School lunch box ideas.
With the school term fast approaching I’ve been thinking of different foods that I can use in my little mans lunch box that are nutritious and yummy.
He is a very fussy eater so coming up with different food ideas that he won’t get ‘bored’ of but foods that will also sustain his hunger, give him energy, are healthy options and are a nice variety.
He is only 3 but is very picky. He used to be a great eater and ate everything I have him, right up until he was about 2.5 years old. Then, like a switch, he ‘didn’t like anything’.
I try many options in his lunch box but the majority of the time, the lunch box comes back with the prepared food still not touched. Such a waste of good, wholesome healthy food.
I’ve tried asking him what he would like to eat. He still won’t eat it. I end up packing things that I know he will eat. Not always the healthiest options but he will eat it.
It makes me question, is it better to feed them what they like and want knowing it will get eaten?
Or pack him what I think is a better and healthier option knowing that it may possibly come back home untouched and know, my little guy went hungry as he didn’t like what was prepared for him?
He isn’t one of those children that sees other children eat and decided he wants to eat the same. He isn’t swayed by peer pressure. He is very head strong and is very confident.
So below are some options that I pack for my little guys preschool lunch box. I’d love to hear what you pack in your little ones lunch boxes.
Vegetable pancakes –
Yes I purée vegetables and put it in a pancake mix then make ‘regular’ pancakes. Great way to hide vegetables as my little man loves pancakes but ‘doesn’t like vegetables’.
I pack either Nutri grain or mini wheats. Yes I know they have sugar, but not as much as Cheerios or fruit loops and many other cereals. My little man will eat both and it’s a good easy way to get him to eat whole grains.
I make home made ones with my ThermoMix, they are quite healthy and really tasty. He eats them plain. If I have made a batch I will pack brown rice crackers or vita wheats. Again he eats them plain. Another easy way to have him eat while grains.
Cheese sticks –
A good source of dairy and protien and they keep well. If I have no cheese sticks I will cut up cubes of cheese. Full day of course.
Yogurt squirts –
I pop these in the freezer the night before school to ensure they stay cold for his lunch box. He will only eat vanilla and that’s fine. It’s another way to get dairy in his lunch box and brewing a squeeze pack, no mess and no need to pack a spoon.
Fruit squeeze pack / jelly squeeze pack –
I know some of you will think SUGAR but, I go for the lowest with no added sugar. He refuses to eat solid fruit even if I cut it up, so this way he is still getting fruit, some fibre and it’s a ‘sweet treat’.
I have tried making my own and using the refillable squeeze packs but he won’t touch them. I’m happy to buy them as its something I know he will eat.
Left over cold meats –
Example of i make mini meatballs for dinner, I will cook extra and pop those into his lunch box. He happily eats them cold. Or an extra sausage. Again if u cut it up he will eat it cold. Or even chicken tenders or home made chicken nuggets. So easy to make, good source or protein and iron and he will eat them cold.
Cold pasta –
Befor you think I’m nuts, it’s easy. I cook either shells or spirals, let them cool and put some in his lunch box. He likes cold pasta. I usually do while grain pasta or spinach. He won’t eat the ‘red’ but I find he doesn’t mind the ‘green’ or ‘brown’. Good carbohydrates and being low GI keeps his energy levels up.
Banana bread fingers –
He thinks it’s cake 😉 occasionally he will eat it. Plain though, no butter and it must be cut in rectangles. I again make my own in my ThermoMix so has almost no sugar and I again make it on half kamut and half wholemeal flour rather than plain white. Kamut flour is high in protein. You could also use chickpea flour.
An alternate in the banana bread fingers could be mini fruit muffins? If you make them yourself you can cut down in the sugar. I know some may question why cutting down on sugar in children.
Well 1 it rots teeth, 2 it can cause health issues and 3 if sugar is not burnt within the body from activity or exercise its stored as fat and our nation is already overweight. I don’t see I big issue in using either natural sugar sources such as fruit over refined sugar and I also think so much food has hidden added sugar that by cutting down on some can not hurt.
I don’t send my little man to school with muesli bars as its a nut free environment. I also don’t like the idea of roll up as its loaded with refined sugar.
I’d love to hear your ideas for fussy eaters that won’t eat a sandwich or cut fruit and vegetables.
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