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With a little over three weeks of the summer holidays left, we are starting to think about returning to school and work. As a family, we always make our own lunches to take to work, uni, and school. It is more economical, the food is fresh and healthy, and we get to eat exactly what we like. Sandwiches are always quick to prepare, but with a bit of planning you can make a whole range of other delicious lunches. With this in mind, we have put together some of our favourite lunch box ideas.
Australia is in the midst of a heat wave at the moment. Keeping lunches cold, fresh, and appetizing when they are sitting in a backpack all day is a challenge. Sarah and I headed off to Target to check out the latest in lunch boxes and were pleased to see some new products to keep drinks cold and lunches fresh. We were most impressed with the lunch boxes and sacks with freezeable gel components which will keep everything cold.
We have put together 6 of our favourite lunch box ideas (+recipes) for delicious back to school eating.
Chicken Patties are delicious cold with some sweet chili sauce, cherry tomatoes and carrot sticks. We packed ours with a tub of black seedless grapes and rockmelon (cantelope) balls.
|Chicken Patties, Sweet Chili Sauce, and Fruit stored in Decor Tellfresh Containers. Lunch stored in a Packit Cooler Bag.|
Who needs to buy muesli bars when you can make your own Chocolate and Coconut Granola Bars! This is a no-bake recipe – so easy that you can get the kids involved.
Chocolate and Coconut Granola Bars
|Granola Bars stored in Smash Brights Sandwich Box. Water stored in Cool Gear EZ Freeze Pure Freezer Filtration Bottle.|
Fresh salad is perfect for hot weather – either at school or in the office. Salad can be made the night before, with the dressing added at lunch time(we love the little Decor dressing tubs). Add some sliced Turkish bread or a wrap for a satisfying lunch. Sarah has added peanuts to her salad – check your school’s policy on nuts, and omit if necessary.
|Salad and dressing stored in Decor Tellfresh Containers.|
Vegetable Muffins are delicious cold or warm. You can bake up a big batch and freeze them for a couple of weeks. Pack them in the lunch box while frozen and they will be defrosted and ready for lunch. Serve with some crustini toasts and a nectarine.
300 g (2 cups) self raising flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup grated butternut pumpkin
3/4 cup grated zucchini
3/4 cup grated cheese
2 tbs chopped fresh chives
125 ml (1/2 cup) milk
3 eggs, lightly whisked
60 g (3 tbs) butter, melted
Preheat oven to 180 deg C (355 deg F). Line 18 muffin pans with liners. Sift flour and salt together into a large bowl. Add the carrots, pumpkin, zucchini, cheese, and chives. Toss to combine. Make a well in the centre. Whisk the eggs, milk and butter in a large jug. Pour into the centre of the vegetable mixture and fold until just combined. Spoon the mix into prepared pans and bake for 16 – 20 mins, or until a cooked.
Eat plain or served with butter.
|Vegetable Muffins stored in stored in Smash Brights Sandwich Box.|
Sushi is perfect for lunch, and can be made with some many different fillings. We like ours plain so filled it with tuna, but you could use teriyaki chicken, salmon, cucumber, and avocado. Served in a Collapsible Bento Box with a freezer tray, it will keep food cold for up to 4 hours.
You can find the instructions for the origami chopstick wrappers here.
|Sushi stored in Cool Gear EZ Freeze Collapsible Bento Box|
Optional: Coat salad with a vinegrette dressing
For work lunches, stock up on some Decor Microsafe containers, and fill with left overs.
If you are looking for affordable lunch boxes to equip your children for the new school year, check out the huge range in store at Target.
What are your favourite school lunch box ideas?