school lunch 101
The first step to making a lunch that will actually be eaten? Get a lunchbox that’s ideal for little hands.
In celebration of Plastic Free July and with a new school term upon us, I thought it best to share how I do lunches around these parts. I aim for healthy, fresh and colourful with a little homemade treat every now and then (nothing too fancy) and stainless steel packaging – always.
I first purchased these lunchbots stainless steel containers when Che started school and I haven’t looked back. We have two unos (for sandwiches), a trio (for Che) and a quad (for Poet) and I fill them to the brim with whatever I can rustle up. I find that cutting up fruit and vegies into bite-sized portions ensures they’re eaten – without fail. My children love snacks (they’re grazers, that’s for sure) so their snack boxes usually come home empty.
Sandwiches are a a different matter altogether which I wholeheartedly understand…we can all get a little tired of the humble sandwich, can’t we? My solution? – a thermos! I was recently gifted two Thermos containers and have used them every day since. The perfect size for a school bag, these little gems keep food warm for five hours and cool for seven so they’re perfect no matter the season. I’ve been reheating my tuna + herb pasta, spaghetti bolognaise, fried rice and pumpkin soup to ensure little tummies are tempted come lunchtime (I pack a bamboo spork and a napkin, too). Granted, a warm lunch doesn’t always eventuate but as far as I’m concerned a honey, banana or vegemite sandwich is not to be frowned upon.
As for snacks, fruit and vegies are a staple, brown rice crackers often make an appearance and banana bread or blueberry yogurt cake is always popular. Sometimes there’s dates, a boiled egg, popcorn, corn chips, cheese, leftover pizza, half an avocado, hummus, bliss balls or muesli slice. And when I need new inspiration? – I head straight to Lunch Lady.
What are your go-to ingredients for lunch boxes? Feel free to share recipes and/or links.