Sorry, but they just are. They are old school kindy teachers who have the ability to make me feel like I am four years old again, and just about to be in trouble for something. They have all mastered the art of the disapproving raised eye-brow gaze.......
So, you can imagine my feelings of utter relief when Miss Rosemary encountered me on my way out of kindy the other day, and ingratiatingly suggested that I, the fairly haphazard Mummy to three, would be most welcome to present on how to do up healthy snacks for kindy lunchboxes, because apparently the kindy teachers all felt that "Charlie's Mum always manages very healthy but very tempting lunchboxes".
Ooooer, I feel like such a smug teachers pet now! Gold star to me!
Anyway, obviously it has promoted a blog post, to illustrate my mainstays of items that I cram in a lunchbox, that keep well, that the kids will actually eat, and that meet all the kindy (and primary school) healthy food guidelines. (Fark, it's a minefield, it really is.)
- Rice crackers (but only the plain variety....the fancy flavorings have numbers. Scary numbers. Not a good sign!)
- Fruit - I avoid "boring" fruit like apples & oranges, and give them grapes, strawberries and cut up melon, perhaps a whole banana or peeled kiwi fruit, or a pot of cut pineapple. Mandarins are a current fave.
- Chunks of cheese & chunks of celery or cucumber threaded onto toothpicks like a little kebab.
- Chunks of fritz
Roasted Fava / Broad Beans - These are a really good protein hit. They are low in fat, and a really good nut alternative.
I can find them occasionally at continental delis, but it is so easy to make up a big batch: they keep really well, and then I put a big handful in a bag for a lunchbox snack......
250g dried split fava/broad beans
2 tsp salt
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1. Soak the broad beans for 6-8 hours or overnight.
2. Preheat the oven to 180`c
3. Drain the beans, rinse well, place in a saucepan and cover with about 600mls of cold water.
4. Bring the beans to a boil over a medium-high heat and boil for about 8 minutes, just to soften them.
5. Drain the beans and allow to cool a little.
6. In a large bowl, mix the salt and the olive oil, then toss the beans in this mixture
7. Spread the beans out on the baking tray and place in the oven to roast for about 25-30 minutes or until golden.
8. Allow to cool on the tray. Once totally cool, store in an airtight container.
Apple Bran Muffins - These are fat free and very low GI, as well as being egg and nut free. And high in fibre.
1 cup sultanas
1 cup soft brown sugar
1 cup All Bran cereal
1 cup milk
1 cup self raising flour
1 apple, peeled, cored and grated
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. Place sultanas, brown sugar, All Bran and milk in a large bowl, and combine well.
2. Cover and leave to soak for at least 4 hours (I leave it overnight)
3. Preheat oven to 180`c