There’s nothing quite like the early morning rush of getting kids to school. Between clean uniforms, teeth brushing, making beds and getting school bags packed, it can be a whirlwind. On top of that, there’s school lunches. Deciding what to pack for fussy little eaters can be the straw that breaks the camel's back.
But battling school lunchboxes doesn’t need to be a, well, battle. In fact, with a little planning, creating healthy and nutritious meals can be a relatively painless process the whole family can enjoy.
Here are our top tips for keeping everyone healthy for this new school year:
- Get the kids involved: Work with your kids to come up with veggie-filled sandwich or wrap ideas. Why not pitch it as a mini sandwich bar, complete with mini sandwich artists.
- When wholegrain bread is a grind: If your kids struggle with wholegrain bread try high-fibre low GI white bread or rolls.
- Watch out for the soggy factor: Make sure you put tomato and cucumber in between lettuce and protein (think cheese, ham, chicken or egg) to prevent the dreaded ‘soggy sandwich’. Grate some carrot for extra crunch.
- No more boring sandwiches: Rice paper rolls with shredded roast chicken, grated carrot, shredded lettuce, a cucumber stick and a dash of hoisin sauce don’t take too much longer to put together than regular sandwiches and will delight little ones. Add mint and coriander if they are extra adventurous.
- Salads and bowls can make a great lunch for kids too: Try something different like brown rice with tuna and corn or a chicken noodle salad with a rainbow slaw.
- Put some crunch in recess: Veggie sticks with hummus or other dips are perfect for a healthy recess.
- Plan for the week ahead: Save time in the mornings and look for healthy recipes you can make ahead of time for an easy, grab-and-go lunchbox meal.
Here’s a simple recipe that makes a yummy, healthy lunch box filler:
Make a double batch and freeze for lunch (or dinner!)
This recipe includes three types of vegetables, serves four hungry humans and takes 40 minutes to make.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium zucchini, grated
- 1 medium brown onion, finely diced
- 1 medium carrot, grated
- 5 eggs, whisked
- 1 cup self-raising flour
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
- Preheat oven to 180°C and line a 30x20cm pan with baking paper.
- Heat oil in a pan over medium heat and fry onion for 2-3 minutes until translucent.
- In a large bowl, combine grated zucchini, grated carrot, grated cheddar, onion, whisked eggs and self-raising flour and mix until combined.
- Pour into lined baking tray and bake for 30 minutes or until cooked through and golden on top.
- Serve with a green salad.
Need more help getting your kids to love veggies? Read our tips.