Clean School Lunchbox: give them good fuel to learn
SCHOOL’S BACK! After a long, beautiful Summer, you kind of forget about the kids having to go back to school altogether. As the day approaches, there might be a collective sigh of relief for some mums and dads or a touch of ‘Where did that time go! I was enjoying not having to rush in the morning!’. I’ve gotta say I’m more on the latter side. With school back, so comes preparing school lunches. I worked out, with my 3 kids, I will be making school lunches for at least 14 years of my life (or 20 years if you include high-school!). This literally made me laugh out loud. But it’s all part and parcel of being a mumma and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Whether you’re a prep the night before kind of person, or all for morning freshness, we’ve put together some ideas to prepare a clean, healthy lunch box for your little ones so you can give them the right kind of fuel to have them learning at their best.
What to include
A good guide is to try and cover all the food groups. You’ll want to add some protein, carbohydrates, fruit and veg. I usually put in 4 to 5 items and they can eat them when they choose throughout the day. Because, although I tell them they should, sometimes there’s just no time to eat when you’re playing a game at recess, right?! I ask my kids to tell me their fruit and veg choice for the day and I work around that. Make it as colourful as possible (natural colours of course!) and steer clear of putting in too much added sugar. Look below for some ideas and links to recipes. If your school is nut-free due to the risk of anaphylaxis in some children (like ours), go for the nut-free snack options.
Sandwich, roll or wrap with choice of fillings – shredded chicken, tuna, ham, hommus, grated carrot and beetroot, baby spinach, tomato.
Leftover dinner from last night! eg. Antipasto Pasta
Wholemeal pasta with homemade sauce
Brown rice with greek yoghurt and soy sauce
Quinoa with chopped cucumber and capsicum
Apple, strawberries, blueberries, banana, orange, melon, nectarine, pineapple
Carrot, celery, capsicum/pepper, snow peas, cucumber
Add some hommus or tzatziki for dipping
Snacks and home-made treats
Popcorn, pretzels, rice-crackers, yoghurt (low-sugar), cheese
Pumpkin Chia Muffins (nut-free)
Apricot Coconut Energy Balls (nut-free)
Hemp Seed Banana Bread (nut-free)
Don’t forget to pack a fork or spoon if required (I am notorious for this!)
Prep up your veggie sticks at the beginning of the week so they’re easy to grab each time
Have containers of cooked brown rice, pasta and quinoa in the fridge to add to lunchboxes as you need them (great for quick dinners too!)
Keep some hommus and tzatziki in the fridge for dipping