Hands up who’s feeling the pressure now that school has gone back? No more lazy Summer days eating meals whenever and wherever. There’s an intimidating five days ahead of you, where you need to pack nutritious lunches that your children will actually (gasp!) consume.
I think we all get a bit daunted by the fact that packing lunches appears relentless, week after consecutive week. Not only that, you’re wanting to pack something that is not only healthy, but also appealing. And it’s time consuming, thinking about what to pack, and preparing each day.
So, how do we make it fun – for you, and the kids?
Prep is key. I spend Sunday mornings getting myself organized. I go to the markets and buy what I need for the week – make sure you’ve got a list with you so you don’t miss anything, or get distracted. I cut up their favourite veggies and store them in the fridge for quick packing through the week.
Making it fun for kids is surprisingly easy. Using lots of colours is always a winner – provide them with a rainbow of fruit and vegetables and, for extra fun, cut them into shapes. Camille loves it when I cut letters of her name with melon, which also assists in letter recognition – win win.
I also like to pack a ‘treat’ in their lunch box every day – my kids usually choose coconut covered dates or one of my bliss balls – a combo of berries, coconut, cacao, dates and seeds. And then, once a week, usually on a Friday, they get to have canteen. They love choosing from the menu and having lunch like the other kids. It’s their choice on those days, and they love it.
I tend to stay away from sandwiches, and instead have a couple of go-to inclusions in the school lunch box that are pretty much foolproof:
- Raw fruit salads
- Dried fruit with seeds
- Veggie sticks with dips
- Corn cakes with avocado and / or pesto
- A nourishing lunch ie. Mini Nourish bowls – for example leftover brown rice / bean or lentil stew / peas and corn / carrot / pickles or next day tomato gf pasta, a tofu veggie stir-fry or a combination of wholesome ingredients from what we have in the fridge. Leftover dinner is the best!
I believe in investing in a good quality lunch box that is going to keep its content cool and fresh. I love the Sustain-a-Stacker stainless steel three-compartment lunch box by Green Essential. The Source Bulkfoods sell The Planet Box lunchbox which I’ve heard is great too.
Once you’ve got the lunches sorted and the kids at school, there’s hopefully a little me-time for you. I know that for me, having time to myself is a luxury, so I like to spend at least one of the days of the week all by myself – time just on my own to get my thoughts together and to do as I please.
Most days I’m happily working (Hippie Lane life 😉 ) I find myself rushing around attending work meetings, responding to emails, planning, creating new recipes, photographing and… EATING (lol). But seriously. I aim to get in a long walk and a beach swim daily, and try to have a massage or acupuncture session every now and then. At least once a week I meet with a friends or two for lunch or a catch up.
Once it hits 2.30, I’m heading back to school for pick up. The days fly by!
Invest in you + treat yourself. Your children want to see you happy and fulfilled. A mother’s energy is contagious – make your positive vibes radiate and bless their lives. It’s the best you could do for them.
I’d love to know how you take care of you!
What do you like to include in your kid’s lunch boxes? I’d love to hear your ideas and suggestions!