I have to share a secret with you, I am not a naturally organised mother! You would regularly find me making a midnight dash to the supermarket because I realised I had nothing to put in the kids lunchbox the following morning, shock horror I know!
And while many supermarkets would have you believe they have the answer to your lunchbox dilemmas and it comes in lovely packaging, don’t be swayed by the dark side of over- processed, sugary products, even green-washed ones.
Packing a Lunchbox may seem a repetitive burden, but it is a powerful secret weapon. Even if you are a stay at home mum, having a packed Lunchbox means you can duck out to run that unexpected errand without having to stop for take-away because you weren’t prepared and without unnecessary packaging and waste.
Even if you end up being at home, the humble Lunchbox can be turned into a picnic or can simply mean that lunch is sorted so you can spend time doing something else.
Here are my all time favourite tools for keeping up with my ever-hungry child, it gives me great peace of mind knowing I can use these each week to keep my kids eating on track-guilt free!
First is our Bento-style Yumbox lunchbox. I use it for my own lunches as well. It fits several different categories of snacks with endless possibilities! We love putting in some popcorn, carrot sticks & snow peas, yogurt, rice crackers and homemade cookies. It has a nifty little dip well which is handy and complements the veggie sticks or crackers nicely. The best thing about the Yumbox is that it is leakproof (for yogurt and dip, not water) and it means no more lost lids!
My second secret weapon is a fussy-child-approved smoothie recipe. I must admit I have tried stacks, many of which failed the test. I do have fussy kids, who are ultra sensitive when it comes to trying new tastes, but my persistence paid off when I stumbled upon a Banana & Almond Smoothie recipe at Woolworths.
This smoothie has been a real hit, even during play dates so it has become a staple in our home. I am thrilled because it is super quick and easy to make, and I pour the leftovers into a WeanMeister freezer pod and voila!, ice cream for tomorrow’s dessert. I love knowing my kids think this is a special treat, but I know it’s full of goodness and will replenish their energy without unwanted nasties. It is so simple with only 5 ingredients- banana, cacao, almond butter, honey (although I like to use maple syrup) and almond milk. Of course you could also substitute any unsuitable ingredients as needed.
The freezer pods are really versatile too and you can use them to store breastmilk (each pod fits about 75ml), soup, make muffins and even recycle crayons (more on that in another post!). You could also use ice cube trays but I like that the pods are a good portion size so you can fit quite a decent amount in.
My third hack is a humble apple corer, it peels, cuts and cores your apples all at once. You can also adjust it so it can leave the skin on your fruit if you prefer to leave it on. These are a real novelty with kids, they love to play with it and then bounce their slinky fruit and it saves you so much time, it literally takes seconds to use. You can also use it on potatoes and make slinky potato chips- we’ve had these at farmer’s markets and festivals but I love being able to flavour it with my own Himalayan pink salt, dulse flakes (a great source of iodine which is super important for good health in kids) as well as using a good quality oil (I like to use Macadamia or Coconut oil).
Have you used any of these tools? What are your favourite lunch box hacks?