Well, look no further! Lunchtime champions Eat My Lunch share some handy tips to keep kid’s bellies full and little minds stimulated all day long!
Preparation is key
Preparation is key when it comes to lunches so why not prepare their lunches the night before to free up your already busy morning.
Kids love doing stuff themselves so why not get them involved to help make their lunch! As time goes on you could your kids can take a little more responsibility such as making their sandwiches. Baking as a family is always a hit as kids will often be more inclined to eat the lunch they made.It’s all in the packaging
Why not make the lunchbox fun finding one that has several partitions to not only cut down on packaging but to keep the lunchbox varied, colourful and interesting.
If you don’t want to buy a new lunchbox, try inserting some silicon cupcake moulds for a fun, easy way to separate food!
Food flasks have also become popular and well-priced. These are great for not only winter comfort foods (think mac n cheese, dumplings, rice dishes) but also fresh summer eating (kebabs, fried rice, noodle salad, chicken slaw).
Why not graze?
Many children (and adults too!) are often attracted to grazing style lunchboxes which feature a little bit of everything, to keep their snacks varied.
These can be loading with vegetable crudités, rice crackers, nuts or grapes just to name a few!
Choose colourful choices
Choose colourful snacks such as grapes, sliced capsicums or oranges rather than beige foods as they’re not only less visually appealing but often carry less nutrition.
Protein – the ultimate lunchbox filler!
Protein is filling, so why not try a boiled egg, ham, salami, chicken, tofu, falafels, fritters or patties for a filling yet healthy option. Peanut butter or hummus are also great sources of protein and are perfect with fruit or vegetables crudités.
If you really want to make it fun and yummy for the little ones, try ‘ants on a log’ which is a celery stick with peanut butter and raisins!
Left overs – the gift that keeps on giving
Left overs are often a great addition to the lunchbox – even cold! So, why not make extra dinner to make lunch preparation easy. Think BBQ drumsticks, a corn cobb, pasta salad or even a bolognaise toastie which is delicious cold!
Anything on a toothpick or kebab stick is instantly fun for a child to eat! Try toothpicks of cheese, cherry tomatoes and cucumber, fruit kebabs, tortellini pasta with a pasta sauce dip, ham cheese and chunks of bread!
Frozen or fresh – you choose!
Some different quick and easy lunchbox ideas (that can be made bulk and frozen too) such as pikelets, muffins or mini quiches, mini pizzas (grate on some veges and hide with a bit of cheese!), fried rice, chicken nibbles, club or shaped sandwiches, wraps are perfect, easy lunchbox fillers that will be ready to eat by lunchtime.
Turn that food envy into reality
Pinterest has an amazing amount of lunchbox ideas – why not start your own page and create a repertoire that you can then refresh each term and seasonally, get the kids involve in helping choose the items.
Wanting to make it fun for the little ones? Try a sandwich sushi by flattening bread, spread with ham & cheese, roll up like a snail and cut up and voila! You can even skewer it if you like!
Hydrate throughout the day
Hydration is important for wellbeing and mental stimulation. So be sure to make the drinking mechanism quick and easy to use for both kids and adults! If they have to fiddle around too much, they’ll likely skip it!
On those hot summer months, try freezing drink bottles night before then fill with water in the morning. To really make it interesting, a small splash of cordial is sometimes the difference between drinking the whole drink bottle or nothing!
For something a little different freeze small lemon, cucumber or strawberry pieces into ice cube trays then add into drink-bottles before packing.