Prep for Prep: 4 lunchbox essentials every parent needs!

One of the more significant adjustments that kids (and parents!) need to make for the start of Prep is the shift from the provided meals at childcare to the new world of daily lunchboxes. How do you prepare a nutritious lunchbox – Every. Single. Day.?!

Lunchbox expert Jodie Topsfield from Coastal Kidswear, who specialises in lunchbox solutions for kids, explains that the key to success is to keep things interesting and unique to them.

“Half the battle with getting kids to eat and drink healthily is to make food fun!” Jodie says.

“If it is presented in small portions of different colours and textures that they can explore, it is more likely to hold their interest.”

Though that sounds like a tough task to do every day, with a few little tools, the daily lunchbox doesn’t have to be a grind.

Here are Jodie’s four must-have items for lunchbox success for kindys, preps and primary-aged kids.


Sandwich cutters

An essential in every kitchen with primary-aged kids, the sandwich cutter instantly turns everyday food into something bite-sized and fun.

“The sandwich cutter is my number one go-to item when packing a kids’ lunchbox,” says Jodie.

Mermaid Sandwich Cutter from Coastal Kidswear

Mermaid sandwich cutter from Coastal Kidswear.


This nifty tool quickly cuts a regular sandwich into several fun-shaped pieces. These little sandwich parcels are easy to pick up and look great in a bento box section, instantly making food fun!

Sandwich cutters also work for toast, pancakes, watermelon, ham, cheese, fairy bread … whatever you can find!

“There is a cutter for every occasion and interest: Christmas, Halloween, princesses, cars, sharks, mermaids, dinosaurs and more!” Jodie says.

“The humble sandwich will never be boring again!”


Transport Sandwich Cutter

Transport sandwich cutter turns a sandwich into a plane!


Fusion water bottle

A child’s water bottle is possibly the most used, dropped, lost and found item of the primary years. A good one is a must. But what makes a good water bottle?

The new Montiico Fusion bottle might be ‘the one’.

Montiico Fusion Drinks Bottle Range

Montiico Fusion bottle range allows you to build your perfect bottle.


What we love about the Montiico Fusion bottle:

  • Dishwasher safe – yay, no more handwashing!
  • Sized just right for smaller serves (and easy to upsize if you have a thirsty child!).
  • Double-wall insulation keeps drinks cold for 24 hours.
  • Built tough from stainless steel to withstand the rambunctiousness of primary.
  • Wide mouth design fits ice cubes of all shapes and sizes.
  • Zero condensation means no more slippery hands or surprise water rings.


Montiico Fusion 350ml Bottle with Sipper Lid and Bumper

Montiico Fusion 350ml bottle with contrasting sipper lid and matching bumper.


It comes in three sections that you can mix and match: base, bumper, and lid.

  1. Montico Fusion Base: Available in 350ml, 475ml, 700ml, 1l.
  2. Montiico Fusion Lid: Available as a Sipper, Smoothie and Flask.
  3. Montiico Bumper: Pick your favourite colour to protect and personalise your bottle!


What’s the best water bottle combo for little kids?

The 350ml or 475ml base + Sipper lid is the perfect combo for primary kiddies. The sipper lid features a handy tab that allows you to flip ’n’ sip one-handed on the go – without touching the mouthpiece. The mouthpiece is nice and wide for faster flow. Plus, you can say goodbye to dreaded spills – this lid is leakproof when closed tight.

But these fab bottles aren’t just for little ones! Pair the 700ml or 1l base with a smoothie or flask lid for older kids and parents.

And the bumper colour? Well, that’s your choice!


Montiico Fusion 700ml Bottle with Sipper Lid and Bumper

Montiico Fusion 700ml bottle with sipper lid and coloured bumper.


Bento box

For the second year running, the bento box is at the top of our favourites list.

“ has designed a lunchbox that offers parents and kids more flexibility. Made from PP and silicone, the range is durable, flexible and reliable – you know the lunch will arrive safely, no matter how much the schoolbag is tossed around!” Jodie says.

Bbox Bento Lunchbox from Coastal Kidswear

The flexibility and durability of the Bento box make it a parents’ favourite! Credit: Snap My Brand


What we love most about the Bento box:

  • Flexibility: The flexible design makes it possible to pack most things in the The custom divider slides across, enabling parents to adjust the compartment size as they need or remove it to fit a whole banana or wrap. The original lunchbox features a large compartment that fits a whole sandwich. Or, remove the sandwich tray and the compartment now easily fits pasta and salads.
  • Leak-proof seals: Leak-proof silicone seals let you store wet foods like watermelon and yoghurts (no liquids).
  • Easy for kids to use: The easy-to-open latch and handle encourage independence.


The bento box comes in three sizes:

  1. original: holds 8 cups of food; there is enough space for two whole sandwiches
  2. mini: holds 4 cups of food
  3. snack: holds 2 cups of food, perfect for fruit break  or snacks


Bbox Bento Lunchbox from Coastal Kidswear

The original bento box holds a full day’s food securely. Credit: Snap My Brand


Cooler bag

Of course, a cooler bag is essential if your beautifully packed lunch is going to stay fresh all day!

There are loads of cooler bags available, but make sure you get one that is durable, washable, and actually keeps the food cool!


What’s the best lunchbox cooler bag?

The Montico range of cooler bags fit the bento boxes perfectly.

Montiico Cooler Bag Available from Coastal Kidswear

Montiico cooler bag fits the bento box perfectly. Credit: Lauren Biggs Photography


Why we love the Montiico Cooler Bags:

  • Durable, water-resistant fabrics
  • Easy to wipe clean and machine washable
  • Quality aluminium lining
  • Separate pocket for the self-contained ice pack – included with the bag. No condensation = no soggy food
  • Thick insulation to keep contents cooler and fresher for longer
  • Robust, easy-to-open custom Montiico zippers
  • It comes in loads of on-trend prints

“These bags are built to withstand the rough and tumble of the primary years, and the thicker insulation is a must in the Australian summer,” says Jodie.

Final tip for prep lunchboxes

Most importantly, remember to personalise everything!

“It’s incredible how often kids forget to pick up water bottles and lunchboxes. If they are personalised with the child’s name, you know their favourite lunchbox will make it back to them.

Even better – get your lunchbox gear from Coastal Kidswear, and they can personalise everything for you! Simply add it at the checkout.


Personalised Lunchboxes from Coastal Kidswear

Personalised lunchbox and water bottles from Coastal Kidswear. Credit: Lauren Biggs Photography




By Angela Sutherland
After spending many years hustling stories on busy editorial desks around the world, Angela is now mum of two little ones and owner/editor at Kids on the Coast / Kids in the City. She is an atrocious cook and loves cutting shapes to 90s dance music. Angela is the editor of Kids on the Coast - a free family magazine whats on guide for Kids: things to do, school holiday fun and free activities for kids... Fun attractions, family food & travel, kids health & wellbeing, kids parties venues, parenting, pregnancy & babies, guide for parents. Servicing Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and beyond, Kids on the Coast is an online guide for parents with kids things to do with kids, schools and education and lifestyle news located on Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast & Brisbane, QLD.

You might also like…