It's all very well trying to add variety to your child's packed lunches, but busy boys or girls just want to chow down and be out in the playground with their mates as soon as possible, so juggling pots of hummus and forks full of salad doesn't appeal so much as a boring old turkey sandwich!
So it's time to try a new tactic. Check out our 5 fun and nutritious lunchbox ideas and then read on for even more clever ways to make your sandwich option as delicious as it is nourishing, plus clever yummy extras they'll never want to swap with the other kids.
These deliciously different sandwich fillings and combos make great alternatives to plain old cheese or turkey. We've even managed to sneak in extra fruit and veg!
- Drained red salmon, mashed up and mixed with ketchup - red salmon makes a great change from tuna.
- Green pesto with tomato and cucumber - a thin layer of pesto topped with salad favorites is tasty but light.
- Hummus and grated carrot - simple and tasty, the carrot prevents this sandwich getting too gooey.
- Turkey and tomato salsa - give a regular turkey filling a kick by spreading the bread with a mild salsa.
- Sliced apple and cinnamon - a great alternative to jam sandwiches. Peel and thinly slice the apple, squeeze over a little lemon juice to stop them turning brown, then sprinkle with cinnamon and a little sugar.
- Cottage cheese, grated carrot, sultanas - this mild, creamy sandwich filling is a yummy way to get fruit and veg into your child's lunchbox.
- Cream cheese with sliced strawberries - this is a cross between a cake and a sandwich! It works with slices of ripe mango, too.
Rolled up wraps make a nice alternative to a sandwich. Approach fillings in the same way, keeping them colorful and sneaking in foods you might usually think of for supper not lunch.
- Refried beans, avocado, grated cheese and sour cream - a great Tex-Mex twist for the lunchbox.
- Greek salad - combine crumbled feta cheese, hummus, cucumber and tomato with a little olive oil for a taste of the Med.
- Couscous, tomato, cucumber and grated cheese - a real carb booster, ideal for PE days.
- Turkey, tinned pineapple, grated cheese and tomato sauce - a Hawaiian pizza in a sandwich. Kids love it. Go for a good quality tomato sauce with a low salt and sugar content.
Clever shortcuts for picky eaters and snacking extras!
- If your child will only eat cheese sandwiches - grate cheese, apple and carrot then mix with a dash of lemon juice and a spoonful of mayo, as a tasty variation that still features their favorite cheese.
- If you need to make your ingredients go further - grate cheese instead of slicing it, and with tuna stir in a handful of sweetcorn when mixing it with mayonnaise.
- If your child moans that everyone else brings crisps to school - give them homemade popcorn instead. A cheaper snack, with far less fat but still fun to eat.