Lunch Box Challenge

Disclaimer: This is a giveaway post for Dairy Australia. I was compensated with a Tupperware Fuel Pack for my time. All opinions expressed are purely my own. No payment was offered nor accepted for this post.

School Lunches, What to send for school lunch, kids calcium needs, making sure kids get the calcium they need

Please excuse my daggy lunch making skills. I wish I could pack neat, cute lunches but it doesn’t work for me.

I am just going to come out and say it; I am still struggling with this school mum thing. One of the many things I am still having trouble with is the school lunch. What you see above is a typical lunch for Ellie, except we had run out of baby spinach, which I will probably never hear the end of.

I’ve mentioned before the importance of my children meeting their daily calcium needs and, at the start of the school year I was highly aware of the fact that I wasn’t sending Ellie calcium rich foods because I simply hadn’t thought about buying a refrigerator bag to keep things cool while in her bag through out the day.

Now, with our Tupperware Fuel Pack insulated lunchbox, I feel more comfortable sending cheese, yoghurt and milk to school but I am finding that the cheese I am sending has started coming home, even a milk came home unopened. I don’t blame her. It’s boring to have the same thing everyday. Except if that thing is baby spinach. Of course.

Like almost 50% of parents, I struggle to prepare and pack lunches which are exciting, healthy and child approved (Ellie is quite a fussy eater). I believe packing dairy foods for school is important, in fact, the day care we sent Jasper and Kahlei to insists, it is where they spend most of their day and it’s the place where they use most of their physical and mental energy.

In light of this, I have given myself a challenge to find new ways to meet her daily needs this coming week. I am happy to send cheese and crackers, a tub of yoghurt and milk, I just need to change it up enough to avoid it coming home. It does her no good if it’s not being eaten, it’s a waste and makes me feel like it’s just another thing I can’t quite get right. Yes, cheese can me me feel like that right now.

My plan is to come out of this with a list of foods and ideas I can prepare and freeze or simply have on hand in order to make each day’s lunch just that little bit different.

Lunch ideas, Zucchini Slice, calcium rich foods for school,

I’ve started by making some extra Zucchini Slice when I did dinner, all made and cut up and ready to go. A quick, easy, tasty and most importantly, approved-by-Ellie treat.

I will be keeping an eye on the Kids Need 3 facebook page for ideas as well as pouring through online recipes. And, I’ll be coming to you guys. How do YOU help your children meet their daily calcium needs? What do you send in their lunches and how do you keep them from becoming bored?

If you can share a tip or two with me, then you will go into the draw to win 1 of 2 Tupperware Fuel packs, valued at $71.40, thanks to Dairy Australia.

Tupperware Fuel pack includes;

  • 2 x 250ml Fuel Pack Containers
  • 1 x 500ml Fuel Pack Container – includes removable divider
  • 1 x 1.25 Litre Fuel Pack Container – includes removable divider
  • 1 x Insulated Bag
  • 1 x Product Information Booklet
  • 1 X Kids Good Health Recipe Book
  • Tupperware, lunch box ideas, tupperware lunch box,

Entries close midnight April 2nd 2013 (AEST, ie Sydney time) and the best answer, as determined by my family and myself, will win. Please note, entry is only open to Australian residents and be sure I have your contact details in case you win!! The prizes will be sent out by the PR firm.

If the prize is not claimed within a week, this competition will be redrawn.




Real Life Wednesdays at Picklebums

Aussie Giveaway Linky
Hosted by Three Lil Princesses


  1. A delicious range of homemade dips
    Served with sesame seed biscuit strips
    Or fruit kebabs, they look divine
    The kids’ favourite fruits all in a line
    And simple cherry tomatoes and squares of cheese
    Are a welcome favourite and certainly please!
    Sticks of cucumber, or mini feta pies
    Are some healthy snacks this mum supplies!

  2. Mini quiches – I have a fabulous recipe with cream and cheese in it and they are so yummy 🙂
    If you want the recipe send me a message on FB! xo

  3. I’ve been googling 🙂 and here are some ideas

    Of the long list of foods that contain calcium, some include:
    Milk, cheese and yoghurt
    Soy milk
    Sweet potato
    Peas and beans
    Broccoli and kale

    You could Blend yogurt into fruit smoothies, you can add Kale as well (apparently this doesn’t alter the taste much at all).
    Orange Wedges – Oranges are a good source of calcium.
    You could make pancakes and sneak in some sweet potato
    Flavoured milks are a pretty good source of calcium
    Chickpeas can be made into a dip for vegetable sticks
    Sneak cottage cheese into their sandwiches.

