It’s back to school time!! And it’s the second week of the autumn term already for us here in the UK. And the battle of the lunch boxes has begun. Most mums and dads struggle for healthy options for their child’s lunch boxes, especially if they are wheat and gluten intolerant. And because our little ones are still growing and their brains are developing they need a well balanced diet to ensure the get the nutrients their little bodies need to grow up healthy.
Some of you might have opted for the Government’s free school meals which are available to any full-time student who is still at school and eligible. https://www.myfreeschoolmeals.com/eligibility.
We tried the free school meal for the first term last school year and the kids did not get too well with it. But to be fair the foods they served up are ok – it encourages children to eat a healthy meal at least once a day. And it nice to know that the fruits and vegetables are sourced from local farmers, but they are not necessary organic.
However, I chose to let my kids take their own lunch to school for a few reasons. One, because they have multiply food intolerance and eczema, which flares up if they eat certain foods like wheat and gluten, certain grains, dairy- mainly cow’s milk, soy,foods which contains preservatives like nitrites and sulphates and refined sugars.
Taking their own food enables me to keep an eye on what they eat and drink – since I manage their eczema naturally with food and natural home remedies.
I’m forever creating new recipes for my kid’s lunch boxes – some they like and other they don’t. But that’s ok too.
Here are a few of my simply lunch box ideas and easy recipes. I hope you find it helpful.
My kids lunch box – (sourdough bread sandwiches) goat’s cheese sandwich for Hannah and chicken cucumber sandwich for Joseph, sorghum and buckwheat blueberry muffins, cucumber and carrots sticks, grapes and strawberries. They sometimes take homemade fruit and veg smoothie or water.
- 2 orgainc or free range chicken fillets
- Bread crumbs ( I usually make mine in advance and freeze)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp mixed herbs
- Coconut oil for greasing baking tray.
How to make it:
- Cut chicken into strips
- Season chicken stripes with salt, pepper and mixed herbs
- To make breadcrumbs – put any left over gluten free bread or cut off crust on a baking tray and toast in a hot oven until golden brown. Blend in a food processor to form bread crumbs.
- Toss seasoned chicken in the breadcrumbs lay out on a greased baking tray. and cook in a pre heated oven for about 18-20 mins until cooked.
Buckwheat feta goat’s cheese and broccoli savoury muffins.
For: 12 muffins
- ½ broccoli chopped
- 100 grams feta cheese
- 1 and ¼ cup buckwheat flour ~185-195 grams
- 2 tbsp tapioca flour ~20 grams
- 1 tsp baking powder (gluten free)
- ½ tsp bicarbonate soda
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp dried herbs of choice e.g. parsley, thyme, basil, or a blend
- 3 eggs
- 2 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin ~40mL
- ¾ cup hemp milk or almond milk, unsweetened ~185-190mL
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar ~20mL
- 4 tsp grated goat’s cheese – optional
- Preheat oven to 180 C and grease a 12-cup capacity muffin tray .Combine the hemp milk and the apple cider vinegar and set aside to form a sour non-dairy “buttermilk”.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the buckwheat flour, tapioca flour, ground flaxseed, baking powder, bicarbonate soda, salt, nutmeg and dried herbs.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, olive oil and the “buttermilk” mixture.
- Make a well in the centre of the dry flour mixture and pour in the wet mixture, stirring as you go, until evenly combined.
- Fold in the chop broccoli. Crumble up the feta cheese with your fingers and then gently fold this in, too.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the 12 muffin holes, smooth over the tops and sprinkle on the grated cheese.
- Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, or until the muffins have puffed up and feel firm to touch in the centre, and are turning a golden brown at the edges. Cool on a cooling rack.
Can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days, or can be freeze for at last two months.
Energy balls: date, cocoa & roasted coconut and pumpkin seeds.
A perfect lunch box snack.
MAKES 12 PORTIONS –COOKS IN 25 MINUTES
- 70 g pumpkin seeds
- 40 g roasted coconut ( or freshly grated coconut)
- 50 g whole almonds
- 40 g cashew nuts
- 80 g Pitted dates
- 1cm piece of fresh ginger – optional best for adults
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 heaped teaspoon raw cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ tablespoon raw honey
- 1 orange
- Blitz pumpkin seeds and roasted coconut in the processor with the almonds and dates (destone first), ginger (optional) then blitz until finely chopped.
- Add the cinnamon, cocoa powder and a pinch of sea salt.
- Blitz again until finely ground, then add the vanilla, honey and half the orange juice.
- Blitz for another 1 to 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides a couple of times, and adding an extra squeeze of orange juice to bind, only if needed – it takes a while for the mixture to come together.
- Divide into equal sizes and roll in the palm of the hands to form balls.
They can be kept happily for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container
How to roast coconut: Crack open a fresh dried coconut. Take out coconut flesh – using a knife take out the flesh from the shell. Using a sharp knife or potato peeler, thinly slice coconut into pieces. Place onto a baking tray and cook in a pre-heated oven at 180 for about 20-25 mins until brown. Can be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks.