To make it less hectic during the weekday mornings, it’s a good idea to prep some of the items for the lunch boxes on the weekends, involving your kids and making it a fun weekend activity. This way the kids are excited about it when they take it to the school and more likely to finish it too.
When it comes to lunch boxes, it should tick these three criterias for me:
✅ Nutritious: providing the energy boost that is needed in the afternoon.
✅ Approved by the kids: packing a lunch box that the kid won’t eat is useless.
✅ Easy: Should not take too long to prepare, as everybody is in a rush in the morning.
Over a few weeks time, I tried and tested several lunch boxes to select the best three. I try to vary the lunch box everyday so the kids never get bored of it. The following three have been a favorite of my boys lately:
- Energy balls
- Bread sushi
- Rainbow veggie bites
These lunch box ideas aren’t just for the kids. My husband likes taking them to the office too. They are also a healthy option for snacking in between your meals. We love having the energy balls with our evening tea or the rainbow veggie bites as a light breakfast.
You can prepare the energy balls and rainbow veggie bites in advance and keep them in the fridge into an airtight container for up to a week. This way you won’t have to rush it in the morning and save your sanity. 😉
Here is the recipe, written instructions below;
Ingredients: makes 8-10 balls / Preparation time 15 minutes
- Dates (pitted) 1 cup
- Almonds 1/4 cup
- Cashew nuts 1/4 cup
- Walnuts 1/4 cup
- Raisins 1/4 cup
- Butter/ghee for greasing hands
Note: You could choose any nuts of your choice and could add some cinnamon/ cardamom / ginger powder for extra flavor.
- Add all the ingredients into a chopper / food processor and blitz until well combined.
- Grease your hands with some butter/ghee and form into balls.
- Store into an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
Ingredients: Makes 8 sushi / Preparation time 10 minutes
- 2 slices of whole wheat sandwich bread
- Butter or any other spread of choice
- 2 cheese slices (optional) (I used gouda)
- Salami (optional)
- Thin strips of veggies of choice (I used cucumber and carrots and made thin strips, using a peeler)
- Cut out the sides of the bread.
- Press and roll out the bread as flat and evenly as possible. Use a roller and apply light pressure to flatten the bread.
- Spread a thick layer of butter or your choice of spread.
- Lay the cheese and salami (if using), and strips of veggies.
- Roll tightly.
- Cut into 4 equal pieces.
- You can make bread sushi in a number of variations by changing the spreads and fillings used. Some examples are: cheese and jam, peanut butter and honey, cream cheese and smoked salmon.
- Use fresh bread slices to make your bread sushi. Stale bread might break and won’t give you good results.
Rainbow Veggie Bites (Keto friendly)
Ingredients: makes 20 -22 veggie bites / Preparation time: 20 minutes / Cooking time: 20 minutes
- carrot 1 cup
- Broccoli 1 cup
- Purple cabbage 1 cup
- Cauliflower 2 cups
- Turmeric 1/2 tsp
- Eggs 3
- Shredded mozzarella 1 cup
- Shredded gouda 1 cup
- Salt and pepper
- Ghee/butter for frying
- Steam the veggies in a steamer, or take a big pot, fill with about 500ml water and put the veggies into a strainer on top. Cover and steam until fork tender. (15-20 minutes)
- Let the veggies cool down.
- Beat the eggs. Set aside.
- Add one veggie at a time into a chopper or food processor, along with 1 Tbsp of shredded mozzarella and 1 Tbsp of shredded gouda and 2 Tbsp beaten egg. Season with salt and pepper.
- Blitz until a smooth mixture is formed and transfer to a bowl.
- Divide the cauliflower in two parts.
- For the first half of cauliflower, add the turmeric along with all the ingredients mentioned in step 4. Transfer to a separate bowl.
- For the second half, repeat step 4.
- Repeat step 4 for all the remaining veggies. Transfer into separate bowls.
- Heat a pan with some ghee/butter on medium low heat.
- Pour about a tablespoon of the veggie mixture into the pan and form a circle.
- Make several circles from different color of veggie mixes.
- Cook on each side for 4-5 minutes on low heat.
- Let cool down before storing into an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
Note: You can top the veggie bites with some yogurt, spicy chutney, tomatoes, onion and some chaat masala to satisfy your Indian street food cravings in a healthier way. (See picture below)