Packed Lunch Puzzle

Packed Lunch Puzzle

Learning about what makes a healthy pack lunch and working together in groups to create one.

This activity requires food cards. Contact us to find out more about how to get food cards for your school.

Food card activity
1-1.5 hours
  • HWB 1-30a - By investigating the range of foods available I can discuss how they contribute to a healthy diet.

  • HWB 1-15a - I am developing my understanding of the human body and can use this knowledge to maintain and improve my wellbeing and health.

  • HWB 1-16a - I am learning to assess and manage risk, to protect myself and others, and to reduce the potential for harm when possible.

  • HWB 1-28a - I understand that my body needs energy to function and that this comes from the food I eat. I am exploring how physical activity contributes to my health and wellbeing.

  • LIT 1-02a - When I engage with others, I know when and how to listen, when to talk, how much to say, when to ask questions and how to respond with respect.

  • LIT 1-26a - By considering the type of text I am creating, I can select ideas and relevant information, organise these in a logical sequence and use words which will be interesting and/or useful for others.

  • MNU 1-01a - I can share ideas with others to develop ways of estimating the answer to a calculation or problem, work out the actual answer, then check my solution by comparing it with the estimate.

  • TCH 1-11a - Through discovery and imagination, I can develop and use problem-solving strategies to meet design challenges with a food or textile focus.

  • TCH 1-15a - I am developing an interest, confidence and enjoyment in using drawing and colour techniques, manually or electronically, to represent ideas in different learning situations.

  • Choose foods for a healthy packed lunch
  • Justify the choice made
  • Work as a group to fulfil the task and present the finished outcome to the rest of the class


  • Food Cards*
  • Teacher's notes on making healthier choices
  • Task cards (including a set for pupils with additional support needs)
  • Access to online food shopping or something similar
  • Packed lunch box outline
  • Eatwell Guide template (enlarged to A3)
  • Self-assessment sheet

*If your school does not have a set of Food Cards, please request them from us at

Additional Support Needs

Packed Lunch Puzzle – ASN PDF (427KB)

Setting up

  1. Sort food cards into a set for each group containing healthy and less healthy foods for a packed lunch.
  2. Prepare large sheets of paper with headings ‘healthy for packed lunch’ and ‘less healthy for packed lunch’ or symbolic representation of this.


  • Divide the class into groups of appropriate size depending on age/stage of pupils.
  • Each group is provided with a set of food cards.
  • Within their group, the pupils must work together to decide which foods would be healthy for a packed lunch and which would be less healthy, placing the cards under the appropriate heading.
  • Each group is then given a task – this could be the only task the group will work on, or groups could rotate around the tasks, with more than one group working on a certain task.
    • Make up a shopping list for the packed lunch you have created.
    • Use a supermarket website to estimate how much you think your packed lunch might cost.
    • Write the foods you have chosen onto the correct place on the Eatwell Guide
    • Design a packed lunch box that would encourage pupils to eat a healthy packed lunch.
  • Each group presents their suitable packed lunch foods and their finished task to the rest of the class.

Assessment opportunities

DO – Are foods chosen healthy?

DO – Self-assessment of my contribution to group

MAKE – completed task from each group

Consider CfE Bencharks, for example:

  • Recognise the names of the main food groups, for example, the Eatwell Guide.
  • Sorts a selction of foods into the food groups.
  • Chooses foods from different food groups to create a balanced meal.

Cross-curricular links

Numeracy – Money

Literacy – Talking & Listening, Writing

Technology – Design



Use pictures/symbols to build shopping list rather than writing it. Adult support in navigating online supermarket.


Challenge is already built into the tasks, but allowing pupils more independence as they complete the task increases the level of challenge already there.

Adaptations for pupils with additional support needs

  • Working in a pair, pupils choose foods they would like in a packed lunch from a selection of food cards that would be suitable.
  • Actual foods/food packaging could be displayed along with food cards to assist pupils in recognition.
  • Use adapted Task Cards for pupils to work on individually with or without adult support as necessary.