LIFESTYLE NEWS - It's back to school again and the daily lunch box saga has started. Here are 10 tips to help busy parents in their quest to send their kids off to school with a healthy lunch and snacks.
1. The three bowl approach: fill one bowl with fruit, one with treats and one with dairy (such as tubs of yoghurt or cheese sticks). Let the kids make their own lunches by selecting one item from each bowl. Just add a sandwich, a bottle of water and lunch is ready.
2. Moving on from bread: try bagels, wraps, multigrain sandwich crackers, pitta bread, hot cross buns, scones or pikelets.
3. The surprise factor: Okay, so your kid will not budge from the Vegemite sandwich. Introduce the unexpected by cutting their Vegemite sandwich with a cookie cutter. It may well be their first step in understanding that variety is the spice of life.
4. The leftovers lunch: Cook a little extra dinner the night before and save for lunch the next day. Roast chicken, pasta salad, quiche, homemade pizza slices and sausages are just a few examples that are delicious cold for lunch.
5. The lunchbox: If you use a lunch box that keeps food chilled, you can send tubs of yoghurt, small containers of dip or cottage cheese mixed with pineapple pieces to school without fear of salmonella poisoning.
6. Perfect packaging: hard boiled eggs, small tins of baked beans or tuna and the ziplock bag are a sandwich's best friend - no spills; no soggy sandwich.
7. Filling fillings: banana and honey; mashed egg and mayonnaise; ham, cheese and tomato; cream cheese, tuna, cucumber and carrot.
8. The love note: add a little message from you to brighten their day, and their lunch if they're not going to be happy with what you snuck in!
9. No sneaking things in: Kids will be more likely to eat their lunch if they have had a hand in preparing it. See idea 1.
10. Find something new: ask other mums what they offer their kids for lunch for some new ideas!
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