A hearty pasta salad is the perfect lunchtime meal for little ones. It gives kids heaps of slow-release energy for afternoon classes and after-school clubs, plus it’ll fill up grown-ups too if you only want to make one lunch. You can pack it full of almost anything, easily getting four out of the five recommended food groups into one dish. Just be sure to adapt any recipes to include wholemeal pasta, which is healthier, and remove any nuts or spices.
Pumpkin and Feta Muffins will please even the fussiest of eaters. The two cheeses – parmesan and feta – boost kids’ dairy intake and cleverly disguise the taste of veggies. If you want to up your child’s veggie count further, just add in some spinach, sweet potato, capsicum or zucchini, too. In under an hour you’ll have a batch of muffins that will last lunchboxes all week; and with little prep time, they’re easy to bake with the kids around.
Soggy sandwiches never go down well so skip them in favour of pita pockets instead. Just like a wrap or sandwich, you can fill them with pretty much anything, but turkey and corn pockets always prove popular. As a lean protein, you know you’re giving your child the healthiest option with turkey and the salad features corn, carrot and cucumber: three easy-to-eat, nutritious veggies that will round out your child’s lunchtime diet nicely.
Sushi is a great go-to lunch for kids and adults alike, but if you’re worried about how fresh it keeps in a lunchbox, opt for sushi-style sandwiches instead. Way more interesting to kids than a regular sandwich, it’s packed with the goodness of tuna, carrot and cucumber ticking lots of nutritional boxes. They’ll take no more than 10 minutes to make – the key is flattening the wholegrain bread (with a rolling pin or your hand) so it’s easier to roll up.
Guaranteed to get the kids’ seal of approval, Vegemite and cheese scrolls make a good lunchbox or after-school snack. You only need six ingredients – chances are you’ll have them all in the pantry or fridge already – and a bit of spare time after the kids have gone to bed to whip up 12 delicious scrolls. If you can, try to use wholemeal self-raising flour and if you have any leftover for the weekend, serve them warm for a winter treat.
If your child isn’t as into fruit as you’d like, disguise it in a dessert wrap. This banana, honey and raspberry roll will appeal to sweet tooths, but you can still be safe in the knowledge that it’s healthy and nutritious. Best of all, it won’t take you ages to prepare. Simple mash up a banana, spread on a little honey, add in some raspberries and roll it up. Voila! Dessert is served, your little Highness.