Making school lunchboxes every day that are appealing to your kids can be tricky, not to mention time consuming and stressful. Getting a nutritionally balanced variety into the lunchbox need not be a difficult and time-consuming task.
Kids get really bored if they eat the same things for lunch every day. Variety not only keeps them interested, but also gives them nutrients from a variety of sources as well. Remember, anything goes. Don’t be constrained by fruit and sandwiches.
Finding the right kind of lunchbox is also important. A lunchbox that has many compartments and is easy to open is key. It means your kids can pick what interests them first and they get to enjoy a variety of flavours.
And most importantly, make it easy for yourself. Left over dinners reinvented is a quick and easy way to get a variety of food into lunchboxes. Sometimes they require a bit of forethought, but here are some ideas for leftovers:
- If you’re making roast chicken, then cook an extra portion of drumsticks – these are a great way to add protein into the lunchbox as this is what will keep them full
- Same with casseroles and curries – cook extra portions of protein, then fish it out the sauce and add to wraps or rolls for a tasty protein filled filling
- If you’re steaming veggies, add in some whole eggs. Boiled eggs can be used in a variety of ways for lunchboxes
- Meatballs are another great favourite – make smaller bit sized meatballs which can be eaten ‘as is’ or added to a sandwhich
So how do you make a nutritionally balanced lunchbox?
- Add a little fruit
- Add some vegetables or salad. This could be in the form of carrot sticks, cucumber slices, or leftover cooked veggies from dinner last night.
- Dips are good. Whether it’s hummus with crackers or carrots sticks, choose a dip made with a veggie such as hummus or pesto
- Try to buy ‘real’ nourishing bread
- Limit the sugary snacks. All kids enjoy a sweet treat, so try to include homemade wholesome options such as banana muffins
Other ideas include:
- Full fat or Greek yogurt with berries and seeds, or a flavoured yogurt
- Vege pikelets are like fritattas. They go great if you use leftover veggies from last night’s dinner
- Pumpkin muffins that are as healthy as they are yummy
- Raw raspberry and chocolate slice is a super healthy and sweet treat your kids will love
- Savoury muffins you can put a range of veggie into these muffins. Our favourite are the pumpkin muffins which are a healthy sweet treat
- Chocolate beetroot cake your kids will wolf down this yummy sweet that’s loaded with sweet and healthy beetroot treat.
- Ham and zucchini quiche. A perfect combination of protein and veggie,they make a great lunchbox filler
- Veggie quesadillas can be made with almost any filling plus cheese
- Fruity muesli slice
- Cheese and crackers a staple in most people’s pantry. Pick your kid’s favourite cheese and try out a variety of crackers. You get some lovely healthy multigrain crackers in the stores.
A note about nuts - A lot of schools have a no nuts policy. If this is the case then use breakfast and dinner to add portions of nuts, as they’re a great source of omega and fatty acids.
Persistence is key with veggies. They say that it can take up to 10 times of trying a particular food before kids will eat or like it, so keep on trying to introduce your kids to a variety of flavours and textures and it will pay off in the long run.
And don’t forget Nutrient Rescue superfood powder can also be hidden in many of your’ kid’s favourite foods, such as smoothies, slices, spaghetti bolognaise, scrolls etc.