School mornings are stressful enough trying to get everyone ready on time without the added pressure of making a gourmet lunchbox that your children will eat. At the same time, as parents we want to make sure our children are eating a nutritious balanced diet so that they keep fit and healthy.
In an ideal world, your little ones would be happy to munch through vegetable sticks and homemade dips but in reality these foods can be time consuming to prepare, are and often come home completely untouched, which is why packaged snacks often end up in lunchboxes – they’re convenient and we know our children will eat them. These choices however are often high in kilojoules, fat, sugar and salt and often fail to provide the vital nutrients growing bodies need.
Preparing a nutrient-packed, time efficient lunchbox that your kids will love is possible and we have some tips to help you achieve it.
Plan and prepare for the week ahead: Allocate a time each week to plan lunchbox ideas for the week ahead and involve your children in the planning process. The key is to establish a routine so that this process becomes second nature. Keep a shopping list in the kitchen so you can add items to it when supplies get low and select a day each week to do the grocery shopping so that your kitchen is always stocked.
Make your own yoghurt: Make 1kg of homemade yoghurt with EasiYo and have enough yoghurt for a week of lunches. EasiYo yoghurt contains live active cultures (good bacteria), has no artificial ingredients, is a source of calcium (important for developing strong bones) and tastes great. You can divide EasiYo yoghurt into reusable Squeezi Yo packs (they’re fun and child-friendly squeezie pouches) or EasiYo Lunchtakers and freeze. Not only is this a convenient way to keep yoghurt fresh, it also reduces the amount of single use packaging seen with store-bought yoghurt. EasiYo has a variety of flavours to choose from so that your children never get bored.
Bake once a fortnight: Having snacks on hand makes lunchbox packing a lot easier, so set some time aside each fortnight to bake some tasty snack options like Banana Yoghurt muffins, Cheesymite scrolls, muesli bars and EasiYo Energy Balls. Some of these options like muffins and scrolls can be frozen so they stay fresher for longer. A few frozen options in the lunchbox are great to keep food cool, and usually defrost in time for lunchtime.
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