Mums and dads across Australia are about to deal with the relentless dilemma of what to put in their children’s lunch boxes as the beginning of the school year approaches.
With that also comes the challenge of creating lunch boxes that are filled with food that’s healthy, easy to prepare and affordable.
Sarah Todd is a celebrity chef, kitchenware and food storage company ClickClack ambassador and mum to Phoenix.
She said convenient foods were the easy option, but not always the cheapest or healthiest.
Sarah shares her top tips on getting more bang for your buck when it comes to school meals.
NAKED LUNCH BOXES
“This is something my son and I have been doing for the last two years,” Sarah said.
"Everything in Phoenix’s lunch box has absolutely no packaging. It’s something we consciously work on together."
GET THE KIDS INVOLVED
It’s all about getting your children involved. Encourage them to prepare their own lunches.
Talk to them about what they would like to eat at school and discuss healthier food and drink choices.
This will help you save time, and they won’t complain about what’s in their lunch boxes, because they put it there!
TURN YOUR DINNERS INTO LUNCHES
If it’s a meal your kids love to eat, why not make a little extra?
Pop leftovers into a ClickClack container and send it with them to school the next day.
PLAN, PLAN, PLAN AHEAD
Waking up in the morning and thinking ‘what am I going to pack for the kids’ lunches?’ is a recipe for disaster.
On a Sunday morning, make some time to plan the week ahead.
Write a shopping list that actually meets your needs and doesn’t result in food wastage.
BUY IN BULK
You don’t need to purchase the carrots that are already cut up for you — buy a bag of them and chop them up yourself.
Same goes with pre-packaged items like popcorn or crackers and even things like cheese and yoghurt.
COOK IN BULK WITH A SUNDAY COOK-OFF
“Every Sunday we make Phoenix’s cookies for the week,” Sarah said.
"It’s become his signature. We create this together and use them throughout the week for school. We’ve even printed recipe cards out and gave them to all of his friends.”
PHOENIX'S CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
180g unsalted butter softened
3/4 cup (135g) brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups (300g) plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder, sifted
150g dark chocolate, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 180ºC.
2. Place the butter, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until pale and creamy. Gradually add the eggs and beat well.
3. Add the flour and baking powder and beat until a smooth dough forms. Fold through the chocolate.
4. Roll one tablespoon of the mixture into balls, place on baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper and press to flatten.
5. Bake for 12–15 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool on the trays.
INVEST IN REUSABLE CONTAINERS
If you had to add up how much you’re spending on plastic zip lock bags over the course of a year, you’ll quickly realise that investing in reusable containers is a brilliant idea, and it’s so much better for the environment too
ClickClack offers a fantastic and helpful range of containers to help make school lunches easier to pack and manage.
They’re not only chic and stylish, but they’re also handy and versatile. They’re BPA-free, airtight, easy to stack and easy to open.
ClickClack’s incredibly helpful range of containers is available at all quality homewares and kitchenware retailers across the country, including Kitchen Warehouse.
For more information, visit: www.clickclack.com