School days are as stressful for kids and parents alike, and you want to make sure your kids have the energy to keep going all day. But making a packed lunch is yet another thing for a parent’s never-ending to do list. Ollie Club wants to make it easy for you – and tasty and nutritious for them. After all, who wouldn’t eat a dinosaur sandwich?!

1. The freezer is your friend! No fresh bread? Don’t panic, use sliced bread from the freezer, it will defrost by lunch. (Also works for sandwiches for frazzled moms to take to work too). In warmer weather, a useful tip is to freeze lunchtime drinks to keep the lunchbox cool.

2. Wrap your sliced apple back up into an apple shape again, and cover in plastic wrap. Stops it going brown, which means there is a 2% chance of them eating it, right?!

3. Cookie cutters make sandwiches more appealing – I don’t know why it’s easier to eat a sandwich shaped like a dinosaur, but apparently it is. You could go seasonal with Halloween and Christmas cutters too.

4. A neat cheat that’s good for you and good for the planet – reuse and recycle small food containers and fill with hummus or Ollie’s yogurt dip.

5. Get the kids involved – use the weekends to make your own trail mix, portion up small bags of popcorn, grated cheese or pretzels, and write a plan of what sandwiches they want on which day. Stick it on the refrigerator – no more indecision from little picky eaters!

6. Kids love lots of snacky things – Cheerios or non-sugary granolas make a great snack pot. Use cupcake liners if you don’t have small enough tubs.

7. They doesn’t like sandwich wraps? However, try putting yogurt, raisins and a dribble of honey inside, it’s not a wrap anymore, it’s dessert!

8. It’s hard to get them to eat protein, but a hardboiled egg with a smiley face on it is a good place to start. A slice of frittata is easy to prepare in advance too, and you can load it with veggies. This one is a great mom-lunch too.

9. Tomatoes and cheese squares on a cocktail stick brings color and variety to a lunchbox, and works well for fruit too.

10. Pasta salad (with pasta shapes not spaghetti) and homemade pizza squares are a great alternative to sandwiches. Also a great way of using up leftovers.

11. They will get messy. THEY ALWAYS GET MESSY!! Include a square of paper towel for sticky fingers. You can write a mini note on it too. A note from mom at lunchtime will make the separation easier.

12. Don’t be offended if they don’t eat it all. (Spoiler – they WILL NOT eat it all.) Keep sending healthy varied meals, and give them input into what they want to have. Make meals an adventure! Compare notes with other moms – they might have some great ideas. And like your kids, you’ll be making new friends.

We’d love to hear your lunchbox hacks – what foods work well for your kids? Tell us via our social channels using #ollieclub. We are on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. There’s a special Ollie-prize for the best one!

Like this? Check out our breakfast hacks, for ensuring that your kids can keep going ’til they open their lunch boxes.

Making every meal an adventure.

Messy fun! Sheena x