We’ve all been there: unloading the backpack at the end of the day and throwing away half-eaten sandwiches and mushy bananas.
We’re almost there – the home stretch towards summer. It’s the time of year where once-nutritious school lunches become cold pizza and granola bars seem like a good choice for breakfast as you rush the kids out of the house.
May is a great time to revisit the school lunch menu in order to ensure the munchkins finish their year off on a high note. Kids (2-12 years old) should be getting 2-4 servings of vegetables a day, while teens should get 7-8 servings a day to ensure they are getting adequate nutrients through their diet. Not only do we have 12 easy school lunch ideas for you, but another ‘treat’ you can add to their backpack. Adding a multivitamin to compensate for school lunch fatigue ensures that they get the nutrients they need – even when they ‘run out of time’ to eat.
Our family has been taking IronKids Gummies and Adult Essentials for three months, and we are all noticing a difference in energy. My nails are stronger and hair is growing fast. The gummies are gluten, dairy and nut-fee, and contain no sugar coating, nor artificial flavours or colours. Because they meet strict school allergy requirements, I’ve started sending them in school lunches, so even when the kids don’t finish their lunch, they get a mid-day energy boost.
But let’s try to end the year on a great note by coming up with a few easy school lunches they will actually devour (with the IronKids Gummy on the side to make you confident they’re getting all the nutrition they need!)
1. Fruit Kebabs With Yoghurt Dip
2. Quinoa Turkey Meatballs in a Thermos
3. Mini egg and green pea muffins
4. Apple, Chicken and Grape Kebabs
5. Grilled Broccoli and Cheese Panini
6. Cream Cheese, Pear and Honey on mini-bagels
7. DIY Beef and Bean Tacos
8. Chicken Drumsticks with Edamame
9. Brown Sugar Apples
11. Moroccan Chicken Couscous
12. Savoury Muffins
“Disclosure: I am part of the Life Science Nutritionals blogger program with Influence Central and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.”
These savoury school lunch muffins can be made in batches and kept in the freezer. You can swap out your child’s favourite cheese and meat.
2 cups flour
3/4 cup grated cheese
1/2 cup finely diced ham or sausage
1 red pepper, de-ribbed and diced
1/4 cup mushrooms, finely chopped
150g butter, melted
1 cup (250ml) milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tbsp parsley, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a 12 cup muffin tray with cupcake liners.
- In a bowl, place the flour, cheese, capsicum, mushrooms and ham.
- In a jug, combine the egg, milk and butter.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Pour into liners and bake for 15-20 minutes.
Photo Credit: Kitchen Life of a Navy Wife
50g pine nuts (leave out if your school has nut allergies)
500g chicken breast or thigh fillet, cut into 2cm dice
1/4 cup flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, sliced
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground mild paprika
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 cup sultanas
1 cup (250mL) chicken stock
1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander or flat-leaf parsley
1 lemon, juiced
2 cups couscous
2 cups water or chicken stock
1/4 cup diced tomatoes
thick natural yoghurt, to serve
- Heat a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add pine nuts, stirring constantly until just starting to colour. Transfer pine nuts to a plate.
- Place seasoned flour in a large bowl, add chicken and toss to coat. Add one tbsp of oil to the frypan, increase heat to high and cook half the chicken until golden. Transfer cooked chicken to a plate. Repeat with another tbsp of oil and remaining chicken.
- Heat remaining tbsp of oil in pan. Add onions, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes or until golden and softened. Add cooked chicken to frypan with spices, sultanas and one cup of stock. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and cook for 5-10 minutes until heated through and thickened. Just before serving, stir in pine nuts, coriander and lemon juice.
- To prepare couscous, bring 2 cups of stock or water to the boil in a small saucepan, stir in couscous and olive oil and turn off heat. Leave for 5 minutes, then use a fork to separate the couscous grains.
- Serve chicken with couscous and yoghurt.
Photo Credit: Irena Macri