Monday, January 18, 2010

School lunch box ideas - 2010 version

Here, folks, is today's recipe: take one little Grumbles who is heading off to school, then mix well with life sans car. Add a generous handful of work days for Jorth, plus full time work for the Galumph, then stir well to combine. Pop into oven and bake until well done and organised. Serves a family of three (hopefully well!)

The monthly meal plan thing I have under control. But throw in work days for me, and school lunch boxes for Grumbles and it all starts to look a bit crazy. Last year I created an ideas list for school lunches - methinks it might be time to bring it out again, dust it off and create a new monthly menu plan that incorporates lunches. This way we save time and don't waste money on buying lunches or creating food waste.

So here is the updated ideas list for 2010. I've divvied it up into sandwhich style lunches, food for hot days, food for cold days, and snacks. And if anybody has other suggestions then tell all!


- Potato salad and cheese
- Pesto and marinated vegetables
- Dates and goats cheese on rye
- Carrot, cream cheese and sultanas
- Red cabbage coleslaw and cheese
- Hummous with cumminy grated carrot
- Blue cheese with tomato and rocket
- Curried egg salad and rocket
- Marinated peppers, eggplant, roasted sweet potato and feta
- Chutney and tasty cheese
- Olive tapenade and roasted vegie slices
- Salad with beetroot dip
- Roasted tomatoes with basil, oregano, rocket and feta
- Beany Sloppy Joes with lettuce
- Avocado, lettuce and smoked tofu
- Fruit bread with cream cheese
- Breakfast burritos
- Left over roasted vegies with mayo and rocket
- Veggie burger patties with salad (or their favourite toppings)

Now, keep in mind that you don't need to just use bread. Oh, no, siree! You can use wraps, or pitas, or bagels, or baguettes, or tortillas or any other sort of carby goodness. Mmmmm... carbs! Best to go for wholemeal and whole grained bread, as they will have a lower GI. Lower GI foods are digested more slowly, which means the brain receives glucose at a nice steady rate, aiding in concentration - perfect for school kids, rather than giving them a bit fat high GI glucose rush, which may leave them tired, irritable and unable to concentrate.

Food for hot summer days:
- Chilled soups, such as avocado and buttermilk; Moroccon carrot; chilled Borscht; watermelon and berry
- Rice paper rolls with dipping sauces
- Nori rolls with soy sauce
- Roasted vegetable frittatas with yummy extras mixed in: pestos, red onions, feta, olives
- Watermelon and feta salad
- Bean salad made with tinned beans and blanched green beans
- Pita pockets stuffed with salad and felafals
- Corn fritters with avocado dip and tomato relish
- Pasta salad with olives, feta and roasted cherry tomatoes
- Chilled dips with turkish bread and julienned vegetables
- Spicy brown rice pilafs with chilled yoghurt
- Couscous salads with dressings
- Morrocan carrot salad with farro
- Fattoush
- Roasted vegetables with couscous and tzatziki

Food for chilly winter days:
- Refried beans with plain corn chips
- Cheese fondue in a Thermos with blanched vegetables and bread for dipping
- Dhal with wholemeal garlic roti
- Grumble's favourite soups, such as minestrone, curried pea and lettuce, Indian-style tomato and lentil, potato and leek, Thai pumpkin, tomato and rice, spicy carrot; vegetable and barley
- Serve the soups in a thermos, with something to dip with on the side: savoury muffins, bread rolls, parmesan and olive pinwheels, cheesy toast fingers etc
- Heated pastas in a Thermos, such as gnocchi or penne, with your child's favourite sauce
- Toasted English muffins with pizza toppings
- Samosas with raita
- Vegetable pasties with sauce
- Warmed oriental noodles in the thermos
- Reheated wholemeal pizza slices
- Warmed up casseroles with cheesy or herby dumplings
- Pasta bakes, heated up and put into a Thermos
- Vegetables curried with brown rice
- Coconut and chickpea stew with bread on the side

- Fruit, obviously, based on what is in season
- Fruit salads
- Dried fruits
- Dips with carrots, capsicum and cucumber slices
- Home made museli bars
- Fruity muffins
- Savoury muffins such as sundried tomato, spinach and feta
- Cherry tomatoes with cubes of cheese
- Home made biscuits that are light on the sugar and heavy on the oats
- Celery with cream cheese
- Slices of gherkins with cheese

Wowsers - what a list! I'm getting hungry just thinking about it. I think the key to school lunches this year is just being organised, and doing as much prep as possible the night before, which hopefully will help smooth our journey out the door in the morning. Wish me luck ;)


  1. Wow - this list makes me hang my head in shame thinking about the marmite and cheese sandwiches my kids get in their lunchbox. I'm absolutely going to print this list off and pin it to the noticeboard in the kitchen so that I too can make gourmet school lunches!

    Thanks for taking the time to blog this list of yummy stuff.

  2. Melinda, I'm glad to be of service!

  3. Yum Yum! I'm stealing your list too ;)

  4. Jenny4:14 pm

    Looks great, Jorth. Do you deliver?
    I'm gonna pinch that list. And find some of those nice lookin' books, too.
    I got Julie Stafford's Vegetarian Cooking from the library recently -it's got some yummy, simple things in it.

  5. Fab list. Thanks for the inspiration! I am dreading with a capital "D" the return of the school lunch box dilemma for this year. (Signed Mother of v. picky eater who will strangely enough eat artichokes and other unusual (for kiddies) items when the mood takes....Sigh....

  6. Anonymous8:08 am

    I *knew* there was a good reason why your blog landed in my google reader!! This list is fantastic! Thank you.

  7. yum! my little one doesn't start school till next year but i'll have to remember your big list! I have the leith's vegetarian bible and it's amazing but your cover is flasher than mine! I've made lots of different things from there and I love it when I have vegies I'm not sure what to do with, just open it up, track down the vegie and so many options!!!!!!!!!!!



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