Its coming up to Back to School Time. Which means lunch boxes and for me, the first full year of lunchboxes. I managed pretty well preparing lunch three days a week last year whilst keeping it interesting. However, I’m pretty sure I’m going to be making great use of the canteen one day a week this year!
In saying that, it doesn’t take long to make an interesting lunchbox. They don’t have to be elaborate, but having a mix of items will help keep your child interested in their lunch and hopefully come home with an empty lunchbox (that has actually been EATEN)!
Get ahead during the school holiday and prepare a range of lunchbox treats that will make life easier once school starts. The following items are freezer friendly…
Freezer Friendly Lunchbox Inclusions
Make and freeze and allow to thaw in lunchbox or the night before
- Pancakes and Pikelets - Both freeze well. Blueberry & Barley Pancakes are yummy and nutritious. Make a batch and pull out the night before you need them. Butter and pop them in your lunchbox.
- Yoghurt, Smoothies and Fruit puree in Squeeze’ums
- Scrolls – The super easy Two Ingredient Scroll dough is great for making Cheesymite and Cheese and Bacon scrolls.
- Muffins – Cheesy Lunch Muffins, Best Banana Muffins and Rhubarb & Raspberry Muffins
- Sandwiches apparently freeze well. I haven’t tried this myself, but if you have a heap to do its a great idea! Try using cookie cutters to create different shapes for interest, or roll bread flat with a rolling pin, fill with your ingredients and roll like sushi.
Prepare ahead and cook as required on the day or the night before
- Pizza pockets – Use a regular pizza dough rolled out into a small circle, pop your ingredients in the middle and fold the dough over so your fillings are enclosed. You can freeze at this point and bake as required.
- Sausage rolls – Try Danni’s Super Sausage Rolls
- Cookies – Plenty of cookie doughs freeze well. For a treat, make a double batch of choc chip cookies with the kids as a school holiday activity. Bake half and roll the other half into a sausage and freeze. When you are ready to make more (pull out the roll, slice off biscuit sized pieces and bake) use all of it, or just make as many as you need.
Lunches LOVE Leftovers
- Fried Rice
- Roast Potato
- Boiled eggs – try egg moulds for cute shapes
- ‘Birthday cake’ sandwiches (layered circle sandwiches)
- Muesli Bars
- Jelly in a snack cup, lunchbox compartment or Squeeze’um
- Fruit snacks
- Dried Apple
- ANZAC biscuits
- Carrot sticks (cut bulk and store in water in the fridge)
- Cheese – cut a heap into sticks and store in a container ready for use
- Snow peas and beans
- Orange quarters
- Dips – try hummous or cream cheese
- Bananas with messages or your child’s name written on them
Nuts about Nuts?
- Most schools don’t allow nuts to be included in school lunches. If your child just can’t get enough of their Peanut Butter, try FreeNut Butter. It tastes very similar but is made from Sunflower Seeds. It’s a staple in our house since Master O is allergic to peanuts.
- Instead of a regular trail mix with nuts, try making your own combination of choc chips, puffed corn pepitas (sunflower seeds), Cheerios (or a similar cereal), sultanas and mini pretzels.
- Mix it up. Don’t serve the same thing all the time. Most kids like variety and surprises. You’ll be surprised at what they eat if it’s packaged in a fun way and you mix it up. Present something a few times before giving up on it.
- Make sure your child can open their lunch boxes and drink bottles without assistance – this gives them independence and confidence at school (and their teachers a break!). Danni and I have both used the EZ lunchbox for school last year and they are our FAVOURITES.
- Be safe and keep lunches cool. Get an insulated lunch bag. For extra safety, freeze their drink bottle or a Squeeze’um of yoghurt or fruit puree or add a cooler block. I have the Skip Hop lunchies for Miss E and Master O. They fit a lunchbox, drink bottle and Squeeze’um nicely.