If you have school age children, no doubt your mind is occupied with uniforms, covering books, labelling stationary, haircuts and the always challenging, lunchbox foods.
Getting back into the swing of things can be exhausting mentally, emotionally and physically for all involved. Particularly for preppies, first year secondary or if you are changing schools. From now until school starts, it is a good idea to dose the kids up on vitamin C, probiotics and good food. Giving their immune system the best chance at staying on top.
Our boys are heading into years 7, 5, 4 and one and it’s going to be a great year! We have had a fantastic summer holidays. Camping for 3 weeks on North Stradbroke Island over Christmas and New Year being the highlight.
If your children are anything like mine (normal J) they are hard on their lunchboxes and careless with closing containers. The food goes everywhere and they come home a mess. Yesterday we hunted for the ‘perfect’ lunchbox. Something easy to clean, quality, well priced, and good size to fit a few containers and a couple of ice packs in, leaving enough space in their bag for school items.
The shops were crazy and not much choice available so we ended up settling for ‘esky’ brand insulted bags from Bunnings.
Here are my top 5 tips when packing lunchboxes.
- Use reusable containers or compartment lunchboxes. It’s a little extra washing up at the end of the day however it cuts down a great deal of environmental waste.
- Up-cycle containers and packaging when you can. Yogurt or dip containers, small boxes from tea bags are fine for crackers and dry foods.
- Use beeswax food wraps in place of glad wrap (these are pricy but worth it) and they really do keep the food fresh.
- Sinchies pouches are great for smoothies and fruit purees. These can be made in adavnvce and frozen.
- Less is more. I used to pack so much food so I knew they wouldn’t go hungry. Without fail food would always come home untouched or half eaten and so it would have to be thrown out. Depending on your child of course – one item for morning tea – this is usually fresh fruit or vegetables, one to two items for lunch and one for afternoon tea.
Here is my top five food ideas for lunchboxes
- Smoothies. These are quick and easy for the children to consume at afternoon tea. When they have a short amount of time to have a run around and exert some energy before setting in for the afternoons tasks. Use Sinchies for easy prep and packing.
- Healthy biscuits or ‘protein’ Balls (low sugar) that you can make in advance and freeze. See the Clean Lunchbox Book for recipes.
- Cut back on sweet ‘treats’. Children do not need sweets after every meal. Save the sweet treat for a family dessert at home.
- High protein snacks for concentration fuller tummies such as boiled eggs (again if you school allows), chicken slices, pumpkin and sesame seeds.
- Left-overs from dinner the night before. Food flasks are available in a few brands now and they are a great way to keep a meal hot for school. Ensure that you reheat a meal well before placing it in a food flask and seal tight for the day.
Don’t forget the water bottle! My boys asked for a new water bottle this year. I refuse to by plastic water bottles (BPA free or not). Some of them are not that cheap and there is always some part of them that break and it is a battle to keep the parts – (especially straws) mould free. At home we up-cycle glass bottles for home use – these are not suitable for school so stainless steel bottles with a simple screw on lid are our first choice. Check that replacement lids are easy and reasonable to acquire and this style of bottle should last a long time. Provided the child does not ‘misplace’ it. :/
Label everything, think healthy, less is more, remember to breathe.
Happy Lunchbox packing!!
In health and wellbeing