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20 Sandwich-Free Lunch Box Ideas

In partnership with Woolworths

School is back! This week I had a meeting with Woolies about some new snack products in their range. I’m especially excited about the Cacao Toasted Coconut Chips – yum. I’ll be having those in my lunch box too, please. There are also staple favourites I often use in the lunch box, like popcorn varieties and cheese sticks. 

lunch box ideas

For this lunch box post, I wanted to focus on non-sandwich lunches. When I was a child, I used to have a vegemite sandwich, pretty much every day. However, a few of my children are not all that keen on the classic sandwich. Over the years, I’ve experimented with a lot of different food ideas for the lunch box and listed below some of the non-sandwich lunch foods I have tried that have worked well. 

There are two main things I keep in mind: 

  • Use enough protein in the lunch box – this fills the kids up
  • Have a variety of little things 

1. Ham & Egg Cheesy Bites

These are super easy to make. Even my kids who don’t like quiche enjoy them. I made the bites in a mini muffin tin, and they only have 5 ingredients. You can find the full recipe here, however, they are so easy, I’ve included the instructions in the 30-second video below. 

Sandwich free lunch box idea for kids who don't like sandwiches

Ham & Egg Cheesy Bites (with tomato dipping sauce) | Zucchini Choc Muffin (refined sugar-free) | Carrot Sticks | Cherry Tomato | Strawberry

Sandwich free lunch box idea for kids who don't like sandwiches

Ham & Egg Cheesy Bites| Banana Bliss Ball | Woolies Macro Lentil Bites (Beetroot) | Cherry Tomato | Strawberry & Kiwi Fruit

2. Sausage

Cold sausage is a hit with my kids. This is a great option if we have leftovers. Already cooked meat from the deli also works well. 

Tip: the Woolies small size sausages are great. 

Sandwich free lunch box idea for kids who don't like sandwiches

Sausage & Salad| Tortilla | Cheese | Kiwi Fruit | Jam Scroll

3. Burger or Bread roll

They may not like a sandwich, but give them a burger and they are stoked. I had leftover chicken burger patties one night and I put it in the lunch box the next day and the kids smashed it. Another one I have tried is leftover pulled pork (can purchase already made) and coleslaw. 

Tip: put the elements in separate and the kids can build it fresh when they are ready to eat. 

sandwich free lunch box ideas -- burger

Chicken Burger with Lettuce (pattie cut in half on small rolls)| Cherry Tomato| Peach | Avocado

4. Pizza

Pizza is often a winner, and it can even be an English muffin pizza. Simply toast a muffin, add toppings and grill. 

Tip: All my kids love the Pepperoni Pizza you can get from the bakery section in Woolies. These can be frozen and taken out on the morning and it will be thawed by lunch. 

Sandwich free lunch box idea for kids who don't like sandwiches

Banana Bread| Pizza| Kiwi Fruit| Gherkins | Salad

5. Scrolls

Pizzavegemite or cheese scrolls usually go down well. 

Tip: Look out for The Odd Bunch Carrots because they are brilliant for the lunch box. 

Sandwich free lunch box idea for kids who don't like sandwiches

Apple | Carrot| Cheese Scroll | Mini Blueberry Muffin | Pretzels

6. Nachos Style 

Here’s another new product from Woolies: Popped Corn Chips (in Roast Chicken & Salt & Vinegar flavour). My son loved these. They can be used as a sometimes snack, or add tomato sauce and lunch takes on a nachos style. 

Sandwich free lunch box idea for kids who don't like sandwiches

Tip: The Natural Cheese Sticks are individually packed so I find they don’t go soggy in the lunch box. 

Sandwich free lunch box idea for kids who don't like sandwiches

Popped Corn Chips | Cheese Stick | Cherry Tomato | Banana Bliss Ball | Kiwi Fruit 

7. Savoury Muffins 

Cheese Muffins only have 3 ingredients so they are easy to make, but any savoury muffins will do. 

Tip: Popcorn is a firm favourite in the lunch box and Woolies have many different varieties depending on your family needs

Sandwich free lunch box idea for kids who don't like sandwiches

Cheese Muffins | Cherry Tomato | Salad | Popcorn | Banana & Apricot 

8. Pasta 

My son’s favourite is filled pasta. I tend to opt for the vegetarian versions for the lunch box, for example, spinach and fetta. The Plain pasta works well also – for example, the Woolies spirals. You can also make pasta salad with leftovers.

Sandwich free lunch box idea for kids who don't like sandwiches

Pasta| Apple | Biscuit Bites | Salad | Olives 

9. Boiled Egg

I often boil about 10 eggs and they keep in the fridge for a few days. I always like to buy free-range eggs, and I find the Woolies brand free-range eggs are affordable. 

