If you’re making wholefood lunchboxes daily here are some tips and inspiration to ensure you pack tasty goodness in minimal time (and fuss).
Time saving Lunchbox Tips:
- Plan ahead – I work around protein as my main plan. Once I know what I’m doing there filling up a lunchbox with vegetables, a bit of fruit and a nice savory or sweet bake is so easy.
- Find a time to prepare lunchbox meals, whether it’s on the weekend, after drop off, mid-morning or whatever suits you and stick to a routine so it becomes second nature.
- Batch cooking is the biggest time saver. Whatever you’re making for dinner make an extra portion. Such as meatballs, chicken nuggets, pancakes that kind of thing.
- Reinvent leftovers – if you’re having Spaghetti Bolognese for dinner turn leftovers into a bake for lunchboxes. You’ll need eggs and an extra 5 minutes and you’re covered for a week.
- Heat up leftovers from last night’s dinner for a warm winter lunch at school all perfectly placed in a thermos. Just don’t forget a spoon or fork (we learnt the hard way!)
- Build up a freezer stash of goodies so your kids have plenty of variety. The recipes below will really help.
- Bento style lunchboxes are so popular as you can put a great variety of different foods in without them all getting mixed up. Top with a glass or stainless steel water bottle and you’re good to go.
My Top 10 Lunchbox Recipes
These fast, fun and delicious allergy-friendly lunchbox recipes will avoid food envy amongst peers and get your children eating a massive dose of nutrients (often without them having a clue)!
1) Spaghetti Bolognese squares Use your leftover spaghetti bolognaise to make these delicious squares for an easy to eat lunch box treat.
2) Nut free muesli bar This allergy-friendly snack is perfect for kids lunchboxes and mamas on the go. There is no baking involved so you’re done in 5 minutes flat. Enjoy!
3) Simply delicious mini burgers Use this mince recipe in a number of different ways – make amazing burger patties for adults and mini burgers for kids. Reshape them and turn them into koftas or kebabs, or meatballs in tomato passata sauce, or use as a filling to make sausage rolls.
4) Allergy-friendly banana bread (or cupcakes) Avoid FOMO (fear of missing out) with this gorgeous naturally sweet bread which can easily turn into cupcakes to really show off!
5) Chicken nuggets Believe it or not, these are gorgeous cold in lunchboxes. Make a large batch for dinner and use leftovers to satisfy your kids at school with zero extra effort.
6) Chocolate chip chickpea cookies These won’t ever get the chance to store in your fridge or freezer. They’ll be inhaled within a couple of days. But because they are so quick to make its worth the effort and the delight on your child’s face will be priceless! Love these.
7) Three ingredient fish cakes If you want your kids to enjoy fish on a regular basis and prep it on the fly in a last minute emergency, then don’t look past this simple recipe. Not only is it quick, it just needs three ingredients!
8) Nut free carrot cake bliss balls Bliss balls are such an easy and versatile treat to have stored in your freezer. With the beautiful and familiar flavours of carrot cake, these are a hit, plus the addition of carrots makes them more nutritious than your average recipe.
9) Very Moorish Chicken Balls A massive crowd pleaser the whole family will love. Make a big batch for dinner and store leftovers in the freezer for a quick protein filler for the week.
10) Apple & Cinnamon Oat Bites These bites are packed with oats, fruit, healthy fats and protein and unlike most cereal bars, there isn’t a major sugar rush (and crash) as its all refined sugar-free. Perfect for breakfast and school lunchboxes.
Hi Sharon – thank you for your email updates, haven’t had a chance to look at them until now and omg! – the recipies are fab. I look after my 97 yr old pops so never have time for anything but I am not only gluten and lactose intolerant but also a vegetarian – going on 50 years now! (learnt a tad about food in that time too!) – and small bite-sized allergy free recipes containing no meat are few and far between.. have been looking for savoury recipe books for my ‘pop-cake’ maker which would be great as it only takes 3 minutes to cook! – and there are some, but mostly with US measures (not a prob) but some US ingredients – LOL – I have absolutely no clue what they are! I use veg protein like peas (which are supposed to be lb for lb more protein than a steak), and legumes etc and am cool with nuts and drink almond milk etc! I also checked out the ‘Hay’ diet when I was younger which is separating your proteins and carbs and having just one at each meal – the idea behind that is that your digestion can only handle one at a time and if mixed up – as we do in our meals, then food takes days and days And Days – sometimes up to a week (!) to digest instead of just a few hours, not really a diet more a way of life! In that they said that things like tomatoes are ‘neuteral’ foods that can be eaten with either, but when cooked turn into protein! We never had all these allergies when I was a kid so it’s got to be all the junk they are putting in our food!
– Anyway, Thank you for some absolutely amazing ideas and ingredients!
Hi Barb, thank you so much for writing to me. I love the adjustments you’ve made to your diets and understanding of the importance of real food. I wish you, your pops and family much health and happiness. How fab he’s 97! Amazing. xx