Back-to-school lunchbox tips from Australia’s godfather of school lunches

School Lunch Box dad George Georgievski and his daughters Anela (9) and Kiara (6).
School Lunch Box dad George Georgievski and his daughters Anela (9) and Kiara (6).

George Georgievski has a goal to get more dads helping out with school lunches.

The dad from Geelong’s passion for the humble school lunchbox started about three years ago when after a particularly hectic morning he decided to take the pressure off making lunches off his wife.

George has 50,000 Instagram followers and has appeared on international newspaper front pages alongside Donald Trump.

“I want to make sandwiches great again,” he said.

“Most of my followers on social media are women, but I want to inspire more dads to get into it.

“I show my love for my girls by giving them food.”

When a friend saw George’s amazing lunchbox creations – she urged him to start an Instagram account and share the pictures online.

Back then, George didn’t even know what Instagram was.

“When I started looking for inspiration, there was too much information about nutrition,” he said.

“So I found it easier to use the colours of the rainbow as inspiration.”

George gets his two girls, aged Kiara (6) and nine, involved in the lunch-making process.

“On Sunday funday we make pancakes, then we write down what we need for lunches that week and go to the supermarket together,” he said.

“They pick out their own fruit, which gives them a sense of involvement.”

He said the key to getting kids to respect food is to get them involved, and they will often visit farms and greengrocers.

“My kids respect food because I get them involved, if they bring home some leftover apples in their lunchbox, they’ll snack on them in the car on the way home,” he said.

“We have a ‘junk-jar’ that the girls are allowed to take from as a once in a while snack.

“But for them, a treat is associated with frozen mango or a tropical dragonfruit.”

George’s lunchbox guide:

1 Keep to a rule of five made up of three vegetables and two fruit

2 Make things bite-sized: use little cucumbers, little tomatoes and sliced carrots – kids are more likely to eat things if they don’t look daunting

3 Use a bento box to keep food separate

4 Kids eat with their eyes so keep it interesting

5 Before they start school let them use the lunchbox so they’re used to it

6 Fill it with familiar food first

7 Don’t use chocolate or lollies as treats give something good for them as a treat

8 Take a big sandwich and cut or roll it into interesting shapes

9 Use wholemeal or multigrain bread or swap it out for a croissant

10 If food looks good it tastes good