When packing kids’ lunch boxes, our go-to food that’s almost always easy to prepare is sandwiches.
But having the same filling daily, week after week can leave kids bored and its high sugar content can leave parents worried.
So, to bring life (and healthy) back into your kids’ lunches, here are some alternatives that kids will definitely look forward to every day.
Fresh lettuce leaves make great wraps for all sorts of fillings! Make sure the lettuce is nice and fresh – or you dunk the leaves in icy water, so they stay together! As long as the filling is cold – you can wrap it up – and it is so healthy!
For an allergen-free lunch, this nut free energy bites will keep your kids going throughout the day, and since it’s a no bake goodie, it’s probably the easiest to prepare.
Rice can give you the same fullness as bread, so combining it with protein (in this case, tuna for a healthier lunch) will give kids the boost they need.
Yes you can pick up the long lasagne noodles at the supermarket. Cook them according to the instructions and then dunk them in cold water, so they stop cooking (and getting too gloopy!). Then use them to roll up meats and salads – just like a wrap – but different!
It’s packed with vitamins, this is definitely a healthier alternative to bread. Bread is often made with refined grains and has little nutritional value, but sweet potato toast is a delicious alternative that contains plenty of vitamins and minerals.
To make sweet potato toast, slice a sweet potato into thin rounds and then place them onto your toaster like regular bread slices. They come out crispy on the outside and soft in the middle – perfect for topping with avocado or even some peanut butter!
Give your egg omelette a twist by rolling it; they could do the cooking themselves too if they like! Egg rolls are an easy-to-make snack that are perfect for packing in lunch boxes. They offer protein from the eggs and other vitamins and nutrients from any vegetables you include as part of the filling.
To make egg rolls, you must combine cooked eggs, diced vegetables such as peppers or mushrooms, cheese (optional), spices like cumin or garlic powder, salt and pepper into scrambled eggs (or an omelette). Then roll it up into an egg roll wrap – store-bought or homemade – before baking it until golden brown.
One great alternative to bread that will get your kids to eat vegetables is cauliflower. With the right taste, they wouldn’t know they’re eating vegetables at all! So, if you’re looking for a gluten-free alternative to traditional tortillas, try cauliflower tortillas instead! All you need is cauliflower rice (which you can buy pre-riced or make yourself by grating cauliflower florets) and some eggs or egg whites to help bind everything together.
Just mix the ingredients and form small patties on a baking sheet before baking them until golden brown. Once cooled, they can be used as mini tacos or quesadillas filled with delicious fillings like beans, vegetables, or cheese!
…or you could turn it to fritters. Add a little bit of avocado and their favourite dressing. This is one school lunch your kids will ask for. Who said fried food couldn’t be healthy? Cauliflower fritters are a great way to sneak more veggies into your child’s lunch box without them knowing it.
Start making cauliflower rice again, then mix this with some beaten eggs and any herbs and spices of your choice– think cumin, paprika, or turmeric for a bit of extra flavor. Once combined, shape small patties on your hand, then fry these in some oil until golden brown; serve with yogurt dip at school for added nutrition!
Everything is just lovely with cheese! This cheesy macaroni and vegetable frittata will excite your kids! Frittatas are a great way to use leftovers in the fridge while still keeping lunchtime interesting – plus, they have loads of protein too.
Preheat your oven before adding whatever ingredients, such as chopped vegetables, cooked potatoes/rice/quinoa, etc., cheese (optional), tomato puree/passata, and beaten eggs. Mix everything before pouring it into an ovenproof dish and baking until set – usually around 20 minutes at 375 °F (190 °C). Slice up once cooled down, then pack away in containers ready for lunchtime.
Chicken + cheese in a ball? Heaven! These cheesy chicken balls make a tasty addition to any kid’s lunch box – plus, they don’t take long to prepare either. Start by combining cooked shredded chicken breast with cheese (optional), seasonings such as parsley flakes/dried herbs, and garlic powder if desired.
Using wet hands, form small balls from this mixture, then coat each one lightly in seasoned flour before frying them off until golden brown – around three minutes per side should do it! Serve hot or cold depending on preference; these also freeze well, so always good to batch cook these ready for future lunches.
Hide broccoli mixed with their favourite chicken in a tasty burrito…then add cheese! If you’re looking for something substantial that won’t break apart in their lunch bag, why not try making burritos? Start by heating some oil on medium heat before adding diced onion, followed by chopped broccoli florets.
Sauté both until softened, then add cooked shredded chicken breast and taco seasoning (chili powder + cumin + salt), followed by some canned beans. Cook everything together until warmed through before wrapping inside burrito wraps – top these off however desired.
Have you tried these recipes for your kids’ school lunches? How was it?