School lunch box... 4-weeks sorted!

I was inspired by someone who said they had a school lunch menu pinned to their pantry door.  I've menu planned for dinner for a long, long time and I don't know why it never occurred to me to do the same for school lunches.  Especially as school lunches can be so hard to come up with when you're still tackling breakfast.

Today I sat with the kids and talked about what they like to eat at school. You know, it can't be fiddly or fall-aparty or stinky or weird-looking... they have to be able to eat it quickly (the monkey bars are calling).  For me,  it has to be nutritious, nut-free (for school), and of course, FAILSAFE.

These days we are eating moderate salicylates/amines,  not just low, so you'll see us eating a lot of carrots and cucumbers.  Obviously,  swap this for other vegies that you are allowed to eat. (Eg green beans to dip into dips)

What I did first was decide on the 4 sections. 1. Fruit (which they eat at their desk during the morning),  2. Veg/Legume (morning recess), 3. Main meal (usually a protein) and 4. Dessert (morning recess or lunch).  Every day I have written 'piece of fruit' which will always be a pear, just-ripe banana or Golden or Red Delicious Apple.  (Like I said,  we can do moderate chemical these days... and maybe one day you will, too!!)  Then,  I wrote everything we could think of that they would like to find in their lunchboxes.  Okay,  the kids had actually lost interest by this stage,  so I decided what they would like.  The other thing I tried to incorporate every day was one 'Hidden Nutrition' item.  They think they're just eating a muffin,  but they don't know it'll have hidden choko or swede purée in it.  They think the muesli bar is a chocolatey treat,  but they don't know it's got super-foods like quinoa hidden in there.  Another piece kids?  Sure.  (I've marked those Hidden Nutrition foods with an asterisk.)

Obviously,  the wheels are going to fall off this once in a while.  We might have to shuffle days around.  But that's okay because I won't be staring at the pantry trying to come up with ANYTHING,  I will just be checking the list and swapping for SOMETHING.

Everything on this list is homemade, unless I've written 'commercial' beside it.  For most of these I have a recipe on this blog.  If not,  I'll try to very quickly. 


WEEK ONE

Monday  

  • Piece of fruit 
  • Carrot and celery sticks with Tsatziki     
  • Deli Chicken Sandwich with Lettuce  
  • Muesli Bar*

Tuesday

  • Piece of fruit 
  • Carrot sticks with Hommus    
  • Vegie Pikelets* 
  • Rice Crackers (commercial)

Wednesday

Thursday

  • Piece of fruit
  • Carrot and Cucumber sticks
  • Foccacia* with Hommus
  • Piece of Cheese wedge

Friday

  • Piece of fruit
  • Fresh Coconut pieces
  • Rice Malt Syrup or Pear Jam Sandwiches
  • Muesli Bar *

WEEK TWO

Monday

Tuesday

  • Piece of fruit
  • Kidney Beans (commercial)
  • Vegie Pikelets*
  • Rice Crackers (commercial)

Wednesday

  • Piece of fruit
  • Ants on a log
  • Pizza*
  • Cheese wedge (commercial)

Thursday

  • Piece of fruit
  • Green beans
  • Sausage or roast beef sandwiches with pear sauce
  • Muffin*

Friday

  • Piece of fruit
  • Carrot and cucumber sticks
  • RMS or Jam Sandwiches
  • Muesli bar*

WEEK THREE

Monday

Tuesday

  • Piece of fruit
  • Carrot and celery sticks with tsatziki
  • Vegie Pikelets*
  • Rice Crackers (commercial)

Wednesday

  • Piece of fruit
  • Ants on a log
  • Foccacia* and hommus
  • Cheese wedge (commercial)

Thursday

  • Piece of fruit
  • Fresh coconut pieces
  • Deli Chicken sandwiches with lettuce
  • Muesli Bar*

Friday 

  • Piece of fruit
  • Kidney beans (commercial)
  • RMS or Jam Sandwiches
  • Muffin*

