Top 5 Healthy Lunchbox Tips
Are school lunchboxes driving you nuts?
“How can I make lunchboxes easier?” is probably the question I am asked most often.
I hear you and I am the first to admit that some mornings I simply don’t have the time, or the inclination, to make lunches. The school canteen can end up costing you a small fortune and even for my own lunch, I much prefer to take my own rather than buying it every day.
Here are my best lunch box hacks – not just for the school kids, but BYO to work as well
#1 Make and freeze sandwiches & rolls
Pre make a week’s worth of sandwiches or rolls, so they are ready to pop straight into lunchboxes. They will have defrosted by lunchtime and are a great way of keeping chicken and meats cold.
Fillings that freeze well:
Chicken, turkey, ham, any cold meat really, cheese, ricotta, cottage cheese, tahini & honey, egg & mayo, well drained tuna & salmon & most condiments.
Salad vegetables generally don’t freeze well & will end up as a soggy mess! Best to serve these on the side.
#2 Get your bake on
Bake a big batch of fruit muffins/cookies/pikelets/banana bread to have on hand for instant morning and afternoon tea. These can also be frozen or stored in an airtight container. When they are homemade, you know they are free from preservatives and excessive sugar and salt. See the RECIPE section for my favourite go-to cookie recipe.
#3 Chop your veggies & pre make a big container of salad
As I unpack my fruit and vege, I wash and chop up some of them & store in a container in the fridge. This includes celery, carrots, snow peas, cherry tomatoes, green beans, watermelon & rockmelon, pineapple, berries etc. I also pre make some salads using extra veggies I’ve steamed or roasted for dinner, on salad bases such as cabbage – Wombok or purple, raw beetroot and raw broccoli. These will last a few days in the fridge and I just add in the more delicate salad ingredients like tomato & avocado and dress it as I need to.
#4 Grab & Go
Every morning, or even the night before if it’s an early start, I pack the rolls or sandwiches, a muffin or cookie, some chopped veggies and a piece of fruit. Having everything ready to go saves a LOT of time and stress. Salads get portioned out into a container with some leftover proteins – chicken, roast meats, boiled eggs etc from the night before.
#5 Rotate for variety and to minimise complaints…
Change up your sandwich & roll fillings, have a few different fruits and veggies ready to go, and pop a different baked good in the lunch boxes to keep it interesting. Other easy ideas for variety include wedges of cheese, homemade popcorn stored in an airtight container, olives, dried fruit (sulphate free), sushi, crackers with a tub of dips, left over pasta or fried rice.