It’s that time of year we start thinking about what to put in kids and teenagers lunchboxes (or what to buy so they can pack their own!). We understand first hand, the battle with providing healthy, cost effective, filling options that they will also eat.
Often we’ll put our efforts into preparing our kids and teens lunches and then arrive to work and succumb to the local cafe or dairy because we weren’t organised ourselves, or lacked time to prepare. So with that in mind; let’s start with these easy guides and ideas.
1) Buy an appropriate lunchbox to carry their food (we love the sistema compartments; so handy)
2) Start with 2 colourful fruits/vegetables; carrot sticks, cucumber slices, sliced apples, grapes, nectarines, bananas etc
3) Add 2 sources of protein; one being a filler for a sandwich, wrap or salad, the other being a few slices of cheese or salami, humus or PB in a pottle to dip, boiled egg, canned tuna, nuts
4) Build a sustaining ‘main’ part e.g. sandwich, wrap, salad based on rice, pasta or potato. If gluten free, rice/quinoa and rice noodles are great. Pack with extra vegetables; quick coleslaw is handy.
5) Pop in a snack food e.g. piece of homemade baking (like our banana bread on the recipe blog), fruit/nut bar (quite like the Tasti Made Simple bars), popcorn, crackers.
Tired of sandwiches? Why not try a mini quiche, stuffed potato or even rice paper rolls!
Adults “Big Kids” Lunches
1) Follow the same tips as above
2) We love buddha bowls, wraps, leftovers, sustaining salads based on rice or pasta, quiche, cold omelets, baked beans or tuna on toast. Jazz up a slaw with grated apple and seeds. Use it as a salad or to fill a wrap.
1 cup brown rice/quinoa (or a variety you like)
1 small tin tuna (any flavour) or 2 boiled eggs or 1/4 pack smoked salmon or handful shredded chicken, ham or beef
3 colours – sliced red cabbage, grated carrot, diced capsicum, cherry tomatoes, baby beets, spinach…think colour and texture
Flavour it up! Dollop pesto or humus or cottage cheese or dressing. We love a dab of wasabi mixed with a dollop of aioli or pesto mixed with dollop of mayo/sourcream. If you’d like a lighter dressing, combine 1tsp crushed ginger, squeeze lemon/lime, 1Tbsp oil.
Thai Ginger Slaw
- Finely sliced white cabbage
- Finely sliced red cabbage
- 1 carrot
- 1 apple grated
- 1 spring onion or ¼ red onion finely sliced
- Mungbeans (if available)
- Fresh coriander finely sliced
- 1 Tbsp sesame seeds (black if possible)
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- 1 Tbsp crushed or grated ginger
- 1 Tbsp oil
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp lime juice (if available)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 Tbsp honey (optional)
Mix all dressing ingredients together and toss through coleslaw.