By George, School Lunchbox Dad

Here we go, I’m about to share my parental survival tips to help you get through term one in 2021. That rhymes, just saying (it’s a natural dad thing to point that out).

One thing I never was before being a parent was organised. What changed? Two little girls chirping at me like little chicks in a nest, yep you know that sound. I had to get my butt into gear and get organised if I was to survive the school year.

School Lunches is my domain, I took over five years ago and I think I can honestly say the mornings are like clockwork now, a well-oiled machine.

George aka School Lunchbox Dad shares tips for surviving back-to-school.

Get ready!

Sundays is where it all begins for school lunches, I take my girls to the grocery store or supermarket and we shop together however on the journey to there I ask, “what do you girl’s want for lunches this week?” I hear things fire back at me like “pizza scrolls”, “Pita Pockets”, “DIY Tacos” etc etc. So, I make a list before we get out of the car and we stick to the list.

I let my girls pick their apples, carrots etc. Let them feel part of the process as it’s almost kind of an ownership thing for them.

Preparation is key.

Organised Fridge

Yep, it’s not easy so I bought a heap of airtight containers. When we venture back from our shopping trip, I wash the fruit and veggies and pop them in the airtight containers so they’re ready to go in the morning. Come morning, I take out all the containers and all I do is assemble the fruit (usually two fruit types) and veggies (three types of veggies) into the bento and then I either make a sandwich or a creative pastry, like pizza scrolls or mini croissants.

I also make sure that the bento stays fresh by popping it in a cooler bag with an ice block, which is awesome during hot days.


As adults, when we go to restaurants, we often get a menu and choose what we like. Some kids don’t like surprises, so I talk to them about their lunches and what they like and don’t like etc, by listening, I learn more about what to add to their lunches.

But wait, there’s a catch. When they don’t eat their lunches, I make them eat it after school pick up as their snack, after all, they chose it, they should eat it.

Fun food

I always add fun food in the school lunches, low salt popcorn (actually has a lot of awesome nutrients), pretzels etc. Lunches don’t have to be just a sandwich and an apple. Adding something that they feel is a treat is super cool.

As little peeps get older their tastes develop so remember to occasionally offer them something that you are eating, that way they become curious and they might actually like something new. This is an opportunity to broaden your lunches.

Three back-to-school recipes to try …