Have you already hit the lunchbox slump? Are the kids already complaining about eating the same ol’ ham sanga every day? It’s time to shake things up, and inject a little lunchtime excitement into their school day! We have four ripper recipes for you to try, and not only do they taste amazing, they’re nutritious and healthy. We’re also letting you know about some amazing workshops you can be part of, that will kickstart your children’s healthy eating habits.
When you’re looking to take school lunch into a whole new culinary stratosphere, it pays to think outside the (lunch) box. Think of things that the kids love having for dinner, and tweak them to suit a smaller portion size that’s transportable. Or have a look at ready-made snacks that they already love, and put a healthy twist on them by taking a crack at making some yourself.
The fabulous Mandy Sacher, child nutritionist at Wholesome Child, is sharing four of her extremely popular, nutritious recipes with us – they are perfect for the lunchbox, whether you have big school kid or a preschooler. And toddlers still at home will love these too – so you can get super organised with lunches for the whole family!
Mandy is also lending her expertise to a series of workshops, addressing fussy eating, starting solids, and jazzing up lunchboxes. There are still spots available for next month’s Wholesome Child Lunchbox Solutions workshops, which are based in New South Wales. The interactive seminars will be packed with unique ideas to creatively makeover your child’s lunchbox, the nutritious way. Everyone who goes along will get a tailor-made lunchbox menu planner and a heap of recipes, as well as a handy shopping guide to help parents choose healthy options when doing the weekly shop. It’s a way to ease into overhauling unhealthy lunchboxes, with a guiding hand and expert advice. What’s more, if you can’t get to a workshop, Mandy offers private consultations over the phone or online!
In the meantime, as promised, here’s a sample of Mandy’s scrumptious lunchbox recipes!
Beef and Veggie Meatballs
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cook time: pan – six to eight minutes,or oven – 30-35 minutes
Servings: 24 mini meatballs
- 1 medium carrot, grated
- 1 medium zucchini, grated
- 1 medium onion, finely sliced
- 1 medium apple, peeled and grated
- 500g beef mince
- 2 tsp Italian mixed herbs
- 1-2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
- 1 egg
- 5 tbsp rice breadcrumbs
- coconut or olive oil for frying
- salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
2. Heat oil in a small pan and sauté onion and garlic for approximately five minutes on medium heat or until transparent.
3. Place the cooked onion and garlic, carrot, zucchini and apple in a high speed processor and process together.
4. In a separate bowl place mince, break apart using a mallet.
5. Add meat to the veggies and process on a medium speed.
6. Add egg, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, Italian mixed herbs and process again until combined.
7. Shape the meat into small balls and bake for about 35 minutes, or until they start to brown.
8. Serve with brown rice, pasta or use as a filling for wraps and sandwiches.
Tip: Pan fry the mini meatballs for approximately six minutes each side as an alternative to baking.
Mini Salmon Quiches
Preparation time: 30 minutes (includes grilling fish and steaming veggies)
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Servings: 12 mini quiches
- 200g salmon fillet, grilled and flaked
- 1⁄2 cup ricotta cheese / goat’s cheese / cream cheese
- 1⁄2 cup pumpkin, steamed and pureed
- 1⁄4 cup spinach or kale, steamed
- 1⁄4 cup medium onion, chopped and sautéed
- 2 tbsp coconut flour or almond meal
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup almond or regular milk
- 1⁄4 tsp sea salt
- 1⁄2 tsp mixed herbs
- 1-2 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 180°C and grease a mini muffin tray or a quiche mould.
2. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan and add onion and sauté. Remove the onion and set aside. Add the salmon and pan fry until lightly cooked.
4. In a processor, add flaked salmon, ricotta cheese, onion, steamed pumpkin, spinach and flour and process until smooth consistency is reached.
5. In another bowl, beat eggs slightly, add milk and herbs.
6. Pour egg mixture over salmon mixture and stir together or process on a low speed.
7. Bake in 180°C oven for approximately 20-35 minutes, depending on size of muffin or quiche mould. Pierce a knife in the middle to check at 25 minutes.
Tip: For toddlers and younger children or fussy eaters, puree all ingredients to form smooth consistency. If children do not like green coloured food then leave out the spinach and add steamed zucchini instead.
Wholesome Child Banana Bread
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
- 2 large ripe bananas
- 3 large organic eggs
- 1⁄2 cup coconut milk (or milk of choice)
- 4-6 medjool dates
- 1⁄2 cup coconut oil
- 1½ cups of wholegrain spelt flour (you can substitute with flour of choice)
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup of coconut sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1⁄2 tsp baking soda
- 1⁄4 tsp Himalayan sea salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla powder
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
1. Preheat oven to 180°C and coat a medium size loaf tin with coconut oil.
2. Place bananas, eggs, milk, dates, chia and coconut oil in a high speed blender and process for approximately one minute – until you reach a smooth consistency.
3. In a separate container, place flour, coconut sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
4. Slowly add dry ingredients into wet mixture and mix together on a medium speed.
5. Pour mixture into a baking dish and sprinkle extra cinnamon on the top.
6. Bake for approximately 45-50 minutes, prick with a knife to see if comes out clean.
Tip: Taste the bananas before you use them to ensure they are sweet and delicious.
Wholesome Child School Friendly Muesli Bar
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20-25 minutes
Serves: 8 muesli bars
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup puffed quinoa or brown rice
- 3 tbsp oat flour
- 1/8th tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Line a small baking dish with parchment or baking paper.
2. Place the oats and seeds in a high speed processor until a fine consistency is achieved.
3. Add remaining ingredients, except for the puffs, and process on medium to form a gooey mixture.
4. Place mixture in a small pyrex bowl and add puffs, mix through using your hand.
5. Press down firmly so that the mixture spreads out evenly across the pyrex dish. If it sticks to your hands, wet your hands with a bit of water.
6. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes. The mixture will harden as it cools but the consistency should be crunchy.
Tip: Add shredded coconut, sultanas, sliced apricots or dark chocolate buds for a delicious variation.
There’s no doubt you’ll have empty lunch boxes at the end of the day with such delectable dishes on offer. If your kids, however, really do love their sandwiches, they can be given a healthy twist. Here’s a look at some clever ways to catapult everyday sandwiches into nutritionist-approved options:
If these recipes have left you ravenous for more information on great, healthy food for your kids, Wholesome Child is a brilliant resource. It has a heap of recipes, including first meals for babies, and food for the whole family and tips for feeding fussy eaters. You’ll also find great tips for making mundane meals something special. You can keep up to date with Wholesome Child at their Facebook page.
(This is a sponsored post for Wholesome Child)