Clean Little Lunchboxes
For those of you who follow me on Instagram you will know that we are in the midst of kitchen (& house) renovations and even though some of my daily cooking has to be compromised the one thing that can't be is lunch boxes! Whilst I do love cooking and preparing food for my family I do find lunch boxes a chore and I love seeing new ideas. I like them to be healthy but easy. I usually do them either when I'm preparing dinner the night before or when I preparing breakfast so it is always a busy time. I try to mix it up as much as I can with some simple ideas to fill them up for their afternoons and I thought I would share some of my lunchbox ideas with you.
We have some very fun but clever lunch boxes by YumBox which I bought from Eatwell UK. They have fun sized compartments which keep all the food separate, which means you can add yoghurts or dips without them leaking into other foods. If you haven't seen these why not take a look, they open up a whole new world of lunchbox ideas.
Firstly the lunchbox staple of the sandwich. I do regularly include sandwiches but try to add variety by using different types or bread, adding wraps, pittas, crackers or different fillings. If I don't have time for sandwich making or fancy a change I usually have a batch of savoury muffins in the freezer, which I pop in the lunchbox - they will be defrosted by lunchtime. Try my recipe here. Other alternatives to sandwiches are pasta salad or leftover pasta or noodle salad. Mini kebabs can also be a win with chicken and vegetables as can our Clean Little Chicken Dippers
Crudites or cold steamed vegetables make an excellent addition to a lunchbox, I like to add some dip too. This can be as simple as some cream cheese which I sometimes mix with pesto or houmous or any of other favourites. There are some dip recipes here.
Fruit: is any lunchbox complete without it? I am trying very hard to save the pennies (house renovations are expensive!) so I am buying in-season fruit only to make things cheaper. Berries make excellent lunchbox fillers but at this time of year they are expensive and not that tasty. A banana portion or half an apple fit nicely into the lunchbox as do pear slices or peeled clementines. Some natural yoghurt with some frozen berries (which will be defrosted by lunchtime) is also a nice, cheaper way to get some goodness into their tummies.
Crisps-what are your thoughts? It seems that all children like crisps but we also know they are full of salt and fats. Do you have an alternative? I have recently been adding some cold sweet potato fries or some leftover potato wedges which have passed the taste-test with my three. Homemade cheese crackers or cheese straws go down well too, sometimes I think it is just about something to crunch on!
Something sweet to finish off is always nice so I like to include a medjool date, a (clean) mini muffin or an oat type bar if I can. I try to batch cook some muffins or nut bars at the weekends and have them ready in the freezer for lunch boxes when I need them. It isn't something I always include but it is nice to have a back up freezer option for those busy mornings.
Do you have any staples for your lunchboxes? What do your Clean Little Tummies enjoy most? Please let me know and if you include any of our recipes please don't forget to share them with me.
Caroline & The Clean Little Tummies xxxx