Avoid These Mistakes While Packing Healthy For Your Children


Packing a school lunch box does not have to be complicated. But lately there is so much pressure to do everything right – making it nutritious, tasty, appealing, food that will make it until lunch time without getting soggy, smashed, etc. If you pack your kid’s lunchbox, you have probably got into a routine.

But how often does your child bring back the healthiest, best (according to you) lunchbox back without a morsel touched? Does it hurt when your lovingly packed lunchbox returns without being eaten?

Take a look at the most common mistakes us parents do to cause trading of lunchboxes or wasting of food.

I. Never Over-Pack Your Child’s Lunchbox

Never Over-Pack Your Child’s Lunchbox

Of course as parents we always worry if our child is hungry. Questions like “What if my little girl doesn’t like what I pack?” arise from time to time. And most often we ease our worries by over packing their lunch boxes. We pack sandwiches or dosas or idlis etc. (more than the child eats at home), 3 or 4 snacks, two to 3 pieces of fruit, assorted nuts, a drink, a sweet. (in case  the child needs a little more!) In situations like this, it is most likely that the lunch box will return with food wasted. Resist the urge to freak out and over pack your child’s lunch box. Observe how your kids eat on the weekend and that will give you an idea about the right amount of food to be packed for school.

II. Repeating Food Makes It Boring

Repeating Food Makes It Boring

So you pack pasta for your child’s lunch box but also plan to have spaghetti for dinner. This makes the child fussy. They want variety and so it is always helpful to have a plan for what would be prepared for meals post lunch. This will help prevent repetition and also help in creating a balanced and healthy menu plan for your child.

III. Overdoing The Fruit But Not The Veggies

Overdoing The Fruit But Not The Veggies

Of course packing fruit in your child’s lunch box is important but always remember to include vegetables too. Adding vegetables to your child’s lunchbox is the perfect way to ensure the kids meet their daily vegetable goal. A few best ways to pack vegetables in a fun way are : wraps, salads with tasty dressing, chaat, grilled and skewered vegetables etc.

IV. Including Very Little Protein

Including Very Little Protein

Always remember to include sufficient protein in your child’s lunch box. Don’t make the lunchbox only about carbohydrates. If a lunchbox consists of a lot of carbohydrates and very less protein, this will result in an imbalanced meal which will leave your child hungry soon after the carbs are digested. Include interesting protein sources like granola bars, yoghurt etc.

V. Make Your Child’s Lunch Box Inviting

Make Your Child’s Lunch Box Inviting

You may be packing a healthy and tasty lunch box and yet it returns fully wasted. A possible reason for this could be that the food is not inviting. Make sure the lunch box is filled with food of different colors. Also try not to squish sandwiches and parathas, they don’t just not look good but also don’t taste good! Kids eat with their eyes first. Provide them with a lunch that is colorful, inviting and full of variety.

VI. Choose Food That Is Meant For Kids

Choose Food That Is Meant For Kids

A big mistake that a lot of parents do while buying products off the shelf is going by the advertisement. The supermarket may sell goodies tagged “For Kids” but they need not necessarily be meant for kids. Always remember to read labels, nutrition facts, ingredient lists etc. and then take a call whether to buy it or not. A lot of these products are loaded with salt, sugars and other unhealthy ingredients. Simple home-made food is always the best.

VII. Pack The Foods Your Child Will Eat Well

Pack The Foods Your Child Will Eat Well.

While packing a lunchbox for school, focus on what the child eats, don’t only focus on the food. You may pack sandwiches for your child when in reality your child dislikes bread and anything to do with bread. You may pack a cube of cheese just because you want your child to have it even though he/she dislikes it at home. An important point to remember is food is not nourishment if not consumed, so make sure you pack the foods you know your child will eat.

VIII. Lunch Notes May Not Be Everyone’s Thing!

Lunch Notes May Not Be Everyone’s Thing

Some kids love a well-crafted note sent by their parents with their lunch boxes. But some don’t! Make sure your child enjoys receiving a note with his tiffin; if he/she isn’t comfortable and is slightly embarrassed, don’t push it. Just let it be and leave out the notes. A well packed tiffin box with delicious home-cooked food packed with a lot of love would do!


A few tips that will help parents pack a healthy and balanced lunch box for their little ones for school.