Fresh fruit in lunchboxes

Fruit is a great source of vitamins, fibre and energy in a school lunchbox. Let’s compare a piece of fresh fruit to some other lunchbox choices.

Fresh fruit in lunchboxes

Fresh fruit is a winner

Fresh fruit is a great choice for lunchboxes everyday. It will help give energy for playing and learning, while keeping children fuller for longer. It’s also really affordable if you buy what’s in season. Here are some average prices:

Apples 25 cents each, Bananas 54 cents each, Kiwifruit 45 cents each, Mandarins 54 cents each, Nectarines/Peaches 75 cents each, Watermelon 80 cents for 2 slices.

Worried about bruised/squashed fruit and wastage?

If you put a whole apple in the lunchbox, does it get nibbled around the middle and half comes home? Try cutting the apple into quarters (or smaller) and just slice the core part off. That way, the whole piece can be eaten before starting on the next piece – nothing wasted.

Using grapes as bubble wrap?!

For fruit that’s likely to get bruised from being in the lunchbox, try putting it in a container that it can’t slide around in. Or you can use smaller fruit to pad it – like grapes around a plum to keep the plum in place.

Check out for tips on how to store fruit to keep it fresh as long as possible.


Dried fruit

The key is portion size

Dried fruit is when almost all of the water has been taken out of a piece of fruit. This means they have more concentrated sugar and calories. Dried fruit does contain some of the good stuff found in fresh fruit – but the really important thing to remember is that it’s now in a tiny package. A portion of dried fruit is only 30 grams – that’s about 60 raisins or 5 dried apricots. If you’re eating more than this, you’re getting a lot of sugar and calories.

It’s hard to overeat on fresh fruit and you would have to eat very large amounts to reach harmful levels of sugar. Not to mention that dried fruit sticks to teeth more than fresh fruit does – leading to more tooth decay.


Fruit strings

Lollies in disguise

In 2019, a 16 pack of fruit strings costs $5.50. That’s about 34 cents a packet. For that 34 cents you get 17 grams of fruit string (which has over 10 grams of sugar in it). These lollies won’t keep hungry tummies full for long because they don’t have as much fibre and water as fresh fruit.

An average apple costs about 25 cents and gives you about 70-100 grams of food. As well as feeling full for longer, you won’t get the sugar rush.


Check out our seasonal fruit and vegetable calendar

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The Fuelled4life team.