What to cook these school holidays to make next term a breeze

Sometimes lunchboxes seem like too much work. Am I right? I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have days where I want to throw in the towel on healthy lunchboxes and pack some Tiny Teddies and Burger Rings, but generally I manage to avoid this feeling and it all comes down to a little a little thing I like to call being prepared.

Sure. There are weeks where I absolutely suck at being prepared and have to run to Coles for some fruit and popcorn because, you know, I’m human…

Here are a few of my favourite things to make in advance to make healthy lunchboxes a breeze.

Freezer-friendly lunchbox recipes

Blueberry breakfast cookies

blueberry breakfast cookies
Perfect in the lunchbox or with a morning cuppa.

I love lunchbox items that can be made well in advance, but I’m so down with freezable lunchbox items that double as make-ahead breakfasts. These blueberry breakfast cookies fit the bill and sound like something even the fussiest of kids could get behind.

Made with only a handful of typical ingredients like oats, bananas and coconut, they’re easy to make and would be a fun holiday baking activity to get the kids involved in.

Zucchini slice

Zucchini slice for lunchboxes
Dense, juicy, salty… mmm…

Everyone’s favourite MasterChef outdid herself with this recipe. Yeah, it’s good old zucchini slice. Nothing new or fancy, but boy is this one yummy. And bacon basically makes it instantly kid-approved, doesn’t it?

If you have a fussy little one, try turning it into invisible zucchini slice by blending the eggs, oil, onion and zucchini together before mixing with the other ingredients.

Once the zucchini slice has completely cooled, wrap individial portions in two layers of cling wrap (or seal in an airtight container) for an instant, veggie and protein packed lunchbox main that will have your kids drooling.

 

Green eggs and ham

green eggs and ham for lunchboxes
Roll ’em, stack ’em, skewer ’em!

An oldie but a goodie, my Green Eggs & Ham recipe is a freezer favourite. They get their vibrant green colour from a handful of dark green baby spinach, so your little one’s lunch will be colourful, delicious and nutritious!

Hulk muffins

These green spinach muffins are hands-down my kids’ favourite green food! (Starting to notice a theme here?) In fact, they’re the reason The Fussy One no longer runs at the sight of green food. They freeze beautifully and are a yummy sweet treat you can pack, knowing you’ve also added in a tonne of extra green veg while you’re at it.

Cheesy vegetable muffins

Cheesy zucchini muffins for lunchbox
Corn, zucchini, capsicum – oh my!

Cheese, veggies and bacon seem to be a winning combo with kids and adults alike, and these cheesy vegetable muffins manage to pack all that flavour into a cute little muffin package.

Recipe author and founder of Little Peeps Eats, Rachel, says that you can use whatever veggies you have handy which I love! Using what you already have means you save money and avoid waste.

Probiotic apricot bliss balls

probiotic bliss balls with apricot and coconut
Tangy apricot with coconut and just a hint of healthy! 😉

Take a break from the usual choc-date bliss balls and get some good bacteria into the kids at the same time. These probiotic bliss balls pack a bunch in both taste and health! They’re like a multivitamin you can keep in your freezer!

There you have it – 3 sweet and 3 savoury recipes you can make before the holidays end to keep your freezer stocked for the term ahead. What other recipes would you add to the list?

Need more ideas? Come and join our lunchbox group on Facebook!

 

Continue Reading

Greek lunchbox meatballs – gluten free, low carb and paleo-friendly

I hear there’s this Greek saying:

“Μ’ένα σμπάρο, δυο τρυγώνια.”

It translates to something like:

“One shot, two birds.”

Which, to me, meant:

“I have this mince that’s going to turn bad soon, and this mint is looking a bit dodgy. I really need some protein for tomorrow’s lunchboxes, too. I know! Make the Greek meatballs you made often early in your marriage.”

And that’s how these Greek meatballs became Greek lunchbox meatballs.

