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If you are trying to avoid plastic and live more sustainably, one of the best ways is to stop buying plastic-wrapped snacks for your family’s lunchboxes – or at least cut down on the amount of pre-wrapped snacks you buy (check out my blog post – How to pack a plastic-free lunchbox for tips).

So how do we do that? Is it going to be hugely time-consuming and stressful?


I am by no means a domestic goddess and, if I’m honest, have to admit I spend as little time as possible in the kitchen, but I am a whizz at creating tasty, plastic-free food for the kiddos, so trust me! Some of these recipes are 5-minute jobs that can be done on a weekend and can last up to a fortnight if you play the ‘snack rotation’ game.

For truly plastic-free, a few items will need to be grabbed from the bulk store in paper or your own container, but if you can’t do that, you can still grab most things plastic-free from the supermarket and recycle the soft plastics you do end up with. Either way – you are going to be using much less plastic than if you went and bought pre-wrapped snacks.

So let’s get into it! Scroll for my easiest, plastic-free recipes and feel good about doing your bit for the planet (oh and cutting out a lot of nasties in pre-wrapped stuff too!).

NOTE: I have excluded nuts from all recipes as I’m usually cooking for school kids, but go wild with nuts if you don’t have this restriction.

  1. Lemon and Coconut Balls

These are so tangy and tasty – you can really taste the fresh lemon.

A smart lady once told me that if you can’t be bothered rolling the balls, just flatten into a tray, chill and then slice. Yum!

2. Energy balls

The trick to these are the dates! They add the sweetness that kids love so are a healthy, refined sugar free snack that tastes like sugar!

Hint: if you have dates and cocoa, you can add anything you have in the pantry and end up with a tasty treat.

3. 2 Ingredient Banana Pancake

These are ridiculously easy and tasty and can be jazzed up with a bit of honey or vanilla. They taste great hot or cold so make a good lunchbox snack. Another 5-minute wonder and as plastic-free as they come!

banana pancake

4. Popcorn

Popcorn seems to have become one of those convenience foods that is always bought in plastic and I think people have forgotten how we used to make it back in the day! So easy and you can experiment with toppings. Try salt, salt and butter, honey, maple syrup, paprika….

5. Fruity oat slice

This one takes a little longer as you have to bake it, but it’s still super easy! And you can experiment with ingredients. Swap the apricots for sultanas, raisons, fresh raspberries, strawberries and/or swap the oats for muesli for a tasty surprise. A small change of ingredient can make this a whole different snack!

fruity oat slice

So there you have it. 5 VERY fast, VERY easy snacks you can make to avoid plastic and lots of preservatives and nasties in most supermarket snacks. I’d love to know if you try them out – let me know how you go in the comments!

Other quick ideas to avoid plastic in your lunchbox are to bake your own bread or buy your bread in your own bread bag from the bakery, pack whole pieces of fruit in their own skin and pack dinner leftovers.

If you are keen to learn more ways to cut out plastic and reduce your waste, check out my online course Kickstart your low-waste Home – it will have you saving money and saving the planet in no time!

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