School holidays are over and term three has begun, so this week we’re dedicating this Asteron Life blog to lunch and lunchboxes.
Whether you’re making your own, or your kids’, there’s an art to making a great lunch. For a few ideas for yummy, healthy, waste-free lunches we caught up with Lynley Edwards, aka The Lunchbox Queen.
1. Power up your lunchbox with protein
Adding protein to your own lunchbox is a great way to make sure you feel full and satisfied for longer, and is also great for strength, brain power and kids’ growth!
Think quinoa or lentil salad and chicken legs, deli meats, or prawns on skewers. Or for a vegetarian option, try nuts, eggs (hard-boiled or in quiche), chickpeas (in falafel, hummus or roasted on their own) or cheese.
2. Get out of your sandwich groove
Here are some ideas for anyone who’s tired of sandwiches. Try making your own sushi (it’s fun and easy), or pack your lunchbox with summer rice paper rolls, potato salad, tabbouleh, egg rolls (these are easy, kid-friendly and there are lots of recipes on the net).
You can read more, great no-sandwich lunch ideas here.
3. Make a healthy treat, try this fantastic recipe
Every lunchbox needs an afternoon (or morning) pick-me-up. For a healthy treat, you could add bircher muesli or rice pudding, or you could try making my pumpkin and carrot loaf. This recipe is fantastic for winter (it makes the most of seasonal produce) and I’ve adapted it so it’s free from refined sugar. It’s loaded with hidden veggies and has a lovely, fluffy texture, making it ideal for children’s lunches.
Lynley Edwards, The Lunchbox Queen
4. If you’re time-poor, plan ahead
If you only have ten minutes, you still have time to take lunch! Leftovers, of course, are the quickest fix. If you can, try and make more at dinner so you’ll have lunch the next day, but if there’s nothing left or if you can’t face eating the same thing again, try these make-ahead-of-time snacks.
Smoothie (it may not sound lunchbox friendly, but you can store a smoothie easily in a re-useable pouch or a thermos)
Hardboiled eggs (boil your eggs on Sunday in a batch and slip an egg in your lunchbox as you walk out the door Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday… any day!)
5. Make it fun and litter free
If you’re finding your kids’ lunchboxes are coming home untouched, think about what might make lunch fun. You don’t need to take a lot of time over this, pick one thing a few times a week that will make lunch interesting for your children. You could use a cutter to shape their sandwich, or include a cute fork to eat with, or thread fruit onto a skewer (actually, anything threaded on a skewer goes down a treat). And ditch the plastic wrap. Bento boxes and reusable wraps are not only better for the planet, but they make lunch look great too!
About The Lunchbox Queen
Lynley Edwards started The Lunchbox Queen in 2014 with the aim of helping people create fun, healthy, waste-free lunches. The Lunchbox Queen supplies bento boxes and accessories to make lunchtime fun and entice kids (and grownups) into enjoying wholesome, healthy food.