4 cheap and healthy school lunch ideas

School is about to start which means it's time to think about those back to school lunches. We've put together a list of healthy school lunches for your kids to enjoy. Not only are these lunch ideas cheap and healthy, they're also super easy and quick to prepare. A huge plus for any busy family!

Pumpkin and spinach pasta bake

An easy favourite amongst kids, this pasta bake is so good it might make its way onto the family dining table come dinner time! Serve warm or cold, this dish is easy to pack into a lunch box and will fill your little one’s tummy come lunch time.


  • 200g brown penne pasta
  • Small butternut pumpkin peeled, cut into pieces
  • 250g ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 packet frozen chopped spinach (squeeze moisture out once thawed)
  • Handful of grated parmesan cheese
  • Dash of olive oil


  1. Roast pumpkin.
  2. Cook pasta as per instructions on packet.
  3. Combine ricotta, egg and spinach. Add pasta and pumpkin.
  4. Sprinkle parmesan on top.
  5. Put mixture in an oven proof dish and back for 20-25 minutes or until set in centre.

Pita bread pizzas

This one is almost too simple to believe! Adding vegetables and protein to the pizza base will help to improve your little one’s energy and concentration for the afternoon.


  • Small wholemeal pita breads
  • Tomato paste
  • Preferred toppings such as tomato, onion, spinach, chicken, chick peas etc
  • Tasty cheese


  1. Lay out pita breads.
  2. Spread tomato paste and chopped toppings.
  3. Sprinkle cheese on top.
  4. Bake in oven under grill for 10 minutes on high (keep an eye on them as it will depend on the strength of your grill).

Cob salad

While salads can sometimes be a hard sell, this one has a little added sweetness from the addition of sweet corn. With a range of vegies and added protein, this salad will pack a punch when it comes to giving your child their daily dose of vitamins and minerals.


  • Corn (steamed and taken off the cob)
  • Lettuce mix
  • Tomato
  • Capsicum
  • Protein such as chicken or chick peas
  • Cucumber
  • Vinaigrette


  1. Chop and combine ingredients to make a salad.
  2. Store in a good quality container to avoid leakage.

Vegie sticks and hummus

This mixture will make a number of serves of hummus, which can be used on sandwiches, crackers, and pizza bases or as a side to a meal. If you’re after more carbohydrates to get your little one through the afternoon you could pack some toasted pita bread in addition to the vegie sticks.


  • Preferred vegie sticks such as carrots, celery, cucumber, capsicum


  • 1 can chick peas (drained and washed)
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 2 tablespoons natural yoghurt
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Combine all ingredients listed under “hummus” in a blender and blend until smooth.

Now you’ve got school lunches sorted for a couple of days check out our 3 ways to make back to school shopping easier

* Based on a $150,000 loan over 25 years. WARNING: This comparison rate is true only for the examples given and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate.