As parents we know firsthand the importance of ensuring our child’s lunchbox is filled with healthy, easy to prepare food that our kids will actually eat. Food is fuel, it nourishes the body and provides the energy children need to not only enjoy their day but to learn as well.

Ask most parents and they will tell you packing their kids' lunchbox is one of their least favourite tasks which is why we have compiled this list of tips to take the headache out of at least one aspect of your morning routine.

Make it healthy

It’s true your child’s lunchbox should resemble the lunchtime offerings at a holistic health retreat, but the reality can be a little overwhelming. Providing home-made food free of colours and preservatives, with healthy fats and a balance of carbohydrates and protein is a good starting point. Keep your fridge stocked with colourful fruit and vegetables such as carrots, celery, grapes, melons and berries along with plenty of nuts, seeds and wholegrain crackers in the pantry to make things a little easier on yourself.

Box it up

The humble lunchbox has evolved to be a magnificent contraction with compartments and cooling zones. They may cost an arm and a leg but equipped your child with the best lunchbox you can afford will certainly pay off. One of the easiest things you can do is ensure your child’s lunch stays fresh throughout the school day as food simply tastes better when it is fresh, cool and presented beautifully. Also, make sure your child can open and close their lunchbox on their own to avoid playground nightmares for your little ones.

Bake it, don't fake it

Everyone can be their child’s personal chef with a little bit of planning. Each week research a few new recipes and set aside an hour or two just for cooking up lunchbox goodies. If you are stretched for time (or don’t enjoy baking!) do one big cook up every two to three weeks and put your cooking efforts in the freezer. Simply bake, place in an airtight container and freeze until needed.

It’s all about the packaging

Kids lunches have come a long way since the humble vegemite sandwich wrapped in plastic wrap accompanied by a packet of potato chips and a fruit popper. These days it is not only expected kids will receive home-prepared, nutritious lunches bursting with goodness but they will also have a low impact on our environment. Avoid sending lunches with loads of packaging including plastic yogurt tubs and plastic wrap. Instead, arm yourself with a lunchbox that allows food to go unwrapped or select re-usable containers for yogurt and other liquids.

Get the right tools

Packing lunches is a job and you need to equip yourself with the right tools in order to get the job done, or in this case, the lunch eaten. Fill your kitchen draws with a variety of cookie cutters and moulds to enable you to turn fruit and vegetables and even boiled eggs into shapes, faces and your child’s favourite Disney character.

By offering your child variety and healthy lunchtime options you can rest easy knowing they are getting all the nutrients they need to learn and play and you’ll get the crown for preparing the best lunchbox ever!