Packing the kids’ school lunches can be fraught with dilemmas. One third of your child’s daily food intake will be consumed at school. This means, what is in their lunchbox needs to be nutritious but it also needs to be food they will eat. Here in lies the problem.
Encourage your kids from an early age to help in the preparation of their lunch. If they help to make their lunch they are more likely to eat it.
On hot days freeze their water bottle so that it keeps their lunch box cool during the day.
Avoid filling their lunch box up with individually packaged products. Products with bright coloured packaging, cartoons and animals are cleverly marketing directly to your child and chances are have very little nutritional value. Individual packs are uneconomical and also create unnecessary waste. Instead invest in some small reusable containers. Save chips for an occasional treat and instead fill these containers with homemade popcorn or rice crackers.
Fruit is a must in every lunch. To encourage your child to eat more fruit make sure you keep it varied. I’ve also found chopping it into pieces and peeling when necessary helps.
To make sandwiches more exciting cut them into shapes (lets face it very few kids are going to eat the crusts anyway). Sneak in some wholegrains by using one slice of white bread and one slice of whole meal.
Make sandwich sushi by cutting of the crusts and spreading a slice of bread with egg, then ham and some grated carrot. Roll up and cut into 3 pieces.
Make wraps using tortillas or other flat bread. Spread them with hummus or other low fat spread like cream cheese. Layer on lettuce, grated carrot and any other salad vegetables your child will eat along with some shredded chicken, ham or tuna. Roll up tightly and cut in half.
Farrah’s have more great ideas using wraps the kids will love. Click here to see them. And to celebrate the kids going back to school Farrah’s have given us five prize packs to giveaway, these include;Farrah’s White Snack Wraps, Farrah’s Cheesy Snack Wraps, a tote bag & a lunchbox. To go in the draw to win one simply post a pic of you child’s lunch on our facebook or instagram page with the hashtags #farrahs #nourishmagazine before Friday the 3rd Feb 2017
Muffins are another great lunch box addition and you can often sneak in some veggies or wholegrains into them. Make a batch and freeze. These can be popped into the lunchbox frozen and by morning tea time they will be ready to eat.
Ham & Cheese Muffins
3 cups of self raising flour
¾ cup grated cheese
Grated zucchini or 1 cup corn kernels or chopped spinach (OPTIONAL)
1 cup milk
125g melted butter
Sunflower and or pumpkin seeds
In a bowl mix the flour, cheese, ham and vegetables. Beat eggs and milk together and add into flour mix with melted butter. Don’t over mix as this makes the muffins tough. Spoon into 12 regular size greased muffin tins, sprinkle with seeds and bake at 200C for 15-20 minutes.
- For a sweet version omit the ham & cheese, add ½-1
- cup of sugar and some grated apple or carrot with ½ c of raisins or dried fruit.
Macaroni & Cheese Frittatas (with just a few hidden veggies)
- 3/4 macaroni pasta
- 1x tin corn kernels, rinsed, drained or alternatively a couple of fresh cobs
- 1 small red capsicum, halved, deseeded, finely chopped or a grated zucchini
- 1 medium carrot, peeled, coarsely grated
- 1 cup coarsely grated cheddar
- 7 eggs, lightly whisked
- 1/2 cup milk
- Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water until al dente. Drain. Refresh under cold running water. Drain well.
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Combine the macaroni, corn, capsicum, carrot and cheddar in a large bowl. Spoon into greased muffin tins, the large Texas size pans work best.
- Whisk together the egg and milk in a jug and pour over the macaroni mixture. Bake in preheated oven for 20-23 minutes or until just set. Remove from oven. Set aside in the pan for 5 minutes before carefully turning onto a wire rack to cool.
- These frittatas will keep for up to 3 days. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
These are a great treat and a perfect alternative to store bought muslie bars. Make them as big or as little as you like. Teaspoon size spoonfuls make the perfect lunchbox sized treat.
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
- ½ nuts or seeds
- ¼- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ c chopped apricots
- ½ c raisins or sultanas
- 1 cup plain flour
- 2 tbs golden syrup
- 1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 125g butter, melted, cooled
- ½ cup hot water
- Optional – ½ cup nuts or seeds (sliced almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds..)
- Preheat oven to 160°C. Line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
- Combine the rolled oats, sugar, apricots, sultanas and flour in a bowl. Place the golden syrup, bicarbonate of soda and 1/4 cup boiling water in a small heatproof bowl. Stir until well combined. Set aside for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the butter.
- Add the golden syrup mixture to the dry ingredients until well combined. Set aside for 10 minutes.
- Roll spoonfuls of the mixture into balls. Place on the lined trays about 4cm apart. Bake for 5-15 minutes (depending on the size of your biscuits) or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining mixture.