MONDAY MOTIVATION: Healthy lunchbox ideas for Back to School

Martina Dunne

Reporter:

Martina Dunne

Email:

news@offalyexpress.ie

MONDAY MOTIVATION: Healthy lunch box ideas for Back to School

MONDAY MOTIVATION: Healthy lunch box ideas for Back to School

Keeping your kids fuelled from first bell right through to evening can be extremely challenging. With younger kids, the challenge lies in portable easy to manage lunches and snacks, with the older ones it's providing enough variety to keep them out of the tuck shop.

Sometimes the standard ham sandwiches are just isn’t enough. Luckily, we are on hand to bring you some healthier options.

Wraps

Instead of using bread for their sandwiches make wraps with tuna, torn turkey or leftover cooked chicken. Fill with fresh fillings like spinach, rocket, peppers, cucumber, tomatoes or shredded carrots. Don’t forget to include some healthy fats with avocado or hummus. Most supermarkets do a variety of hummus to keep even the fussiest happy. Avocados can be smashed with a fork and seasoned with a little salt and pepper or even chilli flakes.

For younger kids chop the wraps into pin wheels as these are easier to manage for small hands. Go one step further and use sweet potato or spinach wraps for a different flavour and colourful lunchbox.

Egg muffins

Normally associated with sweet treats, these protein packed versions are perfect to keep hunger at bay and kids growing strong and healthy. Using 7 eggs and chopped veggies this handy snack takes 5 minutes to prepare and 20 minutes to cook in the oven. Fussy eaters can be kept happy by choosing their own fillings and almost anything works with these. Leftover chicken from the Sunday roast can be thrown in the bottom of the muffin tin layered with some chopped veggies like spinach, peppers, cherry tomatoes or even olives.

The beaten egg mixture is poured over and topped with grated cheese. Pop in the oven at 180° for 20 minutes or until the egg is set. These can also be frozen - just defrost the night before and eat cold or heat in the microwave.

Hummus and veggies

This is my ultimate snack. It is a great way to get kiddies to eat more vegetables and it is always fresh and colourful. Again, any combination of hummus and their favourite veggies work. Jack and Harry love peppers as they are a little sweeter.

Yogurt and fruit

Instead of buying fruit yogurt try making your own. Often store-bought yogurt has added nasties like preservatives, flavours and added sugar. By using a natural or Greek yogurt and adding the fruit in you get a great source of calcium and protein and this counts as one of their five a day. For convenience, I buy large pots of yogurt and use frozen berries. Most supermarkets have a range of frozen fruits from mango and pineapple to berry mixes, this provides variety and helps kids to experience different tastes.

So, there is a list of healthy alternatives to processed foods for kids and adult lunch boxes. Next week it’s all about the most important meal of the day, breakfast!

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