I sometimes have lunch envy – not of what’s in someone else’s lunch, but because some mums don’t experience the tedious monotony of packing lunch boxes daily as some schools or early childcare centres are fully catered or have their own Tuck Shop or Restaurant. Don’t get me wrong, I love providing healthy, wholesome, filling meals and snacks for my family, but being me, I like to change it up each day so every day brings something new to mealtime. I really think that’s important in keeping kids interested in food and willing to try new things.
Colour, texture and variety all play an amazing role in exciting the taste buds so a prepared list of proteins, carbs, fruit and veggies makes my life much easier.
These planners run Monday through to Friday and include a Healthy Snack (also known sometimes as Brain Food for the younger school years in New Zealand), Morning Tea, Lunch and Afternoon Tea. Although many are home in time for an after school snack, I find it easier to have some sort of plan in place for that too ahead of time as my son is reaching the age now when he’s ravenous and if healthy snacks aren’t on hand, he tends to go for bread or crackers.
Included at the bottom of the planner is a list of examples. Obviously it isn’t exhaustive, just a few of the more common options that are seasonal or can be easily packaged.
Make life easy. Freeze muffins, cookies, cooked mini pizzas and even some sandwiches. They will have defrosted and be fresh by lunch time.