Week Four 

Monday

  • Piece of fruit
  • Carrot and celery sticks and tsatziki
  • Cheese and salad sandwich
  • Muesli Bar*

Tuesday

  • Piece of fruit
  • Kidney beans
  • Foccacia* and Hommus
  • Chips or Pretzels (commercial)

Wednesday

  • Piece of fruit
  • Chick Nuts
  • Deli Chicken sandwich with lettuce
  • Muffin*

Thursday

  • Piece of fruit
  • Ants on a log
  • Vegie Pikelets*
  • Muesli Bar*

 Friday

  • Piece of fruit
  • Green beans
  • RMS or Jam Sandwich
  • Cheese wedge (commercial)
Okay...  you're seeing a lot of the same foods... over and over again.  Right?  Well...  yes and no.  I've shuffled so that the kindergarten kid who only needs a lunchbox once per week, does not get the same lunch twice.  Same with his snacks which are 3 times per week. 

These are the foods that I make and my kids like to eat, not yours.  So you're going to just have to work yours out for yourself...  but maybe you'd like to come up with a few foods and just substitute from my list above.  Eg everywhere I say "Carrot and cucumber sticks with tsatziki", you might put "Green Beans with Pear Sauce".  (ewww, why would you have that??)  Or wherever I put "Deli Chicken sandwiches", you might say 'left over dinner' sandwiches.  Ants on a log might become mini-quiches. 

Here are a few more to add to the list of ideas anyway:

Sandwich fillings:


Philly cheese with really finely chopped celery.  (they love this)  (Sometimes I trim off the crusts and then roll the slices with this in it and make cigar-size rolls.  Just a different way to present the usual.)
Lettuce and Failsafe Mighty Mayo
Egg and Mighty Mayo
Cashew-spread (for those not worried about nut-free)
Chick Chick Burgers


Snacks:

Poko Loaf
Pear Leather
Vanilla or Carob Custard
Cookies and biscuits
Crumpets
Scones
Baked doughnuts
Cup cakes
Fruit and custard pillows


And you're still wondering what on earth is Ants on a Log?  It's simply our  name for....  celery, filled with Philly cheese and sprinkled with poppy seeds.  Ants on a log.

Tsatziki I achieve by buying Greek Yogurt with no additives, add a sprinkle of citric acid, salt, peeled and finely diced cucumber.  Mix and taste to get get it right.

Come Winter, I expect I will be adding some Pumpkin soup or hot noodles to the repertoire.  But this will do us for today.

6 comments:

  1. Thankyou for taking the time and effort for all us out there who dont have time to do what you do, wonderful idea about the meal planner for school. I usually do the meal planner for dinner but not school lunches which I will from now on. We are on moderate sals, amines now so the kids are enjoying a few more foods again. Thanks again. Christie

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  2. Thanks for your ideas. We have some kids on moderate failsafe also, as well as being gluten free and avoiding most dairy. Basically, I find its GET ORGANISED OR DIE when it comes to school lunches and funny diets!! I appreciate some extra tips here, thankyou!!! Also, at the beginning of term, I give their teacher a few snap lock bags of failsafe-ish lollies, and a few g/f cup cakes to freeze for when other kids bring sweets/ cup cakes to school for birthdays- an increasingly regular occurrence these days!

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  3. I have a question - what is RMS?

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  4. Mel.J on the fisr week I wrote it in full... I was too lazy to type it out again. :D It's Rice Malt Syrup. If you don't know, it's very like honey in taste and pour. My daughter loves it! I have to go to a larger Coles store to get it (in the health food aisle)and we go through about 1 jar per week.

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  5. Thanks! Sorry, I mised that :)

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  6. Wow - some great ideas...my daughter has been at school for 6 months and I think she will appreciate having some variety in her school lunch - thanks so much!

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Please leave your comments. Especially suggestions to make these meals as scrummy as possible.