The 5 day lunchbox challenge

Build a better work lunchbox with these inspired ideas – healthy, delicious and easy

Ahh, the school lunchbox. It was a source of both love and loathing as children. For some, it was resplendent with chilled chocolate milk, tiny teddies, carrot and hummus, and elaborate salads. For others, it housed warm Vegemite sandwiches and wilted remains of fruit.

But you’re a grown up now. And that means you can have whatever kind of lunchbox you want.

The benefits to bringing your own lunch to work are obvious. You save heaps of money, and have full control over what you’re eating. The world of food courts can be tempting for a treat, but a well curated lunchbox can be even better.

Here are some fresh ideas for a cheap and cheerful lunchbox that will make your colleagues drool in envy.

1. Sushi

I know what you’re thinking – “There are some people in the world who home-make sushi, and I’m not one of them.” But it’s easier than you think. For a simple version, prepare a big batch of sushi rice, diced veggies and grilled meat at the start of your working week, and simply roll up in crispy nori paper the morning of work.

Ingredients

  • Sushi rice
  • Carrot
  • Cucumber
  • Nori paper sheets
  • Freshly sliced salmon
  • Wasabi, to taste

2. On-the-spot taco

Making tacos for dinner? Dice up a little extra to bring to work the next day. Then you just need to heat up the meat and assemble on the spot for a fresh wrap.

Ingredients

  • Tortilla wraps
  • Grilled chicken
  • Lettuce
  • Diced tomato
  • Cheese
  • Avocado
  • Chilli sauce or salsa

3. Frozen fruit

Once the weather warms up, you’re going to want something chilled and refreshing at lunchtime. Dice up your favourite fruits, throw in the freezer overnight, and leave to thaw in your lunchbox during the morning at work. Voila! Cold and crunchy fruit salad.

Ingredients

  • Strawberries
  • Grapes
  • Watermelon
  • Pineapple
  • Chopped mint
  • Passionfruit pulp, stirred through

4. Zucchini slice

Super easy to prepare, zucchini slice can be whipped up in under half an hour on a Sunday night, and enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, or dinner all week. Cut off a slice in the morning, wrap in greaseproof paper, and enjoy cold or heated through with a salad at lunch.

Ingredients

  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Grated zucchini
  • Onion
  • Self-raising flour
  • Parsley

5. Rice salad

Another make-in-advance option is the trusty rice salad. Delicious served warm or cold, it goes well with everything from freshly sliced ham to a boiled egg.

Ingredients

  • Long grain rice
  • Capsicum
  • Peas and corn
  • Red onion
  • Sultanas
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Soy sauce
  • Almonds
  • Spring onion

Bonus tip – the lunchbox

The secret ingredient to any good lunch is the lunchbox itself. The humble school lunchbox has been replaced by high-tech options that feature cooler packs, separated compartments, and even a knife and fork. We love this Nude Food lunchbox – BPA free, microwave safe, and dishwasher safe – and it even rounded ends especially made for fruit.

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