    I’ve included some links to some pretty cool lunch boxy recipes as well: – these dont even need to be as complicated as this. Danny and I just throw blanched spinach and cheese inside puff pastry and have never had an issues…

    Hope there is something in here you can use.


  4. We drink a lot of smoothies. Not only are they high in calcium when made with milk but we throw lots of other goodies in there too like fruit, chia seeds, some coconut oil and it’s a nutrient rich drink…and the kids don’t even realise!

  5. Great giveaway! I have school and kinder lunches to make each day. We have a nude food policy too. I always make sure there is lots of fresh fruit, natural yoghurt with added raspberries, banana yoghurt muffins, veggie sticks and dips, cheese and crackers!

  6. Fantastic Prize! What a great idea for the kids lunchboxes 🙂 I recently had a cooking lesson with a fellow mum who taught me how she gets her two little ones to eat more calcium! It is a traditional Bosnian recipe called Pita and basically is pastry packed with yummy fetta, cheese, sour cream (any cheeses) and lots of spinach! Yes baby Spinach is great! i was amazed how everyone in the family loves it and it is easy to pack into the lunch box for school too and can be eaten hot or cold! YUM

  7. My toddler is quite fussy so I struggle a bit but I always remember that there is calcium in non-dairy e.g. spinach and also a lot of other goodness. So I try to start her day with a green smoothie or juice – she always says YUK! – right after she has guzzled it all down! I use cheese in lunches, cubes with grapes or in a wholegrain sarnie. I vary it with wholegrain crackers of different shapes and varieties and now and then pop in a healthy baked good for a bit of variety, along with varied seasonal fruits.
    Would LOVE to win some tupperware, thanks for the chance!!

  8. My son eats the same sandwich nearly every day, and he is 12! I offer to make him something different, and he accepts, but comes back to the old fave a few days later….

    With my daughter, I put lots of little containers of a variety of foods from the fridge – baby tomotoes, chopped carrots, cooked pasta etc. Then she assembles herself or its like a mini tapas feast going on in her lunch!

  9. I ask my kids what they would like in their lunchboxes everyday, this way I’m assured that they will enjoy and eat their food. Sometimes it’s sandwiches and other times it’s leftovers – meatballs, shepherds pie, scalloped potatoes, with a different fruit each day and a special treat as well 🙂

  10. For daily calcium needs i offer one of the following things to my kids during mealtimes and in lunchbox…

    – a small tub of yoghurt
    – a small container of cubed tasty cheese or sliced cheese with whole grain crackers.
    – spread crackers or a wrap with cottage or ricotta cheese, add grated vegetables and ham.
    – cottage cheese with strawberries or blueberries
    – bread wraps with Vegemite and grated cheese
    -yoghurt with frozen berries

    For every day of the week i pack different foods in the lunchbox so that they don’t get bored. I pack vegetables, fruit, whole grains,dairy, meat and water.

    some examples are…

    – fill a snack cup with frozen peas, corn and carrots, by the lunch time they are great little sweet bites to nibble on.
    – a cold rice, couscous, quinoa or pasta salad – add grated carrot, cubed tomato, drained corn kernels, chopped capsicum, peas, finely shredded baby spinach.
    – fill sandwiches with shredded lettuce, sprouts, sliced tomato, cucumber and capsicum
    -vegetable frittatas
    – potato cakes with grated vegetables
    -Lentil and vegetable soups and stews stored in a thermos to keep warm.
    -lettuce cups filled with chopped vegtables.

  11. Oh man I am so with you… I hate doing school lunches! And to add insult to injury my girl’s won’t eat sandwiches!!! ARRGGHH!

    I sent my girls with yogurt in the nude food mover tubes with the screw top lids which work well. I whack a little freezey brick in their lunch boxes in hot weather. We also do a little thermos of pasta salad, or potato salad and sometimes left over pasta dinner (the thermos keeps the salads cold and if you warm it up in hot water and add hot food it is still warmish by lunch) plus things like home made pizza rolls with loads of cheese…

    Good luck with your lunches!

  12. Cheese and vita wheat wholemeal crackers
    Glass of milk in a plastic container.

  13. How do YOU help your children meet their daily calcium needs? What do you send in their lunches and how do you keep them from becoming bored?

    I am a big fan of eating with your eyes. Kiddies will eat healthy things if they look cool! I put together art with high-calcium veggies (dark leafy greens mostly), yoghurt and cheese. I try to “invent” a new artwork everyday, although there are favourites that are requested time and time again! This keeps little ones from getting to bored 🙂

  14. Cheesy vegemite scrolls work well in lunch boxes. I load up sandwiches with calcium rich goodies & cheese cubes are the go. Yoghurt is always an easy item to pack.

