I always get a bit nervous talking food on my blog! 
What and how we feed our kids is a pretty personal decision, so while I am happy to share what we do, please don’t feel like it is what you must be doing, everyone gets to make their own decisions. 
Hubby and I as parents have been careful when it comes to additives and preservatives in our food for going on 8 years now. Although I am not an expert by any means, it has become easier and easier for us to make better choices when it comes to what we buy as we are so used to it now. We still have a lot to learn, and changes I’d still like to make, but like everything it is a journey!

What I have honestly found to be the easiest way to seriously cut down on additives in our home specifically for lunch boxes is to:

 1. bake from scratch instead of buying pre-made biscuits, muesli bars etc

2. buy organic versions where I can of what I don’t make at home like crackers, yoghurt etc

3. if it has lots of numbers and huge weird names on the ingredient list – I don’t buy it. My kiddos don’t need it anyway.

But like any busy mum, I do buy some things that help make feeding my family a little easier. To me, these are pretty good choices but most are still something we have in moderation, they don’t have them everyday. {except for the Superfoods for Kidz powders, I’d be pretty happy to incorporate them into most days}.
I usually have a freezer full of things I have baked at home for my family but like to have some of the items you see below on hand most of the time. They help if we’re running late, or have run out of something, or I need something else to add to a lunch box. 

The organic juice and organic yoghurt {vanilla} are great and by far the best pre-packaged options I have found. No additives or nasty colours or preservatives in either. But they still contain quite a bit of sugar and this is something I am trying to be careful with so they are limited to one each per week.

Plain milk is a great dairy option and Noah enjoys this also occasionally in his lunch box. 

The aribars are great, my kids love the chocolate and vanilla flavours the most. They are a wholegrain brown rice bar like an LCM, but a much better alternative! 

The Superfoods for Kidz Vital Veggie Power and Berry Choc Chunk are absolutely awesome. You can read my review here. The Vital Veggie powder gets put into a lot of our savoury meals like spaghetti bolognese, taco/chilli etc. And used to make a dip by mixing it with some cream cheese. The Berry Choc Chunk is great for a quick smoothie, and I freeze leftovers in icy pole containers for a healthy yummy frozen treat. 

Organic rice cakes, corn chips and crackers {Woolworths Macro brand} are great to have on hand. I serve the rice cakes with cream cheese on top {check these – mini tubs contain preservatives, the blocks don’t}, or send the crackers in with some cream cheese and mixed with the Superfoods for Kidz Vital Veggie Power. Corn chips are yummy on their own, or with a guacamole or salsa if your kiddo will eat it {Chloe will, Noah won’t.}

Organic popcorn – we buy the sweet salty one as a very occasional treat otherwise I pop our own popcorn.

And of course fresh fruit and vegetables are always your friends when packing school lunches. Of course that is if your kiddo will eat them. Trust me, if you have a very fussy eater, just keep offering all these beautiful fresh fruits and vegetables and slowly, hopefully they’ll open up. Noah used to eat banana. And that was IT! Now he will eat banana, apple, watermelon, oranges, carrot, celery, cucumber and occasionally capsicum. That is HUGE compared to just banana. We are still working on it and I give him a lot of opportunities to try new fruits and vegetables, and in the mean time I make healthy choices for him and bulk out all our main meals with A LOT of hidden veg.

 I don’t really have a ‘formula’ when it comes to packing lunches. And you won’t find any interesting or out of the box non-sandwich ideas here unfortunately (well, you might when Chloe starts school, but Noah is a sandwich or wrap kind of kid, and it’s always very plain! – cheese, tuna or egg sandwiches). We don’t do a lot of deli meats because of the nitrates. Occasionally he would have ham but he got used to and preferred the ‘natural ham’ {still not the best, but much better!} I was able to find that isn’t stocked at our supermarkets anymore.

I used to pack quite a bit in his lunch box, and he would eat it. Even if it meant very little play time. This year I am trying to pack a little less, and we’ll see how we go. So yesterday I packed 2 things for morning snack and 3 for lunch. 

Morning snack: apple, organic crackers with cream cheese and vital veggie power dip
Lunch: Cheese sandwhich on wholemeal preservative free bread, home made brownie and carrot sticks. 
Today – morning snack: apple, 5am organic vanilla yoghurt
Lunch: Tuna sandwich, carrot and cucumber, cheesy mini muffin

When I am feeling like I need to add a little something extra, I usually throw in a banana. Often it comes home, and we then use it up in a yummy afternoon snack smoothie.
If you would like some nutrition information and some great snack ideas and some non-sandwich lunch ideas, please head over to these fabulous ladies for some inspiration! I gain a lot of information from these blogs so I am sure you will too if this is something you’d like to look into more!

Sonia at Natural New Age Mum
15 Healthy Lunchbox Meals (and none of them are sandwiches) – I will be trying lots of these for Chloe and I as she isn’t a huge sandwich fan!
What are the best packet snacks for kids?

Mandy at Little People Nutrition
How much sugar is in my kids drink?
How many veggies do the kids need each day?
Toddler fruit serves per day

What healthy yummy things have your kiddos been enjoying in their lunch boxes since the start of school?

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this is not a sponsored post in any way. just sharing what we use and buy. x