Non-Sandwich Lunchbox Fillers

Packing Lunch for your Non-Sandwich Eater

A healthy lunchbox is usually depicted as a box with vegetables and fruit overflowing, a yoghurt or cheese and smack in the middle is a nice wholegrain sandwich.

What happens when you have a non-sandwich eater though? They’re not fussy per se, they just simply don’t like sandwiches.

Luckily I have seen this many times before and have complied for you my favourite ideas (many of which I have collected from many wonderful families) about some great non-sandwich lunches.

Child Nutrition's Top 5 Sandwich Alternatives


  • Dinners are often the most balanced meals we have in our day. There’s usually some sort of carbohydrate (rice, pasta, noodles, potato, sweet potato, corn), there’s usually a protein (meat, fish, chicken, eggs, legumes, tofu etc) and there is a usually a vegetable or two in there too. Sounds like the perfect meal to take for lunch the next day at school!
  • The key to packing leftovers is to make sure that when you fill up the container or thermos for school, you make sure that you have included equal proportions of all of those wonderful things the evening meal included. Don’t just fill it up with the remaining bits and pieces (ie a whole container of just rice/plain pasta etc).
  • If you know that your children like leftovers, consider making a larger batch of the dinner in the first place to ensure that they have enough protein, carbohydrate and vegetables packed in their bag to nourish them for the afternoon.

Baked potatoes

  • Simply place a potato washed (scrubbed in the case of brushed potatoes) in a microwave (give it a bit of a poke with a fork) and heat for 10 minutes (stopping halfway to turn it over). Once it is nice and soft, take out of the microwave cut in half and place into a thermos.
  • Top with your child’s favourite toppings. Some great examples are cheese, baked beans, leftover bolognese sauce, carrot, corn, peas… the list goes on.
  • For baked potato recipe, see the recipe here


  • Soups can be made in big batches and frozen into individual sized portions. As with the leftovers above, think about the balance of the three components of a meal when you think about soups. Protein. Carbohydrate and Colour.
  • So… Perhaps a minestrone soup with either beans or meat/chicken chunks; a pumpkin (and sweet potato and carrot and zucchini) and red lentil soup  a chicken noodle soup with pieces of vegetables such as carrot, celery, and some pieces of chicken too.
  • Homemade scrolls. I have been making these for many years now (I’ll be honest and admit that I make these more at the beginning of the school year than toward the end!).
  • I make mine with cheese and vegemite or with pasta sauce, olives and cheese (because that’s what my crew prefer).
  • These can be easily made gluten free by replacing the regular flour with gluten free flour (you might need a bit more GF flour than the recipe calls for to get the dough just the right amount of sticky that you can still work with it!).
  • I bake them and then freeze them straight away ready for the lunches throughout the week

Salads – see our previous blog post relating to our top healthy lunch salads 

Leave a reply