Lunchbox ideas and food to fuel learning
Food is essential to learning! Without healthy food, brains can't fire as effectively and your child's mood and ability to concentrate may drop. That's why we've rounded up some delicious meal ideas for before, during, and after school.
Planning is essential to reduce food waste - and last-minute trips to the tuckshop!
- Write out a lunchbox plan when you make a meal plan. Maybe Sunday's roast chicken can become Monday's sandwiches, for example.
- Ask your kids. If there's anything they just won't eat, or if some lunchbox staples like peanut butter are banned from their playground, it's best not to pack it in the first place. Get them involved in planning their lunchbox - then they're more likely to eat what's in them!
- Make sure you have enough lunchboxes, drink bottles, plastic wrap and so on. Stock up the pantry with muesli bars and other snacks for lunchbox emergancies!
- Write a shopping list. There's nothing worse than forgetting something essential.
Skipping breakfast is a bad habit to get in to - fueling up for the day makes it easier for kids to study and learn. As well as the usual toast or cereal, try these breakfast ideas.
This crispy, crunchy muesli is packed with dried fruit and nuts, and gently sweetened with honey. It's easy to personalise with your family's favourite treats. Get the recipe.
Berry and Banana Smoothie
No time for breakfast in the morning? Whizz up a fruit and yoghurt smoothie! The burst of protein-rich dairy and the goodness of fruit will keep you going until lunchtime. Get the recipe.
Peach and Almond Bircher Muesli
For easier mornings, make breakfast the night before! This smooth muesli is served chilled, perfect for hot mornings. It's packed with dairy, fruit and nuts for a great start to the day. Get the recipe.
Packing a lunchbox can be a chore, so try these healthy lunchbox alternatives to sandwiches!
These ideas can be the "star" of the lunchbox, but need a little something extra to make a meal. Pop in a couple of pieces of fruit, or a serving of veggies like yummy carrot sticks or slices of cucumber with hummus or plain yoghurt for dipping. Round things out with cheese and crackers, or a piece of home baking.
Southern Style Frittata
Frittata travels well, and tastes great cold - perfect for lunchboxes! Make it with your favourite veggies, or even leftover chicken. Slice into small pieces and you don't even need to pack a fork. Get the recipe.
Sushi is delicious and healthy too! This kid-friendly verison includes avocado, cream cheese, and carrots. You could also add chicken or tinned tuna or salmon. Get the recipe.
Persian Couscous Salad
Couscous is a tasty alternative to sandwiches - and it's just as easy to make. Customise this recipe with your kids' favourite nuts and dried fruit, or stir through a small can of tuna. Don't forget to pack a fork! Get the recipe.
Spaghetti & Egg Pies
Spaghetti, eggs and cheese, yum! There's a reason that pies have been a favourite for generations of kids. This version uses an egg instead of a pastry lid for a healthier, protein-rich option. Get the recipe.
After school snacks
Kids tend to come home from school ravenous! Tempt them with a piece of fruit and a glass of milk - and if that's not cutting it, offer one of these options to hold them between homework time and dinner time.
These cupcakes are economical enough to serve regularly - and are easy enough for the kids to make! Try dropping in a spoonful of jam before baking for an even sweeter treat. Get the recipe.
Berry & Banana Smoothie
Sneak in an extra serving of fruit! Whizz up your favourite berries with a banana, or any canned fruit. For a healthier treat, swap the ice cream for yoghurt. Get the recipe.
Pineapple & Coconut Muffins
Pineapple and coconut make a tropical sweet treat! These also freeze well, so make up a large batch, and defrost a few at a time for a treat whenever you need one. Get the recipe.
Blueberry & Bran Muffins
Bran flakes and blueberries make this a healthier snack! And they still taste delicious. Get the recipe.