Want your kids to be healthy but having trouble finding the time to make them healthy snacks and lunches?
There are so many benefits to keeping your children well fed during their school day.
- They will have the energy (physical and mental) they need to learn and get through the day.
- They won’t come home exhausted and grumpy.
- Their immune systems will be stronger meaning less sick days.
- They will grow into healthy adults.
So how to be prepared?
If you would like to avoid having to reach for packets in the morning when putting lunch boxes together a little organisation is all it takes. I was finding mornings stressful, trying to provide both variety and nutrients in the lunch box until I came up with the concept of “The Goodies Box” – aptly named by my son Ryan.
This goodies box seems like it is full of treats to the kids, and it is, but not the nasty ones that will make them bounce off the walls. So about once a month, I devote a few hours in the day to cooking for the goodies box, and occasionally throughout the month if I bake for visitors or have extra time, I will add to it. It is a large storage container I keep in the freezer. Sometimes it overflows into other containers depending on how much time I have had to cook.
Samples of what I put into the goodies box are the following:
Home made muesli bars
Fruit muffins sweetened with honey
Various coconut covered balls made with nuts, seeds and dried fruits (at our school we don’t have a no- nut policy but if you do, just stick to seeds)
small tubs of dip such as homous, baba ganoush and pumpkin and carrot (I add crackers and fresh veg sticks to go with these)
And in a lunch themed box:
home made calzones
home made rye rolls
I add a small salad to each of these on the day.
Another great tip for easy lunches if you want to avoid too many sandwiches is to cook extra at dinner time the night before. In the morning, reheat it and put it into a small thermos. It takes the same amount of time (or maybe less) as making a sandwich. There is usually more nutrition in this type of meal as well. Great thermos meals include:
- pasta dishes
- bakes (shephards pie, lasagne etc)
It sounds like a lot of work I know but it really is worth putting in the effort. The kids are so appreciative and they love the variety. I always put a piece of fruit or two with what they choose and they are never hungry at school because these foods are nutrient rich instead of just being heavy on calories. And lets not forget how much easier mornings have become. Now all I have to work on is getting them to move a little faster instead of wrestling in the lounge room and shooting one another with their Nerf guns when they are meant to be getting ready!!!