You Are What You Eat: Back To School Lunches
Yes, it is that time of year again – the return of uniforms, homework, trying to get kids to eat their breakfast and wondering what to put in the lunch box today, that they will both enjoy and eat.
Did you know we make an average 2562 lunchboxes per child in your lifetime?
This week, I joined Kieran to chat about all things Back to School and my favourite family staple recipes.
I have been a fan of the bento lunchboxes for years, it is such a popular and visually appealing way to pack a balanced and diverse lunch, often with compartments to keep different foods separate and fresh. Dividing the sections into sandwiches/wrap/bagels then dairy including yoghurt and cheese, sliced fruits and veg, rice cakes, and crackers.
Meal Planning & Batch Cooking
As a mom of 3 little ones, I need to be prepared. For us to have enough food to get through the week and have variety and interest in our meals, I need to sit down and plan what meals we will have. This process can be done quickly but is very valuable as it allows us to eat better while easing the mental load and the financial burden. I always like to do a little stock take of what I have in the pantry or the freezer first, and this means I can use up what I have before I buy more or include it in the plan. I aim to set aside a couple of hours each Sunday to organise prep and set us all up for the week, organise dinners and double batch it for the lunchbox the next day.
Cook One, Eat Twice
As a busy family, this is a rule I live by. Batch cook meals, store them in the freezer, double up a batch of muffins or granola and get creative with leftovers.
Listen to my weekly food chat with Kieran Cuddihy on Newstalk.
Eat with the seasons.
Not only will your fruit and vegetables taste better and be cheaper, but they are also more nutrient-dense. The supermarkets usually have special, super-saver deals on seasonal fruit each week, so keep an eye out for these. In the Autumn I love to include fresh blackberries, pears, apples and even tinned fruits!
Rotating the contents of your child’s lunchbox can help keep their meals exciting and nutritious,
Get Creative with Presentation
Use cookie cutters to shape sandwiches or fruits into fun shapes or arrange food attractively in the lunchbox to make it visually appealing.
Involve Your Child
Encourage your child to participate and help in selecting and preparing lunchbox items. This can make them more excited and proud about their lunches.
Mix up textures and flavours
Include a variety of textures (crunchy, creamy, chewy) and flavours (sweet, savoury, tangy) to make meals more interesting.