It was a lovely long holiday, schools started this week and you are dreading packing lunch boxes.
It takes some effort, planning and a lot of love to deliver healthy, fun and kid-approved lunchboxes every day. And you might not get it right hundred percent of the time but let me help you get it right most days. You need to have a plan and then a plan B for those days that none of your planning worked.
I developed some lunchbox ideas a few years ago for Lig Magazine and wanted to share them on my blog.
Let’s talk containers and packaging
I wish I could be of more help but I am still searching for the perfect lunch box. In Australia and the U.S, there are fabulous options for bento boxes or stainless steel lunchboxes. I am not a big fan of plastic but that is my option for now. Invest in a lunchbox with compartments and if you can’t find one make sure to get some silicone muffin moulds or small boxes. I love the nick nack boxes from Sistema they are so cute and much bigger than you think. You can also now buy reusable sandwich bags from Woolworths if you include bread in your children’s lunchboxes. They are great and reduce your plastic trail.
I always have cocktail or kebab sticks on hand to make a fruit or vegetable kebab. (It will take you less than a minute to make)
Invest in great quality water bottles I like Quench or Steely from Faithfull to nature. What you are looking for is bottles that are designed to replace a lifetime of single-use plastic. Keeps water cool and is durable. But I can’t promise you that your children will not lose them.
Some healthy ideas to keep on your shopping list to help things run smoothly.
We are not big dairy eaters but I do occasionally add a Greek yogurt to my children’s lunchboxes. I just use my own pots and add some berries or just some honey. Don’t forget the spoon!
Meatballs on a stick
Or Frikkadelle as we call it here in South Africa. They are my number one protein for lunchboxes, both my kids love them, they are not messy and easy to eat. I rarely make them from scratch but rather just buy a Karoo sausage and press out the mince, shape into balls and fry or bake until cook.It will take about 20-30 minutes. You can make a big batch for the whole week. They will also double for dinner in a tomato sauce with courgetti (baby marrow spirals) Thread up on a cocktail stick with tomatoes, cucumber, feta or cheddar for a protein bite.
Veggies and Quick Pea and cream cheese dip
Apart from being healthy, vegetables make any lunchbox so colourful and fun. Cherry tomatoes, mange tout, cucumber, and carrots are always popular. My children even eat purple cabbage, olives and radishes (weird, I know) Dips can be hummus, cream cheese or for a fruit dip – Greek yogurt mixed with peanut butter and honey.
Pea dip: Mix 100g frozen peas, 75g cream cheese, 1tbs mint leaves, 1 tbs lemon juice. Blend until smooth. Add some milk to improve the texture. Season with salt.
We often just have rye bread in our home or I bake my own bread or wraps. So I try to stay clear of processed shop bought bread. These cutters are so fun to use with any type of bread. I bought my set in the UK, but you can buy them on Amazon or from Wantitall in South Africa but they are a bit pricey.
Tuna filling idea 1 tin of tuna, 200g cream cheese, 1 spring onion chopped, mayonnaise, 1tbs lemon juice, 2.5 ml curry powder, pinch of salt. Mix ingredients and spread on a sandwich. Add extra cucumber or lettuce.
Good luck with making those lunchboxes pretty epic and being the mom that get’s the thumbs up from her children. Let me know how you get on and look out for some recipes and ideas next week post.
Lunchbox Notecards- Free Download
I had so much fun designing these and hope you enjoy using them.Children love a special note from Mom and Dad. It is not for every day but on special occasions. When the new year starts, valentines day or when they need extra special encouragement.