Make the most of this long weekend and get your pantry and freezer stocked to make better lunchboxes easier.
Cook and freeze*:
- mini muffins
- mini cupcakes
- slices (healthy ANZAC slice)
- baked cheese and spinach scrolls
- date and coconut balls boosted with a protein powder, maca powder or whatever you like
- meatballs or other favourite dinner that can make it over to the thermos
- mixed cut fruit: watermelon, grapes and oranges all freeze pretty well
- mixed cut veg
- frozen berries (good to add to plain yoghurt)
- poached chicken frozen in chicken broth (See note below)
- cheesy bites or other baked hand pie.
- Divide and pop into containers recess snack packs of combinations of pepitas / popcorn / crackers / unsalted corn chips / dried apples / dates or other dry treats. This is a great way to introduce some variety into lunchboxes as well as avoid excessive packaging (#waronwaste). You can have these in containers and empty them into lunchboxes if your kid prefers a fuss-free lunchbox.
- Stock up on good thermos fillers such as udon noodles, individual miso paste packets.
- Kale / beetroot / zucchini / sweet potato chips (keep crispy in an airtight box using silicon sachets found in shoe boxes or some pantry items like tortillas)
Other good prep you could do to help things move in the morning:
Morning smoothie baggies: freeze a mixture of fruit/veg/oats that can just get thrown into the blender with some milk and yoghurt for a quick breakfast on the run.
* Freezing Tips:
Once completely cooled, mini muffins, frittatas, cupcakes, hand bites, scrolls etc can all just get put into a large freezer bag. Add to lunchbox in the morning and by the time recess comes around, they will have defrosted.
Fruit and veg can get frozen into mini freezer bags. Empty them into lunchboxes and reuse the bags.
Once chicken broth has chilled completely in the fridge it takes on a jelly-like consistency, making it easy enough to freeze into thermos sized portions in zip-lock bags. I freeze the chicken in with the broth and the whole lot can get heated at the same time, then put in the thermos. I suggest taking them out of the freezer and into a container in the fridge overnight to get the process going.
Use good quality zip lock bags, and label with contents and date every single time.
I totally love the feeling of a freezer full of things I can just grab and chuck into the lunchbox, so I’m going to channel that and hope for the enthusiasm to bake up a storm this weekend in preparation for Term 1. I hope you guys do too.
Good luck and enjoy that last weekend of freedom!