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Stress-free school lunches

As each school morning rolls around we’re faced with the same dilemma – what to put in the kids’ lunch boxes. Here are 15 ideas for smart, healthy and litterless lunches

A litterless lunch means once lunch is eaten, the only things left are compostable items, such as banana peels or apple cores, and storage containers that can be washed and reused. Here are 15 ideas for smart, healthy and litterless lunchboxes:

  • Kick-start the year by stocking up on small lidded containers and quality drink bottles. Stainless steel containers are better than plastic if you’re concerned about risk from chemicals such as bisphenol A and phthalates.
  • Buy or make your own reusable sandwich wraps. Click here for step by step instructions on how to make your own washable cloth wraps.
  • Reuse small peanut butter, jam and honey jars to transport yummy homemade dips and vege sticks including cucumber, baby corn, cherry tomatoes, and zucchini.

Easy school lunches

  • Sushi is an excellent way of getting filling carbs (rice), veges (cucumber or carrot slices) egg, avocado and other such goodies into your children. Make sushi rolls and wrap them in cling film. Kept airtight they’ll keep in the fridge overnight, then slice them. Adding a little vinegar to the rice decreases its pH and helps inhibit potentially harmful micro-organisms.
  • Make the most of late summer apples by borrowing a friend’s dehydrator. Go crazy making your own tasty apple chews.
  • Free-range boiled eggs and fairtrade bananas are good in so many ways; healthy, filling and already wrapped!
  • Bake and freeze double lots of fruit or savoury muffins using re-usable individual silicone muffin cases.

Easy school lunches

Easy school lunches

  • Involving your children in making their own food means they’ll be more likely to enjoy eating it – and less inclined to bin it without a moment’s thought to the effort that went into its preparation. Line up the bread and a choice of fillings and have your older kids put together their own sandwich combos. Satisfy hungry teens with long bread rolls filled with shredded lettuce, grated carrot and cheese and tasty leftovers from the night before.
  • Fill small containers with pasta salads made with silly pasta shapes.
  • Encourage your children to bring home any uneaten food so any peelings can be composted and you can see what they’re not eating.

For more ideas and information, check out The Good Green Lunchbox: Tasty, Healthy Lunches and Picnics, New Holland 2010, $20, and Healthy Family, Happy Family by Karen Fisher, Exisle 2010, $40.

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