My kids aren’t back at school until next week but for those of you who are already you’ll be faced with the dreaded school lunch box prep every day. I try to keep lunch box prep not too tedious and time consuming and I prepare as much as I can the night before. I also like to keep my freezer well stocked with healthy snacks that freeze well.
My son who has multiple food allergies is just a plain lunch box kind of kid and he just has a sandwich every day and a snack (not my preference, it’s all he’ll eat! – I’m keeping it real here so you know that I have trouble getting my kids to eat too :) ). My girls however are heaps easier to feed and they do like a bit of variety in their lunch boxes. My oldest girl is at uni this year so I only need to prepare for Alex and Paige now.
Paige doesn’t have any dietary requirements however our school is egg and nut free. Alex is wheat, rice, dairy, soy, some tree nuts and raw egg free. He can have rye, barley and oats now so I do use a quality rye bread I buy for lunches at school and I make the bread he eats at home to pack in as much goodness as possible.
Sometimes I find the easiest way to think of snacks for kids is to keep a list of what they can have, especially if they are fussy so you’re not having to constantly think about what they can have. I’ve compiled a list of ideas with some links to recipes that are lunch box friendly and are free of gluten, dairy, soy, egg and nuts. If you’ve got any ideas or recipes you love feel free to comment below or pop in a link (yes, even your own!). Make sure you scroll to the end and watch my video on filling reusable food pouches. I’ll give you my best tips!
So what can you feed you kids when you think there is nothing you can feed them?!
1. Whole fruit – perfect and simple! Write their name or a cute message on their banana as a surprise
2. Cut fruit into cute shapes - you could even make fruit kebabs
3. Fruit salad
4. Fruit slinkys (apples, pears, even firm stone fruit like plums are good made into slinkys). TIP: if you carefully remove the fruit from the machine and leave the core in, fruits like apples and pears will stay nice and white. Kids can simply remove the core at school
5. Puree and pop into reusable food pouches (can mix with coconut yoghurt or dairy free custard)
6. Slice and serve with a coconut yoghurt dip for dipping (or dairy free custard)
7. Coconut yogurt into reusable food pouches– try this great recipe for homemade coconut yoghurt by Food, Glorious Friendly Food (it works I promise!)
8. Homemade dairy and egg free custard. Try this great recipe forCoconut Caramel Custard by Quirky Cooking with instructions for egg free
9. Raspberry and Coconut Summer Porridge by Wholefood Simply
10. Nut free bliss balls. Check out this list of recipes I compiled
11. Raw Chocolate Mint Slice by Marinya Cottage Kitchen
12. Choc Apricot Slice by Wholefood Simply
13. Banana Cake by Wholefood Simply
14. Allergy Friendly Chocolate Cake by Wholefood Simply
15. Homemade jelly in reusable food pouches
18. Strawberry Rollups by The Organised Housewife. Have a look at my picture below of these lovely fruit roll ups!
19. Smoothies – in reusable food pouches
20. Dried fruit – I prefer organic and additive free. You could even make your own nut free trail mix using some seeds and popcorn
21. Two Ingredient Cookies by Wholefood Simply
22. Two Ingredient Biscuits by Natural New Age Mum - instructions provided to substitute oats if gluten free
23. Gingerbread by Wholefood Simply
24. Cold meats / meatballs with chopped up salad (or make into kebabs)
25. Leftovers (soup, pasta, sausage rolls, pizza) – you might need a thermos
26. Sliced veggies with dip
27. Corn thins or rice cakes – supply the spread or topping for the kids to pop on fresh so they don’t go stale (good for older kids)
28. Home made sushi
29. Wraps – I wrote this blog post with a HEAP of suitable recipes
I hopethat helps with some fresh ideas and keeps you going through the first through weeks. The great thing about a list is that when you or your kids are getting bored you can come back to it for fresh inspiration!
PS. If you're looking for some quick and easy lunchbox food you can find lots in our lunch box section here.