What to put in a packed lunch for nursery

Before you start, check whether your nursery has a policy on what foods you can send, and stick to it. You can also download:  Our guide to a good packed lunch

  • Base your child’s packed lunch on a portion of starchy food: white or wholegrain bread, rolls, pitta bread or wraps, chapattis, plain naan bread, bagels, cooked pasta, rice, noodles, couscous or potato.
  • Add a portion of fruit or veg: carrot, cucumber, pepper or celery sticks; lentils in daal; grated carrot in sandwiches or wraps; mixed chopped fruit or strawberries; dried fruit like raisins or apricots.
  • Add a portion of meat, fish, eggs or other non-dairy protein: sliced meat, poultry or fish in sandwiches, rolls or wraps, or by itself; sliced egg in sandwiches, rolls or wraps; put meat alternatives like tofu in salads or pulses like kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils in bean salads.
  • Add a portion of milk or dairy food: a pot of yoghurt or fromage frais; cheese in sandwiches or wraps.
  • Drinks-wise, go for either fruit juice and water (diluted together, half and half), whole milk (for one to two year-olds), semi-skimmed milk (for two year-olds and older) or water.
  • Super snacks: Slices of fresh apple or banana; chopped grapes, carrot or cucumber; cubes of cheese, plain yoghurt or fromage frais with breadsticks, crackers, oatcakes, rice cakes, a small pitta or a bread roll.