Whether the kids are out on their next big adventure, or doing the hard yakka at school, when they need to refuel, they need something great!
We love fruit slices, trail mix, and a good old-fashioned sandwich as much as the next family, but there’s only so many times you can pack that into a lunchbox without the kiddies bringing it back home with them.
The Australian government recommends encouraging health-conscious eating through school lunches - their suggestions for a full and nutritious lunch include:
- Fresh fruit
- Crunchy vegetables
- A meat or protein food such as slices of lean meat, hardboiled egg, peanut butter or nut paste (If allergies permit)
- Dairy food such as a cheese stick or slice, grated cheese, milk or yoghurt
- Starchy food such as bread, a roll, pita or flat bread, fruit bread or crackers
But what could those suggestions look like when we think about making a tasty meal? Studies show that involving children in cooking is the best way to encourage them to eat well. Our recommended recipes are:
V = vegetarian
VE = vegan
DF = dairy free
NF = nut free
GF = gluten free)
This savoury delight is perfect for when lunchtime rolls around. Freezer friendly, this is one lunchbox option you can plan in advance and keep ready for the weekdays! Serve with your household favourite chutney, and there’s a sure winner.
Cheesymite scrolls V, NF
A classic Aussie treat! If your little ones are a fan of baking at home, skip the sugary recipes and give this one a try with them! The crunchy on the outside but oh-so-soft and fluffy on the inside dough will have you hooked on every bite.
Rice paper rolls V, GF, could be made VE, DF (NF without peanut dipping sauce)
It’s no secret that Vietnamese gỏi cuốn (rice paper rolls) have become incredibly popular lately, and no surprise either! Tasty, healthy and full of colour, these are sure to be a hit with the kids (if you aren’t tempted to eat them all yourself first!)
Salted caramel coconut bliss balls VE, DF, GF
Craving a sweet treat? These salted caramel coconut bliss balls are, well, pure bliss! Using only a handful of unprocessed ingredients, these balls are packed full of fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals to keep them energised on those long days.
Teriyaki salmon onigiraizu DF, GF, NF
This recipe for teriyaki salmon rice balls by Just One Cookbook is simply amazing! A refreshing alternative to a regular sandwich, you can substitute the salmon for teriyaki chicken, or even try out other fillings for your rice and nori combo. Perfect to add to a bento box lunch!
Vegan Asian rice salad VE, DF, GF, could be made NF
Whether the vegan life chose you or you’re just looking for something a little bit different to try, you can’t beat the beautiful simplicity of tasty rice salad! Throw in your faves like carrots, snow peas, capsicum and corn, and you might surprise yourself with how easy it is to transform the ingredients into a bowl that will leave the whole family asking for seconds!
Carrot oat slices V, NF
This carrot oat slice is a fantastic savoury treat to sneak into lunchboxes - and the recipe comes directly from the Cancer Council too! Quick and easy to make and easy to freeze, this is the perfect recipe to bake with the kids to prepare for lunchboxes.
Do you have any recipes you love to add to lunchboxes? Tried one of these recipes for yourself? We’d love to hear about it! Feel free to leave us a comment below…