Dads can be lunchbox heroes too! We speak to George Georgievski of @schoollunchbox for some top lunch box hacks to rock your lunchbox every day!
George Georgievski is the kind of dad other parents envy.
He’ll arrive at the school gate with his daughters Anela and Kiki 30 minutes early, coffee in hand, bento lunches neatly packed. But according to this Geelong father and 110k-strong Instagrammer (who’s also buds with Jamie Oliver), this scenario is not as unattainable as it seems.
George shares five of his best tips to help time-poor parents make a deliciously packed school lunch for toddlers to primary schoolers (and still find time to buy their flat white and drink it too).
Plan it out
Ahead of a fresh new week, take some time to work out each day’s spread to prevent boredom and get the most out of your ingredients. George uses a Bento Planner to organise his grocery list and treats for each section of the lunch box. The super-dad says this also helps him coordinate based on expiry dates and prevents costly wastage. You can pick up a bento planner for under $15 here.
Preparation is key
George says if you need that double shot to wake up in the morning, you’ll have to prep the night before. Once you get back from grocery shopping, wash and chop all your fruit and veggies and pop them in an airtight container in the fridge. These go perfectly with a natural yoghurt dip. In George’s household, there’s also a basket with fresh fruit ready to go in the bento box, so there’s no temptation to throw in packaged, processed treats.
Keep it simple
If preparation is king, simple recipes are queen. George has stacks of creative, healthy, colourful snacks using just five ingredients or less. You can whip up a bunch of these apple and blueberry br-uffins from leftover bread, blueberries, apples and cinnamon on a Saturday morning and create a harbour-full of these savoury snack boats including pizza and quiche variations in the afternoon. One day of making a few easy goodies can set you up for an entirely stress-free week.
Freezer is your friend
As for making sure your prepped snacks stay fresh for packing, George has loads of recipes that are freezer friendly. “My pizza scrolls and mini croissants are my girls’ fav,” he says. These banana bread balls are also amazing – just blend up a banana, wholemeal bread and cinnamon, roll and freeze in under 10 minutes. Simply take them out the night before for a time-saving hack.
Get into a routine
George recommends using a lunch box during the school holidays or weekends so once the morning rush hits, your little ones will be cool, calm and collected. “Let them familiarise themselves with it (the bento) so it’s one less new thing they need to get used to.” The Lunch Box Dad also recommends taking the kids grocery shopping so they have ownership over what’s packed in their lunch. Once they’re in a routine, it’s easier to introduce new foods and switch things up to prevent boredom!
Making a fresh, healthy lunch from scratch isn’t as time-consuming as it sounds, and no – you don’t have to be Jamie Oliver to whip up an irresistible home-made treat. Trust George – he knows how to make a dumpling in 15 seconds.
Does the man in your life make lunch boxes? Tell us in the comments below.