I used a variety of lunch boxes this week for my son and daughter. They’re different ages but usually eat the same amount of food. If my daughter, who is younger, doesn’t manage to finish all her lunch at school, I encourage her to finish it in the car or when she’s out playing in the garden.
I wanted to illustrate how to pack the different sizes efficiently and how certain foods or sandwiches require just enough space to keep them from moving around.
I bought these from @home for R100 a box. The colours are more adult-like and I particularly like that you can move the spacer around on the inside to adjust how large or small you need the space. The lid is extremely sturdy and locks all around, a bit cumbersome for little hands but they didn’t complain taking a new box to school!
These Savoury muffins were a hit with my son (age: 7 years) but a complete miss with my daughter (age: 5 years).
Cube about 1 cup of polony.
Add to a bowl.
Add about 1 heaped tablespoon of flour, 3 beaten eggs, 1 tsp of baking powder, a food handful of grated cheese, about a quarter cup of fresh cream and half a cubed tomato.
Season with salt, black and white pepper, Aromat and salt.
Pour into greased tins (square or round).
Bake at 180 degrees for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Garnish with chopped parsley.
Packaged with Woolworths drinking yoghurt, Organix boxed raisins and juice.
I tend to prefer using this lunchbox that I purchased from West Pack. They’re priced at R39 and come with 4 interchangeable and removable compartments. The cubes are small enough for younger children, and almost feels as if though it helps in portion control. The cubes may be removed to make room for rolls or sandwiches as I have done here with the base of a roll.
1) Open chicken sandwiches: Forsmay smoked chicken (shredded), mayonnaise, a drop of Siracha, quartered Rosa tomato, salt add freshly ground black pepper and chopped coriander. Mix and fill onto halved rolls.
I love the convenience of this smoked chicken as it requires no cooking. I think it would work fantastically in a toasted chicken mayo and as a no-fuss Saturday afternoon salad.
2) Pretzels (great, easy to eat snack) and fruit skewered onto cocktail perspex sticks (West Pack)
3) Yoghurt and Ultra Mel mini custard (Spar)
This doesn’t look like the most interesting lunch but for my son this is his favourite lunch!
Lamb chops off the bone with lettuce, tomato sauce and buttered bread. I always make a few pieces extra for dinner so I can turn them into sandwiches for lunch. (look to left-overs first so you minimise the wastage of perfectly usable items).
A friend inspired the yoghurt pot. She gives her kids yoghurt topped with muesli and fruit. Don’t forget to add a spoon in. (They loved this and asked for it the next day!)
I packed a small pack of cereal for them to add into their milk. My son got the concept but I think my daughter forgot. He loved the idea of adding it to his milk and felt like it was a bit of a cheat day!
Now that my son is able to read, it’s lovely to add in little notes that he can read himself. It’s a waste for the younger kids, so perhaps draw hearts or other recognisable shapes for them.
These sandwich boxes are from West Pack from the Sistema range. I’ve purchased a similar box from Addis but the quality was so inferior. The clips stopped closing after just 1 use! These are sturdy with a great clipping system.
I’m was slightly skeptical about giving my kids broccoli for lunch, but since they both asked for it, I thought I’d indulge their whims! I boiled spaghetti and made the white sauce the night before. I didn’t stir the sauce through, I spooned it over and nestled the little florets in. (They ate it but I didn’t feel as if it was nutritious enough
To make the white sauce:
Add equal quantities of butter and flour to a sauce pan. Using a whisk, cook for a few minutes on low heat. Add milk, a little at a time. Use a whisk to ensure that no lumps form. Season with salt and pepper and add cubes of cheese in. Allow to rest.
For the broccoli:
Wash and steam in a pot with a bit of water. Do not overcook; 3 minutes at the maximum. Drain and immerse into a container of iced water. This retains the colour. Add to a pot and season with salt and pepper. Stir in a knob of butter and remove from the heat.
The kids love popcorn occasionally so I added that in too.
Sa’eed loved the yoghurt pot with muesli and strawberry so I decided to add that in as well, in addition to the dried mango and Ultra Mel mini custard box.
I particularly like the lunchboxes.
They are collapsible lunchboxes that have a space for the cutlery on the lid. There is also a small container on the top for sauce or small snacks. They come in pink and blue and as you can see from the image, they flatten down completely so you can stack them. They are pricey so try to find them at the expo’s when they are sold at discounted prices. Sistema stocks a similar style with lift-up sections with cutlery included.
I find this lunchbox very convenient as a store-in-one.
Everything fits in well and large enough to house other containers (especially helpful if you’re packing chopped fruit)
I’ve packed the kids a buttered croissant today filled with lettuce and chicken cold meat. You can add cheese, lettuce and tomato if you’re opting for a vegetarian option.
I’ve added some chopped fruit and a gingerbread cookie from the Organix range as a treat.
Because the croissant was large I didn’t add in any more snacks and I wanted them to finish that instead of picking on the smaller items.
A few observations regarding these boxes:
- Vary the sizes according to how much you plan on giving your children for lunch. I’ve found that limiting the snacks on days that they have sandwiches (2 slices) or a croissant helps them finish all their lunch.
- The 4-compartment boxes aid in portion control and are great when packing items which need to be dipped (like nuggets, kebabs, tempura prawn). It keeps it all tightly packed with less chance of everything moving around.
- The deeper lunchboxes are great when serving pasta.
- Invest in one sandwich box. This is especially helpful for when you pack a 2-slice sandwich.
Until next week!