On Monday the world returns to normal for our family as the boys head back to school. While they are filled with nervous anticipation and I am looking forward to a much quieter house, I’m not relishing the early morning rush to get out the door.
Last year I decided, after chatting to a working mum who has four children and is super organised, to make lunches the night before, and whilst this has decreased the rush in the mornings, it does still requires thought and forward planning to get all those compartments of the lunchbox filled! My youngest son takes daily medication which increases his appetite so healthy food is a must for us. I do wish they both liked the same foods, or even the same kind of muffin, but as I enjoy baking, I don’t mind too much – I just have to make sure there are different options on hand in the freezer. Besides enjoying baking, I am mindful of what goes into our bodies and processed foods are something I try to keep for sometimes rather than everyday.
Recurring favourites in my boys lunch boxes are: Pretzels or popcorn, rice bubble slice (sometimes with mini-mallows or hundreds and thousands mixed through), blueberry muffins, brownie, muesli slice, pikelets (drop scones/scotch pancakes), scones, rolls from the bread maker, oaty biscuits and chocolate chip cookies, cheese and crackers, and dried fruits.
My top tip is: freeze! freeze! freeze! I freeze everything (including slices) apart from biscuits which I make once a month or so.
New for us this year is jelly and fruit – I’m making my own, and carrot sticks with hummus dip – I’ve just bought little dressing containers which I’ll use for the hummus.
Two women who have vast experience with luring lunch boxes are Donna Hay and Sophie Grey aka The Destitute Gourmet. Donna Hay has very inspirational, pretty food for her kids, but I wonder how it actually looks when the kids get around to opening it at lunchtime, whereas The Destitute Gourmet is full of practical budget and healthy food choices, and she’s my ‘go to ‘ cook for every day food.
I’m off to bake in bulk – muffins, pikelets, brownie, muesli slice, jelly fruit pottles. I hope your little ones head back to school with a smile, and a lunchbox that lures them at lunchtime.