Our kids return to school next week and with that comes the lunch boxes! If you have been reading the blog for even a couple of months you will know I have a standard process for putting together the kids lunches.
My aim is to make the process of producing the school lunches as easy as possible, while still providing good food that they kids will eat. This is how I go about it:
Lunch box template
Creating a template of what goes into the kids’ lunch boxes is one of the key things you can do to take the hard work out of putting lunches together. I know each lunch box needs five items:
- 1 main lunch item – wrap, sushi, rice patties, homemade pizza etc. You can see a full list of lunch box recipes here.
- 1 whole piece of fruit – apple, banana, mandarin or the like
- 1 piece of veg or fruit pieces – strawberries, grapes, watermelon, carrot, capsicum, cucumber, celery etc
- 1 home baked treat – muffin, biscuit, slice of cake etc
- 1 selection of crackers, dried fruit or dry cereal.
Having this as a guide, takes away much of the time spent thinking of what to put in the lunch boxes each day. It also means it is then easy to delegate this task to someone else if needed!
Bulk and easy cooking
I now have a sizeable and growing collection of recipes that are both easy to cook and that can be cooked in large quantities. Bulk cooking is an efficient use of time and makes sure that I consistently serve the kids up nutritious lunch boxes.
These are a couple of my favourite bulk recipes for lunch boxes:
- Chicken balls
- Homemade Chicken Nuggets
- Zucchini and Pasta slice
- 100s of biscuits
- Banana Cake
- Quinoa Snack Balls
- Rolled Oat Slice
Once our kids’ reach secondary school, making their own lunch becomes their task. I still make the primary school children’s lunch boxes and have all the food available, they need to put it together themselves. The plan is that once the younger kids make it through secondary school, I am free from making lunches!
The primary school children need to take their made lunch boxes from the kitchen bench themselves and place them in their school bags. When they come in from school it is their responsibility to bring their lunch boxes to the kitchen bench.
The right gear
The main stay of the lunch box gear I use for my kids has been 4MyEarth wraps and pockets. They are easy to use, reusable, easy to wash and don’t leave any funny taste on the food.
4MyEarth have been a long term sponsor of Planning With Kids. They are an Australian owned company and their products are ethically made in India. 4MyEarth also donates 15cents to Keep Australia Beautiful from the sale of every wrap and pocket.
This year we are also going to use the 4MyEarth insulated lunch boxes. They are free from toxins such as PVC, BPA and Phthalate and are lined with a water proof fabric that is food grade safe and non toxic. They have an inside pocket for an ice brick which will be great in the current hot weather to keep food fresh.
4MyEarth has a very cute new product, for back to school as well, School Book Covers. Much easier than contact and they are reusable. They come in a few sizes, Exercise, Scrapbook and A4 and start at $2.50.