Coffs Coast Health Club talks about Lunch Box Nutrition

Lunch box nutritionHealthy, no-fuss lunches

Lunch box nutrition

Pack a school lunch with a healthy punch for your kids with these healthy lunch box tips and lunch recipes that beat cheese and vegemite sandwiches any day.

Making lunch every day of the school year can be tiresome for mothers (and kids) so remember to mix up your menus and keep trying out fresh ideas to keep your child interested in the healthy treats you’re tucking inside their lunch box.

Sandwiches can get very boring, but you can mix things up by using lebanese bread, wraps, rice cakes, English muffins, crispbreads and cracker biscuits with a mix of nutritious fillings. Why not try:

  • A sliced boiled egg wrapped in cling wrap along with some lettuce leaves to build your sandwich when you are ready to eat it
  • Leftover roast meat with grated carrot, chopped lettuce and chutney or tomato sauce
  • Grated cheese and chopped celery, or carrot
  • Cream cheese and sultanas

 

Healthy lunch box idea: Corn pikelets recipe

These wholemeal corn pikelets will jazz up any lunch box.  Whether they’re for recess or the main event, these fibre-rich pikelets taste great, and give children the energy they need to power through the school day.

These corn pikelets are great for breakfast or just anytime you need a nutritious snack. You can triple the batch and freeze some for later.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 cup wholemeal self-raising flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • butter to fry and spread

Method:

In a bowl, whisk together flour, egg and milk to make a batter.

Stir in corn kernels.

Heat frying pan and add 2 teaspoons of butter. When sizzling, drop in tablespoons of mixture.

Turn over and cook the other side.

Spread with butter.

Notes

  • This batter is best used straight away.
  • You can make a larger batch of these and freeze them for later.
  • I tried using margarine to spread on these and I have to say that the butter tasted so much better.
  • For a sweeter taste add 2 tsp of honey. Reduce the milk a touch to compensate for the extra liquid.
  • This recipe was created by Jennifer Cheung for Kidspot, Australia’s best recipe finder.

Healthy lunch box idea: Mini quiches with hidden veg recipe

Do your kids love quiche in their lunch box, but you shudder at the fat levels? These cute mini quiches are fast, full of protein and bursting with (sneakily hidden) veggies. Even better, you can use last night’s leftover vegetables to fill them.

These cheesy mini quiches will be popular with your kids – and they need never know that they are packed full of healthy vegetables that have been pureed and sneakily hidden in the egg and cheese mixture. Yum!

Serving Size:

Makes 24 mini quiches

Special Info:

Nut free

Ingredients:

  • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ½ cup mashed potato
  • ½ cup mashed or pureed carrot
  • 1 cup grated tasty cheese

Method:

Place pastry sheets on a work surface to defrost for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 180°C.

Select a 24 small hole cup cake pan or 2 x 12 hole pan. Cut 12 holes from each pastry sheet with a scone cutter that is slightly larger than the holes. Carefully push pastry circles into pan (no need to grease). Divide cheese between pastry cases. Whisk eggs and milk together in a jug, then whisk in the mashed vegetables. Pour egg mixture into pastry cases to just below the top. Keep whisking the mixture to make sure the vegies are evenly distributed. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden.

Notes

  • These are a version of Messy cheese pies with the added bonus of hidden leftover mashed vegetables. I had potato and carrot in the fridge, but you could use other yellow/orange vegetables (pureed pumpkin, sweet potato, corn, yellow zucchini)
  • Mini quiches freeze well; just reheat in the oven to make sure the pastry is crisp.
  • Recipe created by Melissa Hughes for Kidspot.

Healthy lunch box idea: Vegetable and chicken sausage rolls recipe

 

Hot or cold, these chicken and vegetable sausage rolls will disappear out of the lunch box in minutes. Deceptively nutritious, these sausage rolls combine kid-friendly flavours with hidden vegetables, protein, fibre – and even omega-3. Beat that for a healthy school lunch.

Ingredients:

  • 8 Pre-prepared frozen puff pastry sheets
  • 1kg chicken mince
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons LSA, (a mix of ground linseed, sunflower and almond kernels), optional
  • 1 cup flaked quinoa or amaranth, optional
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1kg vegetables
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 egg for brushing pastry, cracked and mixed lightly

Method:

Pre-heat your oven on high (around 210°C).

Chop up all the vegetables as small and fine as you can.

In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients except for the puff pastry and the extra egg (which will be used to brush the pastry). Massaging all of the ingredients together can be the best way to make sure they are well combined.

After the puff pastry is defrosted, cut a sheet in half and lay in front of you as a long rectangle.

Using a tablespoon lay out the sausage roll mix in a long line at the bottom of the sheet, just remembering not to make it too thick. Keep in mind you will need to roll the puff pastry over the sausage roll mix so that there are two layers of pastry overlapping by at least 1cm.

Before rolling up the mix in the pastry, brush some egg as ‘glue’.  Keep the roll whole, brush with more egg on top and place on a tray with baking paper.  Keep in the fridge.  Repeat this process until all of the mix is used up.

With a sharp, thin bladed knife, cut the logs of sausage rolls into smaller pieces. Each roll makes 7 or 8 bite sized sausage rolls.

Lay each piece 2cm apart on a tray lined with baking paper.  Don’t try and squeeze too many on one tray as they will steam rather than bake and you won’t get a golden colour from the pastry.

Bake on high for 15min, until the pastry starts to golden then turn the oven down to 180°C.

Depending on the strength of your oven, you may need to move trays around from top to bottom and keep an eye on the bottom of the sausage rolls that they don’t become too dark.

Notes:

  • The trick is to keep the size of the vegetables in the sausage rolls as small as possible – bring out the food processor from the cupboard if need be!
  • Adding LSA (a mix of ground linseed, sunflower and almond kernels) which is high in fibre, protein and Omega 3 makes these far healthier than most sausage rolls, along with adding quinoa flakes rather than just breadcrumbs which is high in fibre and protein.
  • The following vegetables work well in these sausage rolls: onions, garlic, carrots, celery, zucchini, mushrooms, broccoli, eggplant, corn, peas, leek amd spinach.
  • You can also use the following but they will need to be boiled first so they are soft – sweet potato, celeriac and pumpkin.
  • This makes a big batch (over 100 small pieces) so you can freeze them and bring them out at times when you don’t feel like cooking but want your kids to have vegetables.
  • This recipe was created by Sonia Anthony from Chef Sonia & You for Kidspot, Australia’s best recipe finder.

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