desi lunch box

Desi Lunch Box Ideas for 30 Days: Keep it Nourishing, Fun and Desi

Back to School is a time of the year that brings many challenges for families, one of the biggest ones being packing school lunches! Desi moms, like any other mom, worry about what to pack for their children in their Desi Lunch Box. What makes our concerns unique is that we try to adapt south asian/desi dishes for lunch boxes so that the children are well-fed during the long day at school with familiar food. Sharing ideas and inspirations to make your Desi Lunch Box unique and nutritional.

Desi Lunch Box Essentials

Let’s talk first about essentials for a lunchbox. You don’t need to buy expensive products. Concentrate on functionalities.

  • You need one box or bag to contain all the lunch items.
  • Smaller boxes and ziplock bags to contain individual items.
  • Cutlery like spoon and fork along with a napkin.
  • A thermos container for dishes that are best served warm
  • Ice pack to keep snacks cool
  • Water bottle
  • Small note pad and fun stickers to add cute notes

[Read More: Desi Lunch Boxes, Past and Present]

Lunch Box Planning

Some important considerations to pack food for school are:

  • Avoid items other children might be allergic to such as nuts etc.
  • Try to have a nutritious mix containing proteins, carbs, dairy, fruits and vegetables.
  • Adding one treat item can be motivating for children.
  • Plan weekly lunch boxes before you do groceries so that you can plan and shop before hand.

Desi Lunch Box Ideas

Most schools require lunch and a snack to be packed for the day. Here are some ideas for 30 days that you can use for inspiration. For additional ideas, you can mix and match items from below.

Day 1:

Shami Kebab Sandwich + Apple Slices + Snap peas + cookie

Shami Kebab Recipe

Cut the apple slices and band together to avoid the apple slices to go brown. You can also sprinkle the slices with lemon or sugar.

Day 2:

Potato Cutlet + green beans + red grapes + cheese slices

Potato Cutlet Recipe

Day 3:

Qeema in Pasta + broccoli + green grapes + yogurt tube

Qeema Recipe

Day 4:

Home-made Chicken Nuggets + Baby Carrots + banana + yogurt drink

Chicken Nuggets Recipe (best part this can be made in batches and you can freeze for future use)

Day 5:

Dal (to eat as soup with spoon) + Toast + Celery Sticks + Cheese cubes + Cupcake

Day 6:

Fun shaped Kebab (make shapes like stars, hearts etc) + Croissant + Cubed Capsicum + blueberries + small chocolate bar

kebab desi lunch box

Kebab Recipe (keep them small so that they are easy to handle)

Day 7:

Cheese sandwich + cucumber slices + orange + cheese string

Day 8:

Scrambled egg + butter croissant + strawberries + yogurt

Day 9:

Mini Chicken Burger + melon cubes + oven-baked potato fries + milk

Day 10:

Jam sandwich + bell pepper + avocado cubes sprinkled with honey + grapes

Day 11:

Pasta + chocolate muffin + yam fries + red grapes

Day 12:

Shreds of cooked chicken + cherry tomatoes + cubed pear + cheese string

Day 13:

Chicken Yakhni Pulao + cucumbers + yogurt + banana bread

Day 14:

Fun shapes parathas + home-made chicken nuggets + apple slices + gummy bears

Make sure parathas are small for easy handling. The parathas can be made more healthy by adding chia seeds and flax seeds in the dough. Use cookie cutters for fun shapes.

heart paratha

Chicken Nuggets Recipe (best part this can be made in batches and you can freeze for future use)

Day 15:

Home-made mini pizzas + cut tomatoes + chocolate milk

Mini Pizza Recipe

Day 16:

Chicken bread + broccoli + banana + cookie

Baby Chicken Bread Recipe

Day 17:

Chicken vegetable pasta + currents (kishmish), yogurt

Day 18:

Club sandwich + fries + cherry tomatoes + apple juice

Day 19:

Wholewheat pancake + blueberries + celery sticks + strawberry milk

Day 20:

Chicken strips + popcorn + cereal + apple slices

Day 21:

Naan strips with hummus + strawberries + cheese strings

Day 22:

Fish bites + sea weed + raspberries

Day 23:

Fairy sandwiches + popcorn + cucumber + tomato slices

I make butter toast sandwiches and cut them in tiny squares and call those fairy sandwiches!

Day 24:

Roti Rollup + bananas + kettle chips

Add butter on a regular roti and add stuffings like leftover chicken etc. Make sure you wrap nicely to avoid messy spillovers.

Day 25:

Mini pancakes + blueberries + banana

Use the same recipe but make mini pancakes

Day 26:

Vegetable pasta + chips + strawberries in yogurt

Day 27:

Fish kebab + fries + broccoli + popcorn

Day 28:

Chicken seekh kebab + cherry tomatoes + cookie + grapes

Day 29:

Healthy muffin + yogurt melts + banana + cookie

I use the muffin recipe without the topping

Day 30:

Chicken drumstick + fries + broccoli + milk

(do add aluminium to make holding easier and keep the drumsticks on the dry side)

Hope you enjoyed these ideas! Do let me know how your new school year is going!

[Read More: Guide to School Options in Calgary]

[Read More: How to Chose the Best Preschool]

15 thoughts on “Desi Lunch Box Ideas for 30 Days: Keep it Nourishing, Fun and Desi

  1. I enjoyed reading all your ideas, was more impressed I knew what all of them were:) I made potato cutlets for dinner tonight since they are my sons favorite.

    1. Oh nice! I’m super impressed too πŸ™‚ South Asian cooking and terms can be quite intimidating! My kids love potato cutlets too and call them “Aalo cookie”

  2. Useful!
    I am more impressed by the variety of food that your kids like to eat! For my kids, I can use about half of these ideas. My elder one is choosy enough to reject new things but I can definitely try them for my younger two πŸ˜‰

    Another idea I use:
    Spread Pizza sauce on frozen tandoori naan, sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese (add any toppings if kids like, e.g. chicken, qeema, pineapple, olives, capsicum)), or leave it like that for cheese pizza!). Toss in oven and grill for 5 mins or until light brown on top.
    Instant pizza lunch is ready! I wrap it in aluminium foil to avoid the slices sticking together.

  3. This lunch box ideas are really good!! Since my son is not going to school yet, I am thinking of packing myself a lunch for work using these!!


  5. This is SUPER helpful!! Thank you!!!

    You’ve given such easy lunch plan ideas that now I have a good list of things I can make on a weekly basis (rather than on a daily basis) for not only my kids but for me and my husband as well.

    Thank you so much!! You’ve organized my life.

Comments are closed.