At Harrietsham Preschool all children staying for the afternoon session will eat a packed lunch from home.

These guidelines will help you provide a tasty, interesting and healthy lunch box. 

 The information is suitable for children from 2 years upwards.

A healthy lunch box includes food from each of the four main food groups:

• Bread, cereals and potatoes • Fruit and vegetables

• Meat, fish and alternatives • Milk and dairy foods

Sandwiches are often the main part of a lunch box:

Bread: Try different varieties of bread e.g. sliced bread, rolls, baps, pittas, baguettes. Choose different types e.g. wholemeal, white or granary.

Fillings: Try to include some fruit or vegetables in the fillings. You could make up some of your own fillings:

✓ ham & tomato

✓ chicken & salad

✓ tuna & sweetcorn

✓ sardine & tomato

✓ egg & cress

✓ hummus & grated carrot

✓ corned beef & tomato

✓ salmon & cucumber

✓ cream cheese & pineapple

✓ grated cheese & cucumber

Alternatives to sandwiches:

These ideas make a change to sandwiches:

✓ potato salad

✓ rice salad

✓ pasta salad

✓ pizza slices

✓ couscous & vegetables

Milk & Dairy Foods

Try to ensure an item from this group is included:

✓ fromage frais

✓ yoghurt

✓ cheese  

Fruit & Vegetables

Aim to include two items from this group for crunch, colour and health (e.g. add as a sandwich filling and as a separate item):

✓ tomato - sliced or chopped

✓ carrot - whole, grated or sticks

✓ apple - whole or grated with cheese

✓ cucumber - sliced or chunks to crunch

✓ sweetcorn

✓ lettuce - shredded

✓ mustard and cress or watercress

✓ peppers - rings, slices or chopped

✓ coleslaw

✓ peaches - whole or mixed in filling

✓ pears - ordinary or avocado

✓ mixed salad - as filling or separate

✓ banana - whole or mashed as filling

✓ dried fruit - such as sultanas, raisins, apricots

✓ kiwi - eat with a spoon like an egg

✓ pineapple - rings or added in filling

✓ beansprouts

✓ tangerines and satsumas or other easy peel citrus

✓ grapes - cut length ways  

Foods high in fat and sugar

If your child eats foods such as crisps, biscuits and cakes at home there is no need to include any in a lunch box. 

But if you do put anything extra in their box here are some healthier ideas:

✓ fruit scone

✓ tea cake or currant bun

✓ pancakes

✓ plain popcorn

✓ plain biscuits

✓ breadsticks

✓ crackers

✓ fruit cake


Water and milk are the best drinks for children under 5. We provide milk at snack and lunch, 

and fresh chilled water is available at our water machine all day.

Please DO NOT send drinks into preschool. Many drinks contain hidden sugars and the variety of drinks can cause upset between 

the children. We supply all drinks and cups, so we do not need you to supply bottles or cups either.  

Allergies and nuts

Please DO NOT provide NUTS or foods that contain NUTS within your child’s packed lunches when they attend preschool

If there is a family history of allergies e.g. asthma, eczema, hay fever, nut or other food allergy you should not give your child peanuts or foods containing groundnut oil until they are at least 3 years old (Birth to Five 2005).

Do not give any type of whole nuts or whole grapes to children under five in case of choking.

If you have any concerns about allergies or nuts, please inform the person caring for your child.


We have a very strict policy banning any products containing chocolate, this includes chocolate bars, chocolate chip cookies, yogurts, mousse, etc. So please do not send any chocolate products into preschool. 

Birthday cakes

Children love to bring Birthday Cake to preschool! It’s lovely to share the celebration, but we can only accept shop bought cakes. This is so that we can share the allergen information with parents. In addition, we send the cake home, so that parents can make the choice to give cake.


Food safety

➢ Warm conditions can encourage the growth of bacteria so it is important to keep packed lunches cold.

➢ Pack the food in an insulated cool bag or lunch box along with an ice pack. This should be done all year round but it is especially important during summer months.

➢ If you make the packed lunch the night before, store it in the fridge. Do not store it in a warm room or by a radiator.

➢ Remember to wash fruit and salads before eating them.

If you have concerns about your child’s appetite or diet please contact your health visitor. Their number can be found in the front of your child’s health record