The holidays are, sadly, coming to an end. It’s time to start the de-holidaying tasks…removing the tonnes of sand and sunscreen from the house and car, washing and conditioning beach hair and de-tangling dread locks, labeling EVERYTHING from school uniforms to drink bottles with black permanent texta (I have no luck with those iron on labels!) and of course, making school lunches.
There are lots of magazine articles, books and blogs dedicated to creating the perfectly nutritious school lunch box but what’s most important, is that you pack food your kids will eat. As a teacher and a mum, I know how vital it is for children to get the right fuel for their busy day. If kids are hungry or too hyped up on junk food, they won’t engage in learning, if they don’t engage in learning they won’t enjoy school. If kids don’t like school, they might drop out, find an inappropriately older boyfriend, get a tattoo, fall pregnant…HOWEVER… don’t despair! This can be avoided simply by packing one or all of the following snacks in their insulated bigger-than-them lunchboxes and sending them off with love.
Hummus with Dipsticks
I know everyone knows how to make hummus but here is how we do it. It’s super easy, healthy and very, very versatile.
1 can organic chickpeas, well rinsed
2 big tbsp natural yogurt
juice of half a lemon
1/2 clove of garlic
sea salt and freshly ground pepper if desired
1. Put all the ingredients in the food processor and whiz until blended to the consistency you like. You can add a couple of teaspoons of water if you like it a bit smoother.
2. Serve with whatever your children like…chopped apple, carrot, celery, broccoli, pita crisps, rice biscuits or spread it on sandwiches and wraps in place of butter.
3. Spinach Pesto is really delicious as a dip too!
No Bake Muesli Slice
Inspired by Karen Fischer’s Moreish Muesli Slice in her book Healthy Family, Happy Family.
If you don’t have time to bake, try this yummy slice. It’s chewy and soft and full of the goodness of super foods oats and seeds.
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup preservative free dried apricots
1 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup mixed sunflower and pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup linseeds
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 – 1 cup fresh orange juice (about 1 orange)
coconut for sprinkling (optional)
1. Put everything in the food processor (except the coconut) and whiz until the mixture sticks together.
2. Line a slice tray with baking paper and press the mixture in, using the back of a spoon to smooth it down. Sprinkle with a little dessicated coconut.
3. Put in the fridge for at least an hour and then cut into squares with a sharp knife. Store in a container with baking paper between each slice in the fridge.
Makes about 16 medium sized muffins
Everyone loves muffins and I think it’s okay to include a sweet treat in the lunch box – especially when you have made it yourself. These energy muffins have lots of goodness and they freeze well too. Just pop one straight from the freezer into the lunch box and they will be ready to eat by recess!
1/2 cup raw castor sugar
2 cups plain wholemeal or wholemeal spelt flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup sultanas (optional)
2 cups grated carrot
1 cup grated apple
1 cup dessicated coconut
1 cup Rice Bran Oil (or 1/2 cup Rice Bran Oil and 1/2 cup natural yogurt if not dairy free)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Sift flour, sugar, cinnamon and baking powder into a large bowl. Add sultanas, carrot, apple and coconut and mix to combine evenly.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, oil, yogurt if using and vanilla.
3. Add the wet to the dry ingredients until just combined.
4. Spoon into your greased or lined muffin tin and bake at 180 degrees celcius for 25 minutes, or until cooked when tested with a skewer.
5. These are great for mums too!
I hope these recipes have given you some inspiration and you have luck with your little ones going healthy. If you like what you read, please feel free to follow mamacino by adding your email address in the space on the right side bar and please be sure to let us know if your children eat the broccoli with their hummus and we will nominate you for the Mother of the Year award!!