· By Tara Tyrrell
Back To School - Top 5 Easy & Healthy Lunchbox Hacks
Parents around Australia – let’s breathe a collective sigh of relief... ahhhhh.
As much as we all LOVE Christmas holidays and all the joy of the festive season, there’s no doubt that we also all love the day the kids go back to school. We finally get to stop tearing out our hair and start breathing again without listening to “I’m booooored” every three minutes.
And to make the transition even easier, we’ve come up with some fantastic, easy and healthy lunchbox hacks that will make back to school a breeze!
Hack 1: Prepping Tips
One of the easiest hacks that will save you plenty of energy and stress of the morning rush is to pack lunches the night before. Put everything in the lunchbox and then place it in the fridge until morning (keeps everything cool and fresh). On Sundays you might even consider pre-cooking snacks and freezing them, as well as chopping up all your fruit and veges and storing them in a secure container in the fridge for easy access.
Hack 2: Great Meal Ideas
You want to make sure the main meal of the day at school is both filling and healthy – and teachers will be watching carefully in some cases to be sure. Sandwiches are always a fantastic option but they get boring. Instead, why not mix and match each day – on Monday have a sandwich, the next day opt for cheese and crackers, then Saladas, wraps, and finally Cruskets. Fillings could include ham and cheese, salad, cucumber and butter, chicken and mayonnaise, simple Vegemite or Nutella. The options are endless. If you want, you could even make your own sausage rolls, meatballs and burgers to send along.
Hack 3: Delicious Snacks
A vege box is always welcome at schools and you can include a variety of veges the kids love – including capsicum and carrot, cucumber and snow peas. Fruit boxes can include anything that is seasonal, and you can make your own delicious treats, such as muffins, slice, biscuits and scrolls. Yum!
Hack 4: Packing Tips
The easiest way to pack lunches is to invest in a bento box so the food is all in separate sections and doesn’t risk touching. You don’t want your watermelon to spend a summer morning next to a sandwich. If you don’t have a bento box, get some small storage containers or bags. Keep the cold foods together and you should consider putting any wet foods (such as frozen poppers and fruit) in an area away from soft foods.
Hack 5: Cleaning Tips
Now that you have your food options sorted, it’s time to work on keeping the lunchboxes clean. Remember, you should clean them out every day – it’s much easier to keep them from staining with rotten food if you get the kids to empty their lunchboxes the minute they walk through the door. Leaving it overnight risks a stink of half-eaten bananas taking over the lunchbox for the next week.
Lunchboxes can be tricky to clean, particularly if you have a bento box with many different sections. Your best bet is to use hot water, a scrub or antibacterial cloth, and get a little bit of vanilla essence if you have any smells to get rid of. You can get these with Clean HQ so why not stock up with a year’s worth.