Lunch Box Ideas

By Clare Marcangelo, Registered Nutritionist

Lunchbox Ideas

It’s Saturday! Two days ago despite it being Winter we were at the beach chilling. Now I feel that relaxation beginning to fade into the background. I need to start planning for school.

I could just wait till Sunday night, but I dislike having to make lunches every day more than I dislike putting washing away. So I’m going to attempt to fill the freezer in advance. Easier said than done. Anyone who’s ventured further than daily Vegemite sandwiches knows the pain of slaving over batches of something special, only to be told “I don’t really like that anymore” . Whaat??!!

What we’ve learnt is to make the kids accountable. Tell them they are able to choose what they’d like this term/week. Sit down together on the computer and choose things that they don’t find “too embarrassing or weird” and that won’t take too long to eat. Kids enjoy feeling empowered, and also, if and when it comes home uneaten, you’re able to put it back on them- they chose it and said they’d eat it right?

A little structure helps too. We break it down into categories. My kids need a main, (with protein and fat,
perhaps some slow releasing carbs), a home baked treat, crackers or healthy crisps with dip (apparently cheese gets too sweaty no matter what I do) and vegetable, with an option for fruit. The Cancer Council suggests that rather than waiting until dinner to get 5 serves of veggies into your children, start earlier, say with what is now known as fruit break in most schools, but was originally sip’n’crunch. Rather than just apple pieces, include cucumber sticks or capsicum. Your child won’t go for that? Show them the Cancer Council or Government’s guidelines. Give them the information so they understand WHY it’s so important. Or if they’re too young make it fun and reward and praise them for how many vegies they managed in a week.

The key definitely is convenience. If you wake up feeling like whipping up gourmet treats every morning, go for it! More importantly, can you come and live at my house?? But if like the rest of us, your lunchboxes start with nutritious homemade heaven and invariably end up having any overripe fruit, sandwiches with whatever is open on them and pre-packaged bags of dust slung into them, give yourself a break.

I find having a good bento box or sectioned lunchbox makes all the difference, meaning you don’t have to worry doing it all individually. For those bits that do need wrapping, why not try a cute beeswax wrap? They’re great for the environment, so easy and the novelty just might sway your child to eat it all up.

A couple hours of work when you’ve still got that school holiday glow about you can see you instead opening the fridge/freezer and tossing yummy lunches, pre-cut vegie sticks and delicious healthy slices or cakes straight into those boxes, and getting on with your morning!

Shop Beeswax wraps here

Connect with Clare, registered nutritionist here