Lunchbox Makeover: How to Add More Veg to Your Child's Lunchbox

Catherine Lippe

Catherine is a paediatric nutritionist with over 10 years’ experience. She offers tailored advice on child nutrition including: weaning, fussy eating, and nutrition for pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Adding veggies to your kid’s lunchbox doesn’t have to be tedious. It’s a great way to help your child reach their 5-a-day. Even if your child isn’t a veggie lover (yet!) try to include a small portion of at least one vegetable in their lunchbox each day. Perseverance pays off and over time your child is much more likely to accept vegetables if they have been repeatedly exposed to them.

Here are 5 top tips aimed at adding vegetables and fun to your child’s lunchbox:

Dipping veggies

If carrot and cucumber sticks day after day don’t entice your child, try adding a tasty dip alongside the crudités for added interest. Hummus, guacamole, sour cream or a simple dollop of soft cheese spread will go well with any veggie sticks for dipping. Place the dips in a small, easy to open, sealable pot alongside the veggie sticks. To save on daily prep time for the veggies themselves, chop plenty at the weekend and keep in a sealed jar with some cold water in it to keep them from drying out - this works really well for carrots!

Veggies on pizzas

Pizza can be a great lunchbox filler. Whether you use shop-bought or make your own pizzas using pitta bread or tortilla wraps, why not add some extra veg to help boost your child’s intake? Sliced tomato, sweetcorn, chopped peppers, and even frozen peas all work well and will give the pizza some appetising colour too.

Veggie kebabs

Making vegetables appealing doesn’t have to be time-consuming. Threading chopped vegetable pieces on skewers creates a fun way of exposing your child to vegetables. Raw peppers, cherry tomatoes (halved for the under 5’s), celery, cucumber, raw mushrooms and ready-to-eat beetroot all work well. Have a go at adding some new or unfamiliar veggies alongside ones that your child is already familiar with to increase exposure to new foods.

Fruit and veg salad

Combining veggies with your child’s favourite fruit in a fruit and veg salad combo can be a great way to expose them to more vegetables and add variety to their lunchbox. Cherry tomatoes, frozen peas, pepper slices, carrot sticks, tinned sweetcorn and sugar snap peas are great ideas for your fruit and veg salad.

Add veggies or salad items to sandwiches

It might seem obvious but adding veg or salad to the good old sandwich or wrap should not be underestimated. Why not try grated carrot, spinach or lettuce leaves, cucumber or beetroot slices, pepper sticks or tinned sweetcorn alongside your usual fillings such as cheese, ham, hummus or tuna?

About the author

Catherine Lippe

Catherine is a paediatric nutritionist with over 10 years’ experience. She offers tailored advice on child nutrition including: weaning, fussy eating, and nutrition for pregnancy and breastfeeding.

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