Eating at school

Eating at school will be a different experience for your child compared with eating at home or at preschool.

There are no places to keep food hot or cold in primary school. Children often sit on the grass or on benches and balance their food on their knees. They will also need to be able to open everything their food is wrapped in and they won’t want to spend so much time eating that they miss out on playing.

Tips to help your child

  • Pack food that is easy to open, easy to eat and not messy.
  • Write your child’s name on their lunch box, water bottle and any other containers.
  • Include a frozen drink bottle to keep food cold. Wrap it in a tea towel in case it leaks.
  • Use insulated lunch boxes or cooler bags.
  • Avoid using plastic wrap because children find it hard to pull apart. Paper bags are better for the environment too.
  • Pack tissues or paper around fruit so it won’t bruise.
  • Remind your child to wash their hands before eating and to use the toilet at recess and lunch.
  • Pack a water bottle for your child each day and remind them that they can also get water from the taps or bubblers throughout the day.

Recess and lunch ideas

  • Cut fruit into pieces and put them in a small container. Squeeze some lemon juice on apples or pears to stop them from going brown.
  • Cut up vegetables such as carrots, celery and cucumber and put them in a resealable plastic bag. Put dips or yoghurt in a separate container.
  • Make wholemeal muffins and freeze them.
  • Try different breads, such as rolls, pita, wholegrain or tortilla wraps.
  • If using tomato in a sandwich, slice it thinly and place the slices between other fillings to stop the sandwich from going soggy.
  • Cook a little extra dinner and save some for lunch the next day. You could make quiche, homemade pizza slices, salmon patties, roast vegetables, noodle salads or sausages. A freezer brick or frozen drink can help keep this food fresh.

Healthy School Canteens

We are increasing the availability of healthy food and drink options in school canteens to make the healthy choice the easy choice. Learn more about the Healthy School Canteens Strategy.

Return to top of page Back to top