So I get asked a lot (and even wonder myself at times) what to pack in my kids lunch boxes. The best tip I can give anyone is to sit down and write your or your child’s favourite snacks or meals. I did this with my daughter when she was four and it was awesome! She told me lots of things she wanted because other kids had them at kindy as well and also her usual favourite things. If something was a meal type dish then I would make it and freeze it in small portions- like oven cooked crumbed steak with mash veggies or make the crumbed steak and cut it into strips and then provided a dipping sauce to go with it.
I love using things that are practical and easily done. For instance- I cook a whole tray of sausages (even if they are already frozen) in the oven or air fryer and then freeze them again once they are cooked if they don’t all get eaten. I also love things like making a batch of yogurt and keeping it in the fridge ready to put in containers and take to kindy or daycare in their lunchbox. You could also freeze it in portions ready to pack and it acts as a cooler pack for the rest of the food.
Things like savoury vegetable muffins, processed sugar free banana bread muffins/slices, homemade chicken nuggets and cooked plain pasta are all things that are regulars in the freezer in portions ready to grab and pack at our house. I say keep it simple and do big batches is the easiest way- well it is for me anyway. Zucchini slice as a whole tray or in muffins is a winner as well. I make a coconut bread in a loaf tin and cut it into portions before freezing as well. I also make a double batch of dinner and freeze it in small portions or get a loaf of freshly baked bread and make sandwiches and cut them up then freeze them. Then when packing the lunches for the next day it’s easy to go and grab the sandwiches and food needed and pack it in. I am so not a mum who can pack the lunches each morning. I pack them the night before and put in the frozen yogurt the morning I put it in their bags. This is not the way everyone likes to do it and it works for me and our family. My kids eat their food and love it. Fresh fruit is always a great thing to pack as well. My kids are fruit bats and would eat just that if I packed it. Or carrot and capsicum sticks is another wonderful thing with some sour cream as a dip. It’s so simple and easy! I will also add a link to the Facebook page where everyone shares their ideas on a list of things to pack as well if you would like to check it out.