So I was going to say with this post “Here’s Chef Dom’s Lunchbox – it only took 5 minutes to put together the night before using leftovers and fruit and kept in fridge overnight to make for nice cool lunchbox and an easy morning.” But then I read the sentence back to myself and I thought – that’s just not right! Because although this is literally true of the assembly, the lunchbox was really only possible with a LOT of prior preparation.

I know some people say real food lunch boxes are “easy” (and indeed I might actually have said the same thing on this page in earlier post). It’s certainly true that they can be easy to put together. But in my experience making up appetising and nutritious lunch boxes without resorting to highly processed packaged food day after day, week after week, is not easy – it’s hard work!

The key is definitely in the planning but even the best planners have days where things get on top of them. Maybe you couldn’t do the shopping or things got eaten unexpectedly or suddenly your children are declaring they just won’t eat X,Y or Z when it’s been a reliable favourite for ages.

For me, making the lunchbox is now in a routine and I generally find myself able to put one together in under 5 minutes. But this is only if the food is there in the first place and it’s that prior preparation that takes the time and effort.  I usually do a big food prep day on a Sunday and if for some reason we miss doing that then I definitely feel the pain of lunchbox madness during the week.

How do you find making up the lunch boxes? Do you have a secret system or amazing fail safe ideas that are the “guaranteed to be eaten and loved”? Let us know in the comments :-).