    A cold pack keeps it all cool, but I do advise eating some of the dairy at morning tea.

  15. Cheese! My kids all love cheese! There are lots of ways to pack cheese-
    cheese sticks, cheese and crackers, cheese cubes, prepacked “cheesy pops”, cheese slices, cheese and dip.
    Just make sure their lunchboxes are insulated and oool enough to transport cheese!

    Variety! Kids get bored easy, but if you rotate through ideas,monthly is usually long enough to make things “new” to them again.

  16. Frozen yoghurts in summer and, carrot with cheese dip and baby minibells

  17. I pack cheese sandwiches, cheese strips, yogurt tubs , boiled eggs in the shape of fish,car,pig and bunny using egg molds for their daily dairy requirement.

    my son’s favourite are pita pockets stuffed with mustard sauce ,shredded cheddar cheese, shredded carrots,egg slices and small cheese clouds cut with a cutter from cheese singles.

    To avoid boredom i try to pack a different lunch every day. For my prep boy i cut the sandwiches in different ways to make them more appealing to him ( triangles, squares or strips).sometimes i even use one slice of white and one slice of brown to make a puzzle sandwich. I even add a little sticker in their lunchbox as a surprise.I cut carrots,cheese and cucumber in different shapes with the help of cutters.

  18. Delicious chocolate milkshakes after school, complete with a scoop of ice cream!! And so we don’t get bored, sometimes we have banana, strawberry, caramel or mango. But chocolate is everyone’s favourite. They’re the best treat for home time. I’m yet to find fun & delicious dairy to send to school with them, they’re not keen on cheese so it limits the options.

  19. I make them Milo every morning. it’s delicious and high in calcium!

  20. We freeze yoghurt pouches, and send in mini packs of diced cheese and jatz with a pot of dip for Miss 12. She loves that it seems like “Party food”, and all her friends always have the processed store version of cheese and crackers which isn’t as yummy.
    I also sprinkle grated cheese over my savoury baking, with x2 cheese crazt girls in the house my scrolls of all kinds get devoured.

  21. My daughter is ten, so she is old enough and luckily loves helping me cook. I make cheese and bacon scrolls, just bread mixture, rolled flat and spread with vegemite and grated cheese, she always puts heaps on! They are great cold in her lunch box, (or warmed up for lunch at home). Add a piece of fruit, some yoghurt and some water and you have a dairy great lunch box!

  22. Mister 6 is such a fussy little eater and I myself struggled to get him to eat his cheese until…… I started cutting the cheese into shapes with cookie cutters now its one of the first things to go from his lunch box, eating the heads off dinosaurs and nibbling the ears off bunnies.

  23. I love packing different cheeses for the kids, rather than the same flavour all the time. Also fruit chunks to dip into yoghurt, and also a yummy homemade ‘Yogo’-style treat made using milk as a treat.

  24. i like to put a variety of things in like dips and biscuits cheese sticks or bebelle my son takes a yokult everyday he loves them i make home made cheese sticks and in the mornings brecky muffins they can eat this before school and it gets them through till morning tea we have a milk program at school all my kids get fresh milk everyday in sommuer more i make them fresh fruit salads daily dried fruit is a hit also my kids love home-made fried rice in a container as a snack and grapes when in season with stone fruit are a hit also a nice mixed fresh berries is so good we cant pack them this enough carrot celery cucumber sliced into sticks and packed with yoghurt is a favourite wraps are also really good and you can put tuna or chicken and salads or ham my son asked for egg curried and lettuce this morning than a chicken and lettuce and tomato wrap these kids are so easy to please i love making up there lunches to see what i can do different to get them to eat right

  25. Baked Beans are my secret, they are actually quite high in calcium. The strange little people that reside at my house like to eat them cold. They are especially great for when I run out of bed and can’t be bothered going to the shop. Guess what’s for lunch tomorrow, baked beans.

  26. I’m a huge fan of baking and freezing! A regular is muffins, with whatever I have left in the fruit bowl. One of their favourites is weetbix and banana.

    Another one the kids really like is Milo Pancakes. And you can freeze them! I cook pancakes with 2 tbsp of Milo added to the batter. Then I freeze them on a tray for a few hours, before putting them into sandwich bags in the freezer. Then I just grab a bag out the night before I need it. (The pancakes are often cut into shapes with a cookie cutter as well).

