Term 2 of the Lunchbox Grind and I am thinking about how I think about packing a lunchbox everyday!
The first thing i always try to achieve is COLOUR. Colour is what makes it fun, pretty, and attractive to eat!
Next, i worry about them getting bored, because when it’s healthy there’s no excess sugar or salt to keep them interested, and VARIETY is my next concern. I achieve most of this by shopping in the markets, buying in season produce. Now i am an “in season” dunce, so i just look at what’s on special at the local farmers market, and assume it’s on special because there was heaps of it. There’s a great seasonal buying guide here if that’s too vague for you! I also will only by organic “dirty dozen” fruits and vegetables in an attempt to minimize chemical exposure. More information on this here.
Speaking of variety, think about alternatives to sandwiches… wraps, sushi, pasta, gluten free, dark, light, seeded, paleo all make it in to our lunchboxes every day! This is important because all these foods have valuable nutrients to offer, and i feel like we rely a little too heavily on wheat… but that’s personal 🙂
Next, i’m thinking about keeping them full, which means PROTEIN. Protein is not just meat and daily foods! It’s also eggs, legumes, and seeds. I make bliss balls, hummus, and use the Happy Snack Company fava beans and chickpeas.
Where possible, i will add something i know excites the girls, but ensure that it’s Home Made. Things like bliss balls, muesli bars, scones, and other “normal” foods always go down well, but if you’re pressed for time, buy an organic bake at home mix from Food to Nourish or Bake Mixes.
When i am not giving Whole Foods, i try to make things from whole food- bliss balls and sugar free pikelets are always a favorite. For variety, we mix up the flour and milk used, or use the Honest to Goodness five grains instead of rolled oats (which we usually substitute for nuts to make lunchbox friendly).
Plastic Free – where possible. There’s a few things like the roasted seaweed snacks that i will put in occasionally, which are healthy but wrapped in plastic. Plastic is an issue because the chemical’s it’s composed of leech in to the product (even BPA free ones). The problem with long term exposure to extra hormones is that it also increases risk of hormone related cancers and health issues. More on this in the link above and here.
Finally, there’s always a bowl of nuts for them to snack on after school. Nuts have fantastic fats, nutrients, and proteins that are important for health and healing, and i want to make sure they eat them regularly! In regards to their lunchbox , don’t worry if they don’t eat it – it’s compostable! We’ll use it in their afternoon snacks or dinner again, and if we can’t we feed it to the worms. I also make sure that when they’re ravenous I have my most healthiest foods available. Hungry is when i feed them raw nuts, a different piece of fruit or vegetable, or something they don’t love but will eat because they’re hungry! It’s also preferable to be hungry than it is to eat junk food. There are also lots of health benefits from fasting and they won’t starve themselves!
If you’re interested, we have a Honest to Goodness Buying Syndicate at IntoYou! Simply browse the store, write your list, and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org anytime in the first week of the month. Clare will send you a link to pay, which will vary even when you order the same thing, because the more we ALL buy, the cheaper our food gets! If everyone pays on time the order is submitted on the 2nd Monday of every month, and arrives on Wednesday. Clare will text you when your order is sorted and ready for pick up!