Packing lunches doesn’t have to be boring, nor does it have to be another stress. A little bit of thinking ahead can ease the pressure from the morning rush, and planning really isn’t that difficult. I always have kid’s lunchbox ideas in my head when I do the shopping, trying to find that perfect healthy, cheap and easy snack. I like to try and pack:
At least one piece of fresh fruit
Choose something they like, something in season, something that wont stain the uniform. A lot of schools now in Australia have a fruit program incorporated as an early morning tea so it’s a good idea to get into the habit at preschool.
Sandwich, wrap or roll
I have a lot of filling ideas, and I’m sure you do too. My kids always ask for vegemite or jam, which doesn’t bother me because I feel nutritiously confident having packed fruit, vegetables and protein into the lunch bag.
Veggie and protein boost
Cut carrots, celery, cucumber, tomato, a mini salad, a cob of corn, whatever works. A slice of ham, a leftover chicken wing, half a hard-boiled egg. These things don’t take too long to prepare, so long as you have the bits and pieces you need.
Crackers, rice, corn cakes or healthy bikkies
A ‘snack’ food that isn’t too salty or packed full of sugar can be a great little filler. Rice cakes become totally delicious with your child’s favourite spread and hummus in a small container with crackers can be yum.
“Packing lunch like this has revolutionised the way I feed my children and has also meant I can make leftovers look attractive! Adding to that it has been amazing in reducing packaging as I can buy the large (non children sized packaging) of biscuits, sultanas and snacks and make them appealing. I was getting really sick of the prices I was being charged as well as the amount of rubbish it was creating with kid’s individual food packets! I also found that cutting the shapes became the packaging.
It’s all about finding foods your kids love and shaking it up to be able to place it into a lunchbox and still keep its appeal to your child. Presentation can be key to this as too ensuring you are providing enough cold packing to keep the food as fresh as possible to hold its taste and be safe. Happy lunchbox creations.”
Thanks to Felicity, the best lunchbox packer I know
Emma and Felicity 2014