It’s the time of year again where parents battle the early morning rush at home and in the car to get kids back to school.
It can be stressful ticking off the to-do list of having uniforms ready, brushing teeth, making beds and having school bags packed, ready to go. On top of that, there’s school lunches. Deciding on what to pack for fussy eating little humans can be a parent’s worst nightmare. #lunchboxanxietyisreal
But battling lunchboxes doesn’t need to be like battling the 40km zone near the school drop off zone. In fact, with a little planning, creating healthy and nutritious meals can be a relatively painless process that the whole family can enjoy.
Here are our top tips for keeping everyone healthy for this new school year:
- Get the kids involved: Work with your children to come up with veggie filled sandwich/roll ideas – could even try pitching it to the kids like ‘homemade subways’.
- Wholegrain bread a grind: If your kids struggle with wholegrain bread try the high fibre low GI white breads or rolls that are now available.
- Watch out for the soggy factor: Make sure you put tomato and cucumber in between lettuce and ham or cheese to prevent the dreaded ‘soggy sandwich’. Grate some carrot for extra crunch.
- Avoid the “sandwiches are boring” response: Rice paper rolls with shredded roast chicken, grated carrot, shredded lettuce a cucumber sticks and a dash of hoisin sauce don’t take too much longer than regular sandwiches and will delight little ones. Add mint and coriander if they are extra adventurous.
- Summer salads can make a great lunch for kids too: Try brown rice with tuna salad or a satay tofu noodle salad as two easy ideas for something different.
- Put some crunch in recess: Veggie sticks with hommus or ranch dips are perfect for a healthy recess.
- Plan and make healthy lunchbox meals for the week ahead: Look for healthy recipes that you make ahead of time for an easy, grab-and-go lunchbox meal. No more stalling to get out of the door in the morning by slapping together a last minute vegemite sambo.
Here’s a simple recipe that is a great lunch box filler
Zucchini Slice – make a double batch and freeze for lunch (or dinner!)
The recipe includes three types of vegetables, serves four hungry mouths and takes 40 minutes to make.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium zucchini, grated
- 1 medium brown onion, finely diced
- 1 medium carrot, grated
- 5 eggs, whisked
- 1 cup self-raising flour
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
- Preheat oven to 180°C and line a 30x20cm pan with baking paper.
- Heat oil in a pan over medium heat and fry onion for 2-3 minutes until translucent.
- In a large bowl combine grated zucchini, grated carrot, grated cheddar, onion, whisked eggs and self-raising flour and mix until combined.
- Pour into lined baking tray and bake for 30 minutes or until cooked through and golden on top.
- Serve with a green salad.
Creating healthy habits for the whole year
There are resources available to help parents and their families create healthy habits for the year. One resource includes our VegEze app which features a 21-day ‘Do 3 at Dinner’ challenge, aimed at helping you to eat three types of vegetables at dinner (or lunch!) every day.
Currently only available on iOS (but coming soon to Android!), the app provides handy hints on vegetable serving sizes and recipe tips so going back to school and work doesn’t have to mean going back to unhealthy habits.
Eat it up
Our diet and lifestyle programs are based on the latest nutrition science.
3rd January 2021 at 5:46 am
I don’t know of any primary school child who is keen on eating raw spanish onion rings on their sandwiches.
28th August 2020 at 12:36 pm