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30th Aug 2023

These are the most popular items you’ll find packed in Irish school lunches

Fiona Frawley

school lunches ireland

The humble hang sangwich reigns supreme.

As kids and teachers ease themselves into a return to the classroom, new research has revealed exactly what parents are packing when it comes to school lunches.

A study conducted by Healthy Heroes School Programme in association with the Irish Bread Bakers Association (IBBA) has revealed that a sandwich is still top of the list when it comes to lunchbox fillers.  The research found that 42% of parents who have children in primary or secondary school supply them with a sandwich in their lunchboxes.

When it comes to sandwich fillings, the classic ham and cheese remains Ireland’s favourite combo while a corned beef sandwich is not far behind.

Dr Mary McCreery, a leading Irish consultant nutritionist and dietician behind Healthy Heroes, has shared some tips to help parents when packing their children’s lunches.

 Credit: Getty

Mary’s tips are as follows:

  • Set a good example by eating healthy foods yourself and make your own lunch at the same time so your child knows how much you enjoy them.
  • Introduce new foods without any special comment so your child can make their own mind up if they like them or not.
  • Make sure healthy foods are available. Try to offer different foods every day. Shopping in advance is the best way to ensure you have plenty of variety for lunch boxes.
  • Include a carbohydrate, a protein, dairy, fruit and veg.
  • Educate your child that school means healthy eating and treats are for weekends and special occasions.
  • Involve your child in the food shopping to encourage them (with the right guidance!) to pick healthy options for their school lunch.

This article originally appeared on 


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