So, you are either of the Anti-LB club in which case you opt for along the lines of a peanut butter brown bread sandwich, a piece of fruit and a biscuit (on a good day) – or – you plan your weekly (LB) lunch box bonanza with fastidious attention to detail in terms of a) being original and different on each day and b) covering all 5 major food groups. Official “Noddy Badge” to those of you who resonate with the latter especially if you are a working mum! Secretly, I yearn to be a part of this overly organised coven of moms who really do deserve more than just a badge, because if I feel this tired one full week into the first term – well then…can you image what my treasures are going to be subjected to by the fourth!
So, in preparation for the ‘back to school’ daily lunch box ordeal, where I am now packing two instead of one as per last year – I did a little digging and chatting to other moms in a similar position and unearthed some super LB hints and secrets…
It’s clear that the primary objective regardless of which group you slot into seems to be: fast, healthy and fun. In saying this though I am just not a fan of creating creatures with food, which defeats the whole “don’t play with your food” battle. Not sure if you agree, but with all of this in mind~
A good friend of mine, a mommy of THREE delightful girls, told me about the SUSHI SANDWICH! A stroke of genius especially if your brood is predisposed, like mine, to not doing the regular sandwich thing regardless of shape or filling. And if she can do it being a working mommy of THREE – well, then any of us can!
- Cut the crusts off a piece of fresh bread (ideally brown) and roll it flat with a rolling pin. Add your chosen filling according to what you have that is fresh in the fridge or veggie patch: ham, grated cheese, grated cucumber, mashed avo with a dash of lemon juice for longevity, egg mayo, humus etc. Try a light sprinkle of the Eat.Art Caprese Spice mix instead of salt and pepper then roll it up tightly and stab with a toothpick to hold it together if needs be. Slice into desired bite-sizes and your kids will love tucking in!
Great because you can make and freeze – are my BABOTIE BALLS! Being a huge fan of Babotie full stop – I invented these as bite-sized treats, which are more sweet and sour than spicy to suit younger kids. Add a little pot of chutney into the mix with a handful of cherry tomatoes and you have a delish treat for both LB’s and snack platters for school functions.
- Mix together a punnet of extra lean beef mince with finely chopped onions, garlic, turmeric, ground coriander and cumin, sea salt and a small handful of raisins. Add a tablespoon of chutney and an egg to bind. Once well mixed together – and hands are best for that I’m afraid – roll into bite-sized balls and place on a baking tray. Bake at 180˚C for about 15 minutes. Serve cold. Yum!
Oh so easy and with the added bonus of adding a splash of colour to the box or bag – are my STACKS! Stack of what you might ask? Stacks of anything fresh you might have in the fridge. All stabbed onto a toothpick to form a sort of mini kebab – a healthy stack of flavour and fun to eat especially if you throw in a pot of creamy mayo, hummus, or green slime – ha ha! Some stack ideas:
- cheese block + cucumber quarter + rolled up sliver of ham
- cherry tomato + cube of sausage + quarter raw mushroom (greem slime favourite)
- rolled up sliver of salami + cube feta + sundried tomato
- strawberry + grape + small triangle of pineapple
And for the green slime:
- Simply a pot of plain Greek yoghurt with a dash of basil or coriander pesto mixed in.
I am realising that kids love little pots and tubs of things to open and be surprised by…so have fun with the way you put it all together and delight your little ones into loving their daily LB surprise.
Mother-of-two delicious girls, lover of food (fine and fast), purveyor of all things pretty and Jill of all things ‘creative’…Nancy has a background in the visual arts, design and marketing and is the owner and Creative Director of Magpie. Having worked with the Eat.Art team before, she is thrilled to take time out from juggling and add some spice to the Eat.Art blog. Don’t get us wrong….it’s not that it needs it….it just wants more…and she is happy to oblige.