Here are Munch’s top lunch box tips to get your kids gobbling down their lunches and make them the envy of their class.
1. Variety is the spice of life
We all like a bit of variety in what we eat, so try and mix up the foods you give your kids over the week. Try out different breads (bagels, wraps, pita bread) or swap out breads for fritters, muffins, sushi, pasties, mini home-made pizzas, rice paper rolls, mini quiches, frittatas or pasta salads. Making things specifically to stock up the freezer helps offer a variety of things in lunch boxes.
2. Make it appealing to your child
Choose foods that you know they are going to eat. Cut their sandwiches, cheese and even watermelon into interesting shapes.
3. Make it easy to get at
Little fingers find it really hard to unwrap plastic wrap, and it’s bad for the environment. Most schools only have 15–20 minutes of enforced eating time at school before the play bell goes, so maximise their eating time and opt for reusable containers or compartmentalised lunch boxes that keep food fresh but readily accessible. Add a lunch box cooler too or freeze a water bottle to keep their food as fresh as possible.
4. Get your kids involved
Mornings are a hectic time in most families but it’s well worth the time to make a family lunch-making routine. Kids are much more likely to eat something they have made themselves. It is also a great way to give them extra independence and help them develop time management skills. Your kids will be more likely to eat their own delicious creations and research shows that kids who are involved in preparing healthy food are more likely to go on to be adults who make healthy choices.
By having a range of colours in your kids lunch box you will know you have given them a great variety of vitamins and minerals. Colourful food is also more appealing to kids. Here are some colourful finger food ideas that require minimal preparation:
• Carrot, cucumber, zucchini or capsicum sticks with hummus or tzatziki
• Watermelon shapes or slices
• Cherry tomatoes
• Sweet corn or zucchini fritters
• Hard-boiled eggs
• Fruit slices and yoghurt dip
These balls offer a great energy boost for kids on the go.
• 1 cup of puffed rice or crumbled rice cakes
• ½ cup of oats or any muesli
• 2 Tbsp tahini or any nut butter
• 1.5 Tbsp honey
• ½ tsp of cocoa
• 1 tsp chia seeds
• ½ cup desiccated coconut
1) Put all the ingredients, except for the coconut, into a food processor and blitz until the ingredients are in large crumbs.
2) Roll by hand into small balls.
3) Roll the balls in coconut.
4) If the mixture is too dry to roll into balls put in some more tahini, nut butter and/or honey. If this does not bring them to a rollable consistency, then put a small splash of hot water.
5) Store in the fridge and these should keep for several days.
By Michelle Kitney, Munch
Images: Belinda Pope, Munch
Check out more Munch recipes. Search our food section for delicious and healthy food ideas.
Download a printable version here. Top Five Lunch Box Tips