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At a quick count a parent of two school aged children will pack around 400 lunchboxes a year! – And of course, by children’s standards, these lunchboxes must be interesting, creative and obviously tasty. Here is my healthy lunchbox guide for all you mums out there…

Pre-packages snacks might seem an easy option, but most of these have big nutritional pit falls, not to mention they are expensive and contribute significantly to the butt load of rubbish that ends up in landfill every year.

  • 1 packet of chips included in a lunchbox for an entire school year will add 1.22kg of fat and 226g of salt to the diet of a child. (1)
  • 1 packet of teddy biscuits adds 900g of fat, 174g of sodium and 1.62kg of sugar each year. (2)
  • Even, 1 juice popper adds 5.76kg of sugar – And No, juice is not the same as fruit. (3)

So what’s the solution?

Keeping the contents of a lunchbox healthy and exciting can be very challenging, especially with a hectic schedule and limited budget. Donning on an apron and spending hours in the kitchen each night to whip up freshly baked lunchbox goodies for the following day isn’t everyone idea of fun, nor is spending hours in the supermarket trawling through all those packaged food items in the hope of finding something suitable – only to still not be sure you’ve got the nutritional balance right.

Fortunately, The Kids Menu can help take much of the hard work out of packing a nutritious lunchbox. No, we can’t pack it for you but we can give you all the information you need to know on what to pack and where to find it.

The Healthy Lunchbox Guide

The Healthy Lunchbox Guide is the ultimate healthy lunchbox resource. This e-book has been put together to ensure parents understand exactly what kids should be eating every day, how to portion a healthy lunchbox, how to pack a lunchbox to ensure food safety, detailed information on understanding nutrition labels, ingredients list and health claims, as well as provide dozens of examples of suitable lunchbox foods, a 5 day lunchbox planner with shopping list (nut free and no sandwiches), and 10 quick, healthy recipes.

Stress less about lunchboxes in 2014 and head on over to The Kids Menu and get a copy of The Healthy Lunchbox Guide as well as dozens of other healthy lunchbox recipes, like this one:

Apple & Carrot Quinoa Bite Recipe

The healthy lunchbox recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 small apples or 1 large apple, peeled
  • 1 carrot, peeled
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon (or to taste – I could go a little more)
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons of chia seeds (depending on how wet the mix is)
  • Desiccated coconut for rolling

Method

  1. Cook quinoa as per packet directions, drain and set aside.
  2. Either chop carrot and apple and place in a food processor on high until finely chopped or grate by hand.
  3. Whisk together egg white, vanilla, sugar and cinnamon.
  4. Add carrot, apple, quinoa and 1 tablespoon of chia seeds (if the mix is very wet add extra chia seeds).
  5. Scoop about half a tablespoon of the mixture and gently press together and roll into a ball.
  6. Coat the ball in coconut and set onto a greased oven tray.
  7. Repeat until all the mixture has been rolled.
  8. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees for 12 – 15mins, until set and coconut slightly golden.
  9. Allow to cool for about 5mins before removing from the tray (or they fall apart).
  10. They are delicious warm and my kids loved them chilled too.
  11. If chilling store in an airtight container for about 2 days.

  • Thank you for the suggestion, cheers.

    Reply

  • The bites are healthy and delicious! Thanks!

    Reply

  • This is surely a different recipe! I’d love to try it!!

    Reply

  • My son has a great mix of food in his lunch bag each day – sandwich, apple, banana, muesli or protein bar, can tuna, snack pack of bbq or sweet biscuits and I have no issue with that.

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  • Awesome snack idea

    Reply

  • Yumm I am going to print out this recipe. Also thanks for the great site and very helpful tips etc.

    Reply

  • Thanks for sharing! As busy mums or even just mums of fussy children, sometimes it can just be easier to give them packaged foods / snacks in the lunch boxes. But I guess if we can all realise the health benefits of being wiser with food choices and taking time to prep and do a bulk bake and cook up we can achieve a healthy lunchbox for our children. This has definitly given me food for thought! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  • This doesn’t appeal to me.

    Reply

  • Thank you for the helpful tips.

    Reply

  • healthy version.. thanks for sharing..

    Reply

  • Yow those balls sound yummy and really good for you. Will have to add that to the lunch box list. Thanks for sharing

    Reply

  • I hardly buy prepackage food preferring to make it myself.

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  • We really need to start reading labels more clearly in what some of these processed foods contain, quite scary. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  • I think we need to let our children have a certain amount of junk food, it is fun being a child and most will run it off in the playground

    Reply

  • Great idea!! Puts it into perspective when you see the overall figures

    Reply

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