Continue Reading

10 ideas for protein in your school lunchboxes

Protein is an important food group for growing bodies. It helps with building muscle and repairing tissue, which is important for children when you think about how many falls they have throughout their childhood!

Protein is also:

  • a great source of amino acids
  • usually full of iron and b vitamins
  • helps the body produce hemoglobin
  • and supports the immune system when needed

The recommended dietary intake of protein for children between the ages of 4 and 8 is approximately 20g per day, yet many don’t get close to that.

Sometimes finding options that will keep well at school or that will suit a fussy eater – or both! – takes some trial and error, but it’s a useful food group in lunchboxes.

Children have a limited amount of food over a school day. It makes sense to ensure that a good amount of the food in their lunchboxes is going to keep them full and not cause a blood sugar spike. Fat is my go-to for this type of food, but protein is a close second, and a food group people tend to be more comfortable with.

I’ve put together this list of yummy protein-packed recipes perfect for your next kids lunchbox. Some of them might surprise you!

Continue Reading

Crap-free curried sausages

Growing up, curried sausages were a regular on our menu. Along with devilled sausages and apricot chicken – three meals that taste like my childhood.

Most of our meals consisted of sausages. They were cheap and easy and we all enjoyed them. Once I started trying to lose weight in my teens, I started to avoid sausages because they were high in fat. Once that no longer bothered me, I avoided them because they were meat. Once that no longer bothered me, I avoided them because they are mostly full of crap fillers, preservatives, sugars, and god knows what else.

Ah, but hallelujah! The age of a healthier sausage has come. The demand for real food has brought about the rise of the traditional sausage. Sausages as they once were, in natural casings with minimal ingredients, have started popping up all over the place. When I found out a local butcher was offering sausages made from 100% beef, Herbamare and Vital Greens and nothing else, I jumped at the chance to recreate a healthier version of my mum’s curried sausages.

This might be the least glamorous recipe I’ll ever post. But if you’re looking for a meal the kids will love that’s:

  • easy, without the need for a meal base
  • that’s spicy and sweet, without any added sugar or sweeteners
  • that’s saucy and gravy-like, without the need for any starches to thicken it… 

…well, my curried sausages might just be what you’re looking for!

This makes a great weeknight meal, but it’s also perfect in the lunchbox in a thermos for a warm meal during the colder months.

Continue Reading

Green eggs and ham

These green eggs and ham rolls make a great lunchbox alternative to sandwiches. With eggs, cheese and baby spinach, they are full of protein, good fats, and vegetables, with no nasties added for colouring. You can wrap these in cling wrap for later use, pack them into the lunchbox immediately, or wrap in a paper towel and then cling wrap to freeze. These last up to 8 weeks in the freezer.

Green eggs and ham

 

Continue Reading

Healthy jelly lollies

These healthy jelly lollies are a great treat to put in the kids’ lunchboxes. They’re a sweet treat, but they’re also really good for them!

If you make them with a high quality gelatin like Vital Proteins or Great Lakes, they’re also a really good source of amino acids and your kidlets won’t even realise they’re healthy! The protein found in a good quality gelatin is easy for little ones to digest and especially useful for kids who don’t enjoy eating meat or eggs. Read on to find out how these healthy jelly lollies can help improve your kids’ overall health.

Healthy jelly lollies with no added sugar
Healthy jelly lollies with no added sugar
Continue Reading

KFC-style paleo chicken nuggets

From what I can gather, everyone seems to love KFC. I did too when I was a kid. So long ago that KFC used to deliver. But I can’t stand the stuff these days. Still, people love it. Maybe it’s that the Colonel has a certain allure with his top-secret herbs and spices? Well… Sorry, Colonel, I’m about to blow the lid on that. I’ve managed to finally perfect a KFC-style batter that is so delish, my husband need never crave KFC again. And it’s paleo-friendly! Introducing my KFC-style paleo chicken nuggets!

Gluten free chicken nuggets your kids will love
These nuggets are grain-free, gluten-free and highly addictive!
Continue Reading