I want to make things easier for you all so here are our top 10 tips for making packing lunches easier, healthier and more fun!
- Check with your daycare/kindergarten/school or care provider if there are any restricted foods or dietary requirements for the place your child will be attending. For example- no nuts, dairy, eggs or other allergy risk foods. If your stuck with what to pack don’t forget to look online or in the Facebook group here for recipes, inspiration, hints and tips.
- Sit down and write a list of your child’s favourite snacks and food as a starting point of what to pack. Think of all their favourite dinners, breakfasts, snacks and treats that they love and you know they will eat no matter what. Ask your child what they would like packed and if they want anything new in there as well. Take into consideration the ingredients you like to use or have to use as well so you’re not writing down things that are not appropriate. Write the list so you can use it as a reference when menu planning or writing your shopping list.
- Ask for help with ideas if you’re stuck- go to the Lunchbox Ideas For Kids blog, Facebook page or Facebook group and ask questions or for help. There are so many other people in a similar situation who are willing to help and give ideas.
- Are you cooking a dinner your children love? Why not cook a double batch and freeze them in portions or use the extra serves in their school lunches? Why not use a food thermos to keep their food warm by boiling the kettle and pouring the boiling water inside and leaving it for five minutes or so to heat the thermos then empty it and place in the heated food and seal and pop it in their school bag? Easy, yummy, nutritious meals for the kids can be so easy. Or if you have time dedicate a couple of hours or a day on the weekend to cook and stock up the freezer.
- Make it easy on yourself and your child- pack most of their favourite foods you know will get eaten so they aren’t starving and slowly introduce new foods or foods hidden with veggies and nutritious ingredients that they cannot see.
- Does your child HATE fruit or veggies? Why not cook up some fruit or vegetables into a puree and mix them into muffins, zucchini slice etc? *Hot tip*- peel the green skin off zucchini when making zucchini slice and puree it with the onion once they are cooked so the kids don’t know there are veggies inside before mixing it through the other ingredients. It’s sneaky and so good!
- Do your kids hate fruit like apples going brown? Cut the apple/fruit up, pop it in a bowl of water with about 1/8 of a teaspoon (or a few grinds of salt- I use pink himalayan as it has lots of great minerals etc inside it) and let it soak for a few minutes. Rinse it off in clean water and give it a good shake to remove excess water or place it in a clean tea towel and give it a quick wipe to remove the excess drips then place it in your child’s lunchbox. This will stop it from going brown for at least 24hrs. I use royal gala or pink lady apples and have never had a problem. *Hot tip*- instead of the salty water you could use a squeeze of lemon in water to soak your fruit in as others have had success with this as well.
- Keep it simple- Why not cut up fruit like watermelon, oranges, grapes, rockmelon etc and put them in the fridge in containers ready to grab and pack in their lunch boxes each morning or night? You could also do this for things like a block of cheese cut into sticks (it is also cheaper doing it this way as well), celery sticks, carrot sticks (place them in a container of water to keep them moist), cooked chicken breast or homemade chicken nuggets are always a winner in our house as well. Don’t forget a dipping sauce in there as well.
- Don’t have time to cook all your lunchbox food items at home? Why not check out a great website called Additive Free Pantry? They have some great packaged food options that are additive and preservative free etc. They have some great guides that you can use when shopping to get the best packaged food items for your children.
- This is the most important step- HAVE FUN!!! Get your kids involved in the process by cooking with them or letting them help pack it, make funny faces on the sandwiches, write little notes to your children if they can read or cut the fruit or cheese into shapes using cookie cutters if thats all you have. Create a healthy attitude towards packing your kids lunches because after all, it is your child’s health and wellbeing that you are looking after. They need nutritious food to keep them healthy and functioning properly so they can learn and develop throughout the years. Make packing lunches and cooking with your children a fun experience. Look up simple recipes like the 2 ingredient yogurt dough to make pizza or scrolls with your kids. If you prefer to use spelt or wholegrain when cooking that is fine, or if you prefer to use organic or non organic ingredients that is fine too as you have to do what is best and right for your family on your budget. No one else is in your shoes so do what is right for you and your family at the time. If you’re not a morning person then pack it the night before when you’re in a better mood and frame of mind. Have fun, smile and know that you are doing the best you can with the information and ingredients you have for your children. Know that you are doing an amazing job as a parent and that you are doing great!
I hope these top 10 tips help making packing lunches easier, healthier and fun for you and your family. Please feel free to contact me any time if you have any questions via email on firstname.lastname@example.org as I am more than happy to help.
You can also purchase our lunchbox planners starting from $3.00 each from here as well if you want help getting more organised.
Now lets get packing and have some fun!
Anita @ Lunchbox Ideas For Kids
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