grated apple, chopped spring onions, a squeeze of lemon and mayo; and
  • Marmite, grated cheddar and sliced cucumber.

Also, here are some non-sandwich ideas:

  • corn fritters;
  • sushi (spread cooked sticky rice onto a nori seaweed sheet, add your favourite fillings – avocado, salmon, cooked carrot sticks, cucumber sticks) and roll, chill overnight and cut into pieces in the morning;
  • chips and dips (a few tortilla chips and in a separate container some tomato salsa, or mashed avocado, or both;
  • mini meatballs (cook extra the night before);
  • bamboo skewers – put your normal sandwich filling into cubes and thread it onto a bamboo skewer – think cherry tomatoes, pieces of cucumber, a cube of ham or a prawn, or a sweeter version with grapes, cubes of firm cheese, apple or pear; and
  • a small piece of smoked fish with raw veggies cut into sticks.


I try to be mindful about wrapping too. Making or buying sandwich wraps or washable containers can lessen the impact of packed lunches on the environment.

One of my favourites is the Sistema 150ml Yogurt To Go pot

Sistema Yoghurt to Go pot

My son, who is six, can’t manage a whole yoghurt and if he takes one to school, the whole inside of his lunch box gets coated in yoghurt… yuck! Now he takes half a yoghurt in this little pot and screws the lid back on when he has finished…

I bought mine from Countdown… you can buy one online like it here.

I also like this lunchbox, as the two containers on the side are so handy for putting cut fruit and small snacks into. It’s the Sistema 975ml Snack Attack Duo. Again from Countdown, available online here.

Sistema Snack Attack Duo Lunch Box

Another great packaging idea is the washable lunch wrap.

My friend, Anna, makes sandwich wraps to sell for $10 each, or $18 for 2 incl. postage anywhere in N.Z. She also makes matching snack pockets for $5 each. You can contact her by mobile on 021-980-870.

Sistema Snack Attack Duo Lunch Box

(By the way, I didn’t take the photo at the top of this post. It is a copyright-free image that I found on Pixabay.)

If you try of these recipe ideas, snap a photo and hashtag #coromandelflavour – I love to see what you’ve been making and any feedback is really welcome.