The kids probably feel like the 2018 school year has only just finished but the reality is that we’re only a week away from the start of another term. Whatever date the new school year starts in your state, you can be sure that the collective sighs of relief from thousands of parents will be filling the air that morning!
Packing the kids off to school with a creative and healthy lunch is top of the list for many parents, so we’ve rounded up 6 of the best school lunch ideas to test out on your little ones!
Lunch box fun-due
Who doesn’t love a fondue! This is a twist on the old classic and it’s been customised for the little ones - all you need is a few different containers, or a single container with at least 6 compartments. A bento lunch box is perfect for this. We’re going to go both sweet and savoury so you’ll need 2 compartments for the dipping sauces.
For the savoury element, add ingredients like cubed cheese, ham, vegie sticks and crackers. For the sweet element, throw in some cubed cake or chopped fruit. The dipping sauces can be anything your child likes but we like mixing equal amounts of salsa and ranch dressing for the savoury dip and some strawberries that have been pureed in the blender for the sweet dip. Viola! Lunch box sorted.
It’s not bring-your-own - it’s build-your-own, and it’s an inter-active way to get the kids involved in their lunch. Just put a taco or two (stand’n’stuff mini tortillas work really well too) into the lunch box and then in the remaining compartments add grated cheese, chopped tomatoes, lettuce, refried beans and shredded chicken.
Roll ‘em up
Everyone loves a roll-up and they’re a quick and easy kid’s lunch idea. Just grab some flat bread, throw on some meat, cheese and salad, roll it up and slice. Job done! For a sweet version, try cream cheese and strawberries or banana with peanut butter (the kids will love them!).
Hide the vegies
If you want the little ones to eat a few more vegies, try this tasty ham, cheese and vegie bake. Just throw together your choice of vegies (we suggest a cooked onion, a cup each of grated zucchini and carrot, and around ½ a can of corn kernels) together with some chopped ham or shredded chicken. Add a cup of grated tasty cheese, 6 beaten eggs and 125g of self-raising flower, mix it all together and bake at 180oC for around 30 minutes.
The kids will love these little lunchbox gems! Just mix together 500g of beef mince with 1 egg, ½ cup of cheese and ½ cup of dried breadcrumbs, then season with salt and pepper. Shape into 4 loaf shapes or press into a muffin tin and brush the top of each meat loaf with a little mustard and tomato sauce then sprinkle over a little more cheese. Bake at 200 oC for 20 minutes.
Pass the mac and cheese
Macaroni with cheese sauce is an all time favourite and in this version we’ve combined it with a zucchini slice for an added vegie twist! Into a mixing bowl put 1½ cups of cooked macaroni, 2 grated zucchinis, 1 cup each of ricotta and (grated) cheddar cheese, ¼ cup olive oil, 4 eggs, 1 cup of self raising flour and salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture into a baking dish, sprinkle over some extra grated cheese and then bake at 180 oC for around 40 minutes.
Keeping it cool
In these hot months it’s important to keep those lunches cool so it’s a good idea to buy a small insulated bag to slip into your bento lunch box, and you can add some extra coolness by popping in:
Relax - school’s in!
Now that the new school year has finally started it’s time to recharge the batteries. We suggest a pamper day, a micro break or investing in that new wide screen telly you’ve had your eye on. Whatever it is that’ll help you to recharge, we can lend a little financial assistance to make it happen. Just check out our mini-loans to find out how quick and easy it is to get your hands on some extra funds. Once a loan is approved, we can usually deposit the cash into your bank account within a few hours, so you can start recharging straight away!