Do you dread the beginning of a new school year and preparing lunch boxes?
Then read on for our tips to make this a fun and easy task, while making sure it is healthy and tasty.
Our one key recommendation? Get your kids involved, at the end of the day they will be the ones eating it. They can help wash, cut, fill and they will learn tons from it along the way.
We don’t need to remind you that the meal needs to be balanced, ie ¼ protein, ¼ carbohydrates and ½ veggies + 1 fruit.
Sometimes a whole piece of fruit can be overwhelming. Try chopping fruit into bite-sized pieces and pack them into a small container inside the lunchbox, make a fruit salad to keep it interesting and increase the variety of nutrients.
If you have the patience and time, try using a cookie cutter to cut shapes or thread fruit pieces onto short skewers to make fruit more attractive.
Vegetables are often overlooked when packing lunchboxes but are essential. You might be surprised how many kids do actually enjoy veggie sticks, yes, even yours! Try serving sticks of carrot, celery, cucumber or capsicum with cream cheese or a hummus dip.
Cut shapes in veggies just like you do with fruit – capsicums, carrots and cucumber work well. Cherry tomatoes, sugar snap peas and snow peas are great in lunchboxes because there is no chopping required! And broccoli and cauliflower make great small trees.
If you need to hide vegetables try adding finely chopped or grated veggies to savoury muffins, frittatas or dips.
Who does not enjoy a great, homemade sandwich? A quick smear of pesto or hummus, some salad, tomatoes, a protein and some cheese et voila! And you can almost be sure that it won’t get exchanged for a sweet during lunch hour!
4 Easy Lunch box tips
- Use a bento style lunch box with compartments to keep foods separate
- Cut foods into small sizes suitable for your little one’s hands. Use cookie cutters to cut bread, fruit, vegetables and cheese into shapes to make lunchtime fun.
- Pack lunchbox into an insulated bag to keep it cool
- Stick to water as a drink and avoid sugary juices, cordials and sports drinks
Ordering a fruit and veggie combo basket is a great way of getting all basic ingredients for these lunch boxes into your fridge. Add a loaf of freshly baked sourdough or country traditional loaf to your next order and that’s 50% of the work done. You are only left with the fun part now! Enjoy and if you have time post some pictures of your boxes onto our facebook page!
For more fantastic ideas for kids lunch boxes check out two of our favourites on Instagram – @littlemissbento and @twoexpatcooks (beware lunch box envy!)