I am having trouble (already, so early in the year) coming up with lunch box goodies for a child who seems to eat very little of whatever we put in. Phil packs her a lunch, she goes to school, she comes home and I open her lunch box and empty most of the original contents into the compost. Why? Because she doesn’t have enough time to eat, apparently, as there are other good things to do such as play. Argh. Also each day she says “oh mum, can you leave out the … (insert delicious and nutritious snack which was all the rage last week) because I don’t like that any more.” and I say “Ok, sure, so now that leaves you with butter sandwiches with the crusts cut off… that’s your entire lunch.” and she says “Well, actually I don’t like brown bread mum.” and I say “You don’t say.”
So I have been stumped.
When I was at the library last week I went through the recipe book section and pulled out a couple of gems including this one about boxable lunches called “Healthy Lunchboxes for Kids” by Amanda Grant. While the children on the front cover look luminous and eerily like something out of an era where you were taught to duck and roll under your desk incase of a nuclear attack, the book is actually pretty modern and quite inspiring. It’s a bit of a luxury really, to have a book full of ideas like “tomato soup” and “sausage rolls” and so on, but having a whole bunch of kid-friendly *and* lunch box friendly recipes all in one place and with such pretty pictures gave my brain the jolt it needed in this department. And you know? It’s nice to read a simple (obvious to anyone else, probably) recipe like “Tuna with mayonnaise & sweetcorn” and have one of those little lightbulb moments and think, of course! Sweetcorn in a tuna sandwich would be pretty nice! and so on.
On the list for making are: Mini pear cakes, fresh fruit jellies, cheese and seed biscuits, scones, puff pin wheels, afore mentioned sausage rolls, coleslaw, one or all of the four cous cous salads, wraps rather than sandwiches, etc etc.
I am also going to keep my eye out for a suitable thermos flask so we can pack some wintery pastas, soups and left-overs.
Not that she’ll eat any of it.
Things that have worked this year :
Inari (picked up the day before from the sushi bar, though I am sure it would be dead easy to make your own)
Watermelon cubes with grapes and blueberries
A tablespoon or so of expensive, nice yoghurt
Koo’s muffins (though my last lot may have contained toxic frozen, thawed then frozen fruit and caused household gastrointestinal issues)
What works for your kids?
I’m hopping over to Vegan Lunch Box now for a refresher course in inspired lunchboxing.
If you’re interested in Healthy lunchboxes for Kids by Amanda Grant, it is available at libraries with the call number: 641.534 GRA. The ISBN is 184597705X. It’s also available at Amazon and also from Fishpond in Australia.