  27. My kids love to have a little tub of home made custard ( I make extra at night when I make desert) very little sugar in it and they think it is such a treat..
    I also do assorted veggie sticks/ chunks with cream cheese dip.
    And once every couple of weeks a little UHT milk drink as a treat.

  28. I make my own cereal bars. They are so delicious and my DD loves them. I use flavoured yoghurt in them, but you can use greek if you wanted to. I always have everything I need in my cupboards/fridge and they take about 20 minutes, if that 🙂

  29. YOu know what – fancy lunches take too long for little kids to eat, all that chopped up bits and pieces means they have little nibbles at this and that but it takes too long and then they are out the door to play and run around and haven’t eaten enough.

    Pinterest and cooking shows have made us think our kids need gourmet lunch box menus.

    I stick with the basic, sandwich/banana pikelets/saladas and cheese with fruit and yoghurt. This way they can grab something and eat it in the playground too – although an apple is no good right now as Miss 7 has 4 front teeth missing!

  30. My kids love baby bocconcini so I will send some with cherry tomatoes for their lunches. We also send a chocolate UHT milk in their lunchbox as we know it will be consumed.

  31. Yoghurt in a tub or pouch pack
    Block Cheese cut up in cubes or sticks
    I also give my daughter different types of cheese like Feta and Haloumi to give her a bit of variety. Cheesey Muffins, Quiches and a sandwich with cream cheese spread and chutney are all great ways to incorporate more calcium in a child’s lunch box.

  32. My daughter loves yoghurt and cheese, so I give her this daily. But so she doesn’t get bored I usually add mini quiches or zucchini slice as well for that extra calcium boost, and strawberry milk drink never comes back!

  33. My children love frozen tubs of Vaalia or i make frozen smoothies, I also make corn fritters or vegetable fritters and send in there lunch box they actually love them and ask for them for tea as well now and that makes me so happy!

  34. my kids love this stuff

  35. Drinking milk for breakfast and having yoghurt in their lunch boxes

  36. Yoghurt is always a big hit here for snacking in my kiddies lunch box and a yummy cheese and vegemite sandwich

  37. The children enjoy fresh dates, carrot and slices of mild cheese.

  38. All six of my children (even the two teenagers) drink a cup of milk at breakfast AND at dinner. Some days its the only calcium they get, but I do encourage them to eat yogurt and cheese at school and/or for afternoon tea. We have fish with edible bones at least once a week for lunch or dinner and lots of green leafy salads (much to the disgust of my husband and teenage son! They call it ‘rabbit food’.) There are also brazil nuts and almonds to snack on from time to time for those who enjoy them.

  39. My daughter is lactose intolerant which make things a little tricky. We give her soy yogurt. my daughter loves miso soup so we serve it with tofu, seaweed, noodles and veggies. she loves it. we also serve hummus with carrot sticks

  40. Okay, so I don’t have kids, but as someone who’s only recently moved out of home, I feel like I’m still figuring this out for myself!! I really struggle to get enough dairy in my diet, so it’s important to me to plan out easy ways to sneak it in through the day.

    * I like to pack soup for lunch, with a container of sour cream or natural yoghurt, or some grated cheese to add in.
    * I’ve also recently starting making my own dips – using sour scream, ricotta, cream cheese, etc, and whatever flavours/spices/herbs I have on hand – and bringing along cut up veggies and crackers to go along with them.
    * I’ve rediscovered the humble grilled cheese sandwich… but with some grown up additions – prosciutto, roasted red capsicum, olives, jalapenos, blue cheese, fresh herbs… endless possibilities!
    * I love breakfast-y foods, so about one day a week, I have ‘breakfast for lunch’ – muesli, fresh fruit, and delicious creamy yoghurt. Hits the spot, easy to pack and store, and keeps me full all through the afternoon.

  41. A yummy lunch, for a little prince or princess needs to include foods that they regularly eat at home (are your kids really going to try something they have never eaten before, in front of all of their friends???) Foods fit for little fingers to handle, but wont make a mess. It is a HUGE task to make lunch boxes interesting every day. I stick a rule I made up…a sandwich,a piece of fruit, yoghurt and a special treat. Just remember your child is only at school for 6 maybe 7 hours, how much food can he or she realistically eat?

  42. We eat so much dairy I’m scared we might grow horns. But if you’re struggling I find macaroni cheese to be a favourite no one passes up.

  43. At our local markets we can get sourdough in the shape of a turtle so a Saturday afternoon favorite is ‘teenage mutant ninja turtle dip’ – a basic spinach dip served inside the turtleback and we just dip the bread or carrot sticks or whatever in it!!! There’s no way my boy is arguing with food named after his favorite show!!!!

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