Thursday, May 23, 2013

10 Interesting Ideas to Shake up your Child's Lunch box - or even yours!

Generally speaking I prefer to get my kids to make their own lunch for two reasons. Firstly, it means I don't have to do it, and secondly they make what they like and will eat. Thirdly - I know I didn't mention three but I changed the rules - I am a mum and I can do that. Thirdly, I like my kids to learn responsibility and making their own lunch is a good place to learn that.

All these reasons came about only recently. Prior to this, I would make the kids' lunch more often than not, and that is because I really like to do it. I know I am crazy, but I love to make the kids lunch as interesting as possible, but that being said, I can't and won't do this everyday. Now and then I shake it up a little. This stems from my own envy of the seeing other children when I was growing up from different cultures having the most amazing lunches in little heated boxes or thermos that smelt so good I would have been happy to slip into a coma with those aromas dancing in my nostrils. Dumplings, rices, noodles, sushi, buk choy, stiry fry, pork buns were regulars in my classrooms over the years from my Asian friends. Then there were curries, naans, other types of breads and spreads from my Indian friends. Sometimes they would share but thinking back I think they either felt sorry for me, or fed me to shut me up!! I think this could possibly be where my love for ethnic food was born. Anyhoo, I have kept these memories close to my heart and took it upon myself to make some interesting things for my kids now and then so they too would have children covet their lunch boxes - for my own selfish accomplishment (there is nothing wrong with that right?) I made some yummy and incredible lunches over the years - if I do say so myself!
 Here are some of my super cheap ideas that make lunch time interesting for me ( I am a school teacher) and my kids.

1. Marinated Chicken drummies - I make my own marinade with brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic and rice wine vinegar. You can bake these in the morning and wrap them in foil keeping them moist for lunch time.

2. Sushi nori rolls - can put a range of things in these and they are very healthy and really not that hard to make.

3. Inari rolls - you can get the bean curd pockets from an Asian supermarket and you can put rice, noodles or even salad in them, my kids love them!

4. Pasta - this is a personal thing. My kids are happy with pasta being cold, with pasta sauce mixed in even. I also make pasta salads too which my kids love both with a sauce and without. .

5. Mini omelettes/Frittatas - you can make these in cupcake pans and add grated carrots or whatever you kids will eat. I tend to just add tomatoes and cheese.

6. Pizza Scrolls - making pizza dough from scratch is not as hard as you might think. I make pizza scrolls usually the night before. I use pasta sauce and mozzarella cheese more often than not. I will also share soon a yoghurt dough recipe which is easy to make and I make scrolls with tomato chutney and cheese for something different.

7. Chopped salsa with corn chips - I make up my own salsa with tomatoes, cucumber, corn, and onion. I mixed it all together with a little bit of lime or lemon juice and oil - but not too much, and some fresh chopped (very well so my kids don't complain!) coriander / cilantro.

8. Tabouli - this is a salad that some kids will eat and some will loath with a passion. Luckily my kids like it and they will eat it on its own and in sandwiches.

9. Cold sausages - my kids love cold sausages in or out of sandwich. Sometimes my kids will eat the sausage only if it comes in a role or slices of bread. I sometimes cook them in the morning if time permits, but usually I will cook extra at dinner time.

So those are some ideas just to tease you and keep you interested!! I have more but for now will end with my last idea that the kids love and really aren't too hard to make. I even have a picture for you!

10. These are fresh rice rolls and are very versatile and more often than not are healthy. The above rolls have ham, salad, and vermicelli noodles in them. I would say that eating these rolls are really the only time my boys are happy to eat a green salad, which is basically what they are. Green salad with choice of meet and noodles, wrapped in rice paper. Rice paper sheets are available at both Woolworths and Coles or any Asian grocery and cost about a dollar or so for 12 sheets. You buy them dry and moisten them to soften them for wrapping. They can be a little fiddley in the beginning, but you should get use to them quickly. I will also add that my kids like some soya sauce with these and I purchase little fish shaped soya sauces from my Asian supermarket.

So I hope you have found a couple of new ideas to make your kids(yourself or even hubby) excited about eating lunch from their lunch boxes and have their friends drooling enviously. I will share more in the near future, should you want to keep up with what I am doing just add yourself to my e-mail list on the right side bar. I have lots of fun stuff coming up with giveaways happening too! You can also like my FB page using the link on the right side bar.


Judy@ australian inspirational women said...

Posts like this never go astray. Everyone can benefit from these ideas. I like the drum stick one and really just getting away from the boring old sandwhich!!!!

Emily @ Have a laugh on me said...

Great ideas, but my daughter is super fussy and won't eat cold pasta, in fact she came home from school today and hadn't eaten anything! I packed sandwiches, fruit bar, grapes and museli bar! x

FoodMuster said...

Thanks for the comments. Emily, I totally get what you are saying. it can be hard to please everyone. I have 4 kids with 3 going to school and I have just kept trying to work out what works well. My kids begged me for cabanossi each time they came shopping for me. So I once packed them cabanossi, cheese and whole wheat crackers and they eat it all up. Mayb pack something you know she will it mixed in with some healthier stuff and see how that works. Good luck and keep trying:)

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