Grab a light jacket, a water bottle and lace up your walking shoes to make…
“Grab ’n Go to school…don’t forget your lunch!”
How many times have you shouted at the kids as they dash out the door for school …“don’t forget your lunch!”?
That routine is fast marching towards us with the new school year around the corner.
If your lunchbox preparations are anything like mine—rip the fridge door open, grab the cheese and crackers*, toss them into a container and then declare “Voila! What a parent!” then there is hope for us yet.
For parents thinking about doing Doctor Who-level feats of bending spacetime to make it out the door with good fuel for your kids, relax, I have a solution for you.
Finding the ‘sweet spot’, excuse the pun, when it comes to getting a healthy lunchbox that doesn’t waste food, time or money, is a real challenge for many of us.
That’s where the Fresh Tastes Waste-free resources are just what the Dr Who Lunchbox ordered.
The Fresh Tastes initiative website is a one-stop-spot for ideas to help families have nutritional, waste-free lunches. The best part is, the ideas are quick, cost-effective and tasty!
So, here are some tips to help you out with healthier lunch boxes this school year.
Keep it simple
My favourite resource by Fresh Tastes is the ‘Grab and Go School Lunchbox Shopping List’—a list of lunch and snack ideas that are simple and cost-effective.
It also highlights the snacks that require no…as in zero, zip, nothing!…or only a tiny bit of preparation (that being said, the most time-consuming prep on their list includes ‘boiling an egg’ and ‘peeling a carrot’), making it easy to work into busy schedules.
The list comes in a useful tick-box form that can be printed and taken to the supermarket or stuck to the fridge as a handy reminder during the week.
On the other side of the list is this nifty grid (see above) to help you mix and match foods from five different categories that are sure to keep the energy levels up and brains switched on.
Examples of packed lunches using the grid are:
- a tuna and avocado wrap, carrot sticks with hummus, low-fat yoghurt and a banana.
- an egg and salad sandwich on wholegrain bread, grapes and carrot sticks.
Honestly, the combinations are not only easy but endless.
Keep it environmentally sustainable
Not to be a downer, but with climate change becoming an ever more pressing issue and the effects of it now obvious in terrifying ways (who else has recently been bombarded with Facebook ads for designer P2 masks?), it’s important to pack school lunches in an environmentally friendly way.
Reusable containers, drink bottles and cutlery help to minimise waste, while fabric or beeswax wraps are an environmentally sustainable way of keeping sandwiches fresh.
Yoghurt can also be bought in large tubs and then divided into smaller containers throughout the week—this not only helps the environment but is cost-saving as well.
A lot of fruit and veggies, such as bananas, mandarins and baby cucumbers helpfully come in their own natural packaging, which makes for snacks that are healthy and eco-conscious.
Now, I can’t promise you that the school year is going to go smoothly (nor that we won’t be hit with wild weather again), but having the resources needed to create cheap, healthy and sustainable school lunches with minimal effort is a pretty good start.
*I was very excited to see that cheese and wholegrain crackers made the Fresh Tastes cut, maybe not as an entire meal in itself, but still there! Yay!
This editorial was created in partnership with Fresh Tastes. For more information on sponsored partnerships, click here.