Get More good in your kid’s lunchboxes
When you’re packing a lunchbox for your kids it can feel hard to come up with pint-sized meal ideas that are tasty and nutritious. To help you make healthier choices, here are some surprisingly simple recipes and ideas you can fill your kids’ lunchboxes with.
1. Healthier snacks
Ditch the chips and bikkies and fill the lunchboxes with some delicious snacks that are packed with goodness. Popcorn is a quick and affordable snack idea and because it’s a source of whole grain it can help to support a healthy gut. Just be mindful of how much salt or butter you add. You could also try your hand at making your own Muesli Bar slice or bliss balls. They’re so simple to make and because they’re filled with nuts they’re a great way to add extra protein to your little one’s lunch box (just be sure to check that their school isn’t nut-free).
Rice cakes are fuss-free snacks that are low in calories but high in whole grain, which will leave them feeling full for longer. Top with hummus and you’ve got a simple snack boosted with protein. If you have some fruit and vegetables that aren’t looking so fresh you can easily use them up in muffins, loaves or scones. Try finely grating courgettes and carrots or mashing banana and pumpkin into their favourite recipe. This way you can sneakily add some vitamins and minerals into your kid’s diet while reducing food waste. Win win!
2. Fruit and veg ideas
We all know that we should be eating at least five servings of fruit and vegetables a day but it’s important to make sure we’re having a variety too. Instead of sticking to the same choices every day, switch things up and make sure your kids have a range of colours. This will add fibre and different vitamins to their diet, which will help to support their immune system and gut health.
Things like frozen berries, edamame, corn kernels, cherry tomatoes or small portions of corn on the cob are perfect snack-sized options to add to their lunchbox. You could also fill little containers with left over roast vegetables like pumpkin, potato, kumara, parsnip and yams. They’re a great source of carbohydrates and will give them lots of energy and fibre too.
3. The main event
The classic sandwich will always be a great addition to any lunchbox but there are plenty of other options out there that are quick, easy, budget-friendly and nutritious. Pasta salad is a crowd-favourite and can be thrown together with a whole range of ingredients. Try wholegrain spirals with tomatoes, feta and ham, and don’t forget to add baby spinach for a dose of greens.
For a balance of protein and veggies you could make Mini Meatballs with a side of sliced carrots or quesadillas filled with left over roast vegetables and cheese. This Cucumber Sushi recipe is a fun and fresh way to help kiddies reach their 5+ a day. If you want to prep ahead of time, these Mini Vegetable Frittatas can be kept in the fridge and then popped into their lunchboxes throughout the week. Made using four eggs, these little morsels are loaded with protein and omega-fats.
To make sure all this food travels well it’s important to make sure the lunchbox stays cool. This is especially important during the hot summer months. Simply freeze a drink bottle of water and add it to your children’s lunchbox or an insulated lunch bag. A little zip-lock bag filled with frozen fruit or vegetables would also do the trick!