My go-to lunch box treat is a slice of homemade banana bread, mainly because you can bet your life that by the end of the week there will be two or three manky bananas begging to be used up somehow.
Sometimes I branch out and make these banana pancakes or banana biscuits instead but I get it, I really do, when the kids ask if I can please stop the banana-fest for a week or two. They could, of course, just eat the darn bananas in the first place but that’s another story …
Here are 30 of the best tried-and-tested snacky bites that I turn to instead. From slices to scones, from muesli bars to muffins; there’s something for even the fussiest eater. And the best bit? Lunch boxes always come back empty!
1. Chia seed muesli bar
Sultanas, sunflower seeds, and pepitas, but NO NUTS (unless you count coconut!). This is one muesli bar recipe that you can pop in their lunch boxes without a worry.
- Click here to find this yummo chia see muesli bar recipe
2. 2-ingredient muesli bar
Just two ingredients? Why yes! Amazing how much so very little can make.
- Find out what the magic ingredient is that turns plain old muesli into delicious 2-ingredient muesli bars here
3. Apricot muesli bars
Combine oats (a slow release carb that will keep energy levels up) with dried apricots (full of iron) and you, my friend, have a lunch box winner.
- Get some brownie points with the kids by making these apricot muesli bars
4. Homemade LCM bars
So I may be pushing the cereal bar description just a teensy bit here but, hey, they’ve got rice puffs in them and there are plenty of cereal bars on supermarket shelves boasting the same!
- Make their day with these homemade LCM bars
5. Homemade muesli bars
I had you at ‘homemade’, didn’t I? This recipe is the one to grab when you’re having a ‘there’s nothing to put in their lunch boxes’ moment.
- Whip up a batch of these muesli bar beauties ready for their lunch boxes.
6. Fruit and honey lunch box bars
Juicy fruit and sweet honey give these more-ish treats a deliciously moist bite.
- Stop the tummy rumbles with these fruit and honey lunch box bars
7. Anzac slice
Oats, golden syrup and coconut … this is the oh-so-chewy slice version of our favourite bickies and oh-so-good for lunch boxes.
- Click here to find the recipe for this yum Anzac slice
8. Weet-Bix slice
An oldie but a goodie and the perfect way to use up the Weet-Bix crumbs that gather at the bottom of the cereal packet. This version’s got a sweet icing as a topping, too.
- Find the recipe for this Weet-Bix slice here
9. Chocolate slice
You can’t go wrong with a traditional chocolate slice.
- Enter chocolate-y heaven with this recipe for chocolate slice
10. Marshmallow bubble slice
How easy is this? Melt some marshmallows, fold in some rice puffs et voila, your lunch box treat is sorted.
- Find the recipe for the marshmallow bubble slice here
11. Wholemeal pear slice
This one will have you polishing your halo. The goodness of wholemeal flour with juicy pear makes a delectable addition to any boring old lunch box.
- Up their fibre quotient with this moist wholemeal pear slice
12. Sugar and spice slice
Cinnamon and nutmeg are the stars of this easy slice. Perfect if your cupboard is almost (but not quite) bare.
- Give them something nice with this sugar and spice slice recipe
13. Choc-chip scones
There’s something comforting about a batch of scones. These are just like Granny used to make but even better thanks to the addition of some cheeky choc.
- Want the recipe for these choc chip scones? Best you click here then
14. Gluten-free scones
Little ones with an intolerance to gluten shouldn’t miss out on all the lunch box fun. These gluten-free scones will make sure they don’t.
- Find the recipe for gluten-free scones here
15. Easy pumpkin scones
Sneak some veggies in to their diet with these scrummy pumpkin scones. Perfect with a slice of cheese and perfect for the beginning of the week if you’ve got some leftover roast pumpkin from Sunday lunch.
- Here’s the recipe for these delicately-flavoured pumpkin scones
16. Cheesy vegetable scones
If your kids are bored with the same old sambos, try these savoury scones instead. A slice of cheese or some fresh ham make the perfect filling.
- Make a batch of these delicious scones with this recipe
17. Apple and cinnamon scones
The great thing about these scones is that they are easy for the kids to make too.
- Make these delicious scones with this recipe
18. Sultana scones
Light, fluffy and studded with juicy sultanas. Yum!
- Make these traditional sultana scones for a lunch box treat they’ll love.
19. Strawberry and ricotta muffins
These pretty-as-a-picture fruity muffins taste as good as they look. Berry good, in fact.
- Find the recipe for these strawberry and ricotta muffins here
20. Blueberry muffins recipe
Keep some frozen blueberries on hand in the freezer and you’ll always have some ready to make these lunch box lovelies.
- For the recipe for these blueberry muffins, click here
21. Apple and zucchini muffins
Adding grated zucchini to these little bites of yum mean the kidlets eat veggies without knowing it (yay!) andyou get a super moist muffin to boot (double yay!).
- Here’s the recipe for these apple and zucchini muffins.
22. Banana and choc chip muffins
Baking with bananas is a great way to use up over-ripe bananas – and to get something delicious to eat too! These banana and choc chip muffins have a wonderful banana flavour and are studded with little pieces of chocolate.
- Bake these banana and choc chip muffins
23. Oat, date and honey muffins
These muffins boast a trifecta of goodness and yum. Oats keep blood sugar levels steady, dates are full of fibre … and honey? Well, honey just tastes divine.
- Add these heavenly oat, date and honey muffins to their lunch box smorgasbord.
24. Carrot cake muffins
Another way to get more veggies into reluctant eaters, these muffins take all the best bits of your regular carrot cake and turn them into perfectly portioned lunch box bites. There’s even a cream cheese icing if you’re feeling a bit fancy.
- Here’s how to make carrot cake muffins
25. Cheesy vegetable muffins
We used corn kernels, red capsicum and grated zucchini but you can use vegetables of your choice like finely chopped cauliflower, grated carrot and grated pumpkin.
- Try this cheesy vegetable muffins recipe
26. Feta and spinach muffins
These are a party staple at our place (they go down a treat with a G&T) but I always make a double batch as the kids like them, too. The saltiness of the feta is what gets them, I think. Plus, I add spinach to everything so these win on that front too.
- Make these feta and spinach muffins
27. Sneaky pumpkin muffins
Pumpkin adds a beautiful sweet flavour to these ostensibly savoury muffins and, might I be so bold as to suggest, that they go wonderfully with a slice of tasty cheese?
- For the recipe for these sneaky pumpkin muffins, click here
28. Corn and cheese savoury muffins
Cheese + corn = the perfect savoury muffin in my book. My kids agree.
- Here’s the recipe for corn and cheese savoury muffins
29. Mini baked bean muffins
I don’t know a kid who doesn’t like baked beans so turning them into muffins is a genius idea. A fibre and protein hit? Excellent stuff.
- Make these mini baked bean muffins with this recipe
30. Pesto and parmesan muffins
My youngest adores pesto so these are always a great hit. They’re pretty nice for adults too.
- Find the recipe for pesto and parmesan muffins here