Quick Recipes and Easy

Healthy Lunchbox Ideas

It’s a fact of life busy school kids need healthy and nutritious packed lunches. Kids like variety and special treats in their lunchboxes. So we have included lots of healthy lunch box options, a fantastic list of sandwich fillings and some yummy and healthy alternatives to the humble sandwich.

Children that have just started school will require small, simple to manage servings, as they will want to eat their lunch quickly, and go and play.

Make lunchtime simple for young children by chopping up fruit and vegetables, and limiting part sizes. By making foods appealing, manageable and simple to eat, kids will eat enough and still have time to play with their new friends.

Pack their food in small, simple to open containers, snap lock bags or wrap in alfoil rather than cling wrap, (cling wrap can be tough for small fingers) if they can’t open their lunch and are too shy to approach the teacher they won’t be able to eat it.

Sandwiches are the simplest and most well loved type of lunchbox meal. Try varying the fillings and use all different types of breads, including pita bread, bread rolls, bagels, mountain bread, baguettes, French sticks, muffins, crumpets, mixed grain, wholemeal and high-fibre white.

To keep it fascinating and appealing for the small ones use cookie cutters to cut sandwiches into shapes or try kids sushi: place sandwich filling on a slice of bread then roll up and cut into thirds.

Try these Sandwich Fillings:

* Cheese and vegemite
* Chopped skinless chicken, cottage cheese and tabouli
* Light cream cheese, grated carrot, sultanas and celery
* Tuna, mayonnaise and lettuce
* Peanut Butter and celery
* Low-stout cheddar cheese, sliced apple and celery
* Cottage cheese, celery, tuna and sprouts
* Avocado, celery, tomato and lettuce
* Avocado, grated carrot and bean sprouts
* Lean ham and fruit chutney
* Mashed bananas and cottage cheese
* Cheese, sliced tomato, lettuce and grated carrot
* Cheese and shredded lettuce
* Grated cheese, grated carrot and shredded lettuce.
* Sliced hard boiled egg and lettuce
* Chicken, lettuce and mayonnaise
* Turkey, lettuce and relish
* Smoked Turkey and cranberry sauce
* Cold meat, tomato, lettuce and grated carrot
* Ham, mustard and tomato
* Shaved ham and cheese
* Homos, dried tomato and sprouts

Alternatives to Sandwiches

If your child doesn’t like bread or if they would prefer a change from sandwiches try: crispbreads – wholegrain, wholemeal or white, cruskits, salada’s, ryvita’s, wholemeal crackers, plain crackers, water crackers, corn thins, rice crackers or rice cakes.

Pack savoury biscuits with cheese slices, cubes or cheese spread and sticks of carrot and celery. Try chicken drumsticks or an assortment of cold meats, beef, ham, turkey with salad, lettuce, carrot, celery, avocado, cheese and a boiled egg.

More alternatives include:

* Pikelets
* Fritatta
* Savoury Pancakes
* Savoury Muffins
* Quiche
* Mini pizza
* Plain Popcorn
* Scones
* Yoghurt
* Puree fruit
* Fruit Loaf
* Cheese Sticks

Food Safety Guidelines

At most schools food is stored in lunch boxes, inside school bags for several hours before it is eaten. To ensure your child’s lunch is fresh at lunchtime –

* Pack lunch in an insulated lunch box.
* Include a freezer pack or frozen water bottle to keep the lunch box cool.
* Follow proper food preparation and storage methods.
* Prepare lunches the night before and store in the fridge or freezer.

Most breads, sandwiches, fruits, vegetables and protein foods are fine to include in lunch boxes.

If it is a hot day perishable foods such as dairy products, eggs and sliced meats must be kept cool and eaten within four hours of preparation.

This article is courtesy of Sandy Prosdocimo, Editor of smart-mums.com.au” target=”_blank Smart-Mums everything Mums need…

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