Sandwich free lunch box idea for kids who don't like sandwiches

Boiled Egg| Carrot| Cherry Tomato | Cheese Stick| Nectarines | Cacao Toasted Coconut Chips

10. Wraps

Sometimes a wrap instead of a sandwich does the trick. It doesn’t have to only be a classic wrap, mini-wraps are a winner with my kids too (just spread filling thinly, roll up and chop into small rolls). 

Tip: Try the soft wholegrain wraps version for a more healthy option. 

Sandwich free lunch box idea for kids who don't like sandwiches

Salad Wrap| Fruit| Cherry Tomato | Cheese Blocks| Rice Crackers 

Sandwich free lunch box idea for kids who don't like sandwiches

Mini Salad Wraps| Blueberries| Strawberries | Coconut Muffins| Sugar Snap Peas 

11. Tuna

A small tin of tuna is a good option for kids who like it. The Woolworths tuna tins are only 90 cents and come in a wide range of flavours.

12. Soup

Great for winter. Simply heat up the soup before school and place in an appropriate container (e.g. Thermos) and it will be still warm at lunch. 

Tip: If you’re short on time, I buy the Woolies mini muffins varieties (banana, choc chip, blueberry, double choc) and stick them in the freezer. I simply take them out of a morning and put it straight in the lunchbox and they are thawed by lunchtime. 

Sandwich free lunch box idea for kids who don't like sandwiches

Pumpkin SoupFlat Bread| Corn | Banana| Muffin 

13. Picking Platter Food

One of my children’s favourite meals when on holidays is a picking platter. It’s a little bit of everything. Usually some meat, veggies, fruit and something a little sweet. This idea can work for the lunch box too. 

Tip: You can find salami sticks in the Woolies deli.

Sandwich free lunch box idea for kids who don't like sandwiches

Salami Sticks| Eggs |Cucumber| Strawberry | Lentil Chips 

14. Quiche/Zucchini Slice/Fritters

Mini quiches, zucchini slice or fritters. 

Tip: I usually make my own, but on busy weeks, I have also purchased the Zucchini Slice in the chilled meal section to use in the lunch box.  

Sandwich free lunch box idea for kids who don't like sandwiches

Zucchini Slice| Cucumber | Orange | Berries & Yoghurt| Mini Muffins 

Sandwich free lunch box idea for kids who don't like sandwiches

Zucchini Fritters| Cherry Tomato | Mini Pickets| Nectarine| Cheese & Crackers 

15. Cold Meat & Salad

As long as you use an ice pack in the lunch box, I find cold meat works well.

Tip: The yoghurts in the 12 pack often fit better in the lunch box because they are shorter. 

Sandwich free lunch box idea for kids who don't like sandwiches

Roast Chicken & Salad| Muesli Slice| Yoghurt & Strawberries| Stuffed Peppers

Sandwich free lunch box idea for kids who don't like sandwiches

Salami | Strawberry| Garlic Twist| Salad| Avocado | Purple Corn Chips

16. Falafel

I put cooked falafel in the lunch box cold and the kids enjoy it.

Tip: Not all kids like olives, but if they do, they are SUCH a fab lunch box option. The stuffed green olives are among my kids favourites. 

Sandwich free lunch box idea for kids who don't like sandwiches

Mini rolls| Falafel | Salad| Kiwi Fruit | Olives | Banana Bread

Sandwich free lunch box idea for kids who don't like sandwiches

Kiwi Fruit| Falafel | Salad| Seed Mix| Cherry Tomato | Choc Filled Crepe

17. Bread Sushi / Bead Roll Ups

Mix it up and serve the bread in sushi-style. Either roll up the bread or cut into small section to make bread sushi. 

Tip: The Woolies Super Soft Wholemeal Bread works well with these types of recipes. 

Sandwich free lunch box idea for kids who don't like sandwiches

Bread Roll Ups| Crackers & Hummus | Apple| Carrot 

Sandwich free lunch box idea for kids who don't like sandwiches

Bread Sushi| Cheese Triangle | Strawberry| Popcorn | Cucumber | Apricot Ball

18. Sausage/Spring Rolls 

Leftover sausage rolls or spring rolls are a massive hit with my kids. 

Sandwich free lunch box idea for kids who don't like sandwiches

Salad & Tomatoes| Sausage Rolls | Dipping Sauce | Apricot (The Odd Bunch)| Crackers

19. Sushi / Rice Paper Rolls

These are a bit time-intensive to make (unless you buy them pre-made), but my children do enjoy it. Click here for instructions on to make Rice Paper Rolls. I tend to go for the vegetarian option for the lunch box.

Tip: I sometimes buy the Lamington Fingers for a treat for the kids. They are small, so the portion is suitable for a treat size. 

Sandwich free lunch box idea for kids who don't like sandwiches

Vegetarian Sushi| Gherkin | Mini Lamington| Salad | Apple 

20. Burrito Bowl

If you have leftover rice, you can easily make up a burrito-style bowl in the lunch box. Include some rice, roast chicken, kidney beans, corn and grated cheese. 

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