I was talking yesterday with some mums about lunchboxes and how hard it is to find healthy, quick and tasty options for kids which don’t consist of sandwiches. It gets really hard with picky kids and then you have to battle with the hot weather in Australia and lunchboxes getting left in the sun.
Here are some ideas I have used which really seem to go down a treat – even better, most can be prepared in batches ahead of time so that they can be frozen for quick and easy mid week preparation. Fantastic for working or time poor mums. Even better, if you have a daughter like me who loves to cook, make this a weekend activity to help with the workload.
Don’t worry about keeping the cooked foods hot for lunch, kids really are more than happy to eat a cooled down sausage roll or rissole as an alternative to the same old sandwich. If you really want them warm invest in a small thermos food jar which will keep the food insulated and warm until lunch time.
I’m yet to meet a child who doesn’t inhale a sausage roll. This recipe with pork and fennel is the perfect alternative which can be prepared, frozen and thawed the night before. Let your imagination run wild with all the vegetables you can hide in here such as finely grated zucchini and carrot …
If you don’t have a veggie lover amongst you, substitute the vegetables for the less obvious such as zucchini (peeled first) or turnip. Or you can use sweet potato or carrot if they are a little more adventurous
I also use finely chopped chicken to add some extra protein.
I LOVE the option of cutting these into funny little heart or star shapes. Top points if you can find a mickey mouse cutout shape!
Again you can hide a mammoth amount of vegetables into this recipe along with other options such as tuna.
A play on the ever so popular protein balls, with a nut free and lunchbox friendly option for morning tea. They only have 4 healthy ingredients: oats, dates, apple and cinnamon.
Keep them in air tight containers for up to a week in the fridge or freeze some for future use.
Tuna is an excellent source of selenium, vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B12, vitamin B6, and protein. It is a very good source of phosphorus as well as a good source of vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), choline, vitamin D, and the minerals potassium, iodine, and magnesium. Kids need all the calcium they can get from cheese, for growth and to build up strong skeletons to avoid osteoporosis in old age.
These can be cooked in batches and frozen for future lunchboxes.
Protein packed and baked not fried, these will be a surefire hit even cold. Cook in batches and freeze for future use.
Any chance to get vegetables into my kids lunchboxes and I’m there. Mixed with apple these are sure to be a crowd pleaser. Cook and store up to a week in an air tight container, or freeze surplus.
Oats are a very good source of fiber, especially beta-glucan, and are high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They offer a great slow release energy supply to kids.
Add some antioxidant rich berries to the mix and you have one power packed morning tea treat ready and waiting. Can be made in batches and stored for a week in air tight containers or frozen.
Clever Clever Clever … Very quick and a surefire win with the kids!
My suggestion to make them healthier is to substitute the food colouring drops with a few drops of pureed beetroot, blueberries or mango.
Kids love tuna cakes. Mix in some veggies and this recipe is one delicious sandwich alternative. Zucchini (peeled first for picky eaters) is a great addition as is broccoli cut very finely or grated carrot.
Finally .. some inspiration which might brighten your kids day 🙂