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Easy leftover school lunchbox ideas

5 Mar 2021
News 2 min read
Image of quesadilla in the pan

Looking for an easy lunchbox idea using leftovers as kids return to school?

Author: VicHealth works with health promotion experts to create a Victoria where everyone can enjoy better health and wellbeing.

We all want our kids to enjoy healthy food, especially vegetables.

But, with schedules getting busier it can be tricky to find the time for new nutritious meal ideas that will help kids eat their recommended five serves of veggies a day. In this article we look at:

  • A simple, easy to prepare lunchbox recipe which can help get your kids excited about eating veggies. 

Be Healthy was created by VicHealth to provide helpful tips and advice on how you and your family can stay healthy. You can read more Be Healthy articles here.

Veggie quesadillas can be made the night before with your leftover vegetables – whether they were stir fried, roasted or steamed.

We’ve stepped out a simple recipe below, that will take no more than 15 minutes from fridge to lunchbox.

Hot tip: Did you know kids are more likely to eat their veggies if they help cook them? Your mini chefs will love helping to cook this fun, easy recipe.


Vegetable Quesadillas

Prep time: 5 mins

Cooking Time: 10 mins

Serves: 4



  • 4 multigrain tortillas
    1 cup reduced fat tasty cheese
    2 cups leftover veggies
    1 cup baby spinach leaves
    400g can no-added salt red kidney beans



1. Lay each tortilla on a clean surface. You’ll be putting the filling on half of each tortilla so we can fold them later.

Image of quesadilla and assorted ingredients


2. Dice up the leftover veggies if they are in big chunks. Divide them across each tortilla.

Image of vegetables being spooned onto tortilla

3. Spread the spinach, cheese and drained red kidney beans across each tortilla.

Image of spinach and kidney beans being put on tortilla

4. Heat a non-stick frying pan and use cooking spray to grease. Carefully place one tortilla in the pan, folding it in half, with the filling side on the bottom. Cook for about 3 minutes or until golden underneath. Carefully turn and cook the other side until golden, then remove from pan. Repeat for each tortilla.

Image of quesadilla in pan

5. Let tortillas cool then cut each into 2 pieces.

Image of cutting quesadilla in half

6. Put in an air-tight container and in the fridge ready for lunch.


Getting kids excited about eating veggies and fruit can be tricky at times, but getting them involved in the kitchen can be a great step towards developing healthy habits which will help them feel happy and healthy for life.


For more VicHealth articles on school lunchbox inspiration, check out:


Artwork by Dexx (Gunditjmara/Boon Wurrung) ‘Mobs Coming Together’ 2022
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Artwork Credit: Dexx (Gunditjmara/Boon Wurrung) ‘Mobs Coming Together’ 2022, acrylic on canvas. Learn more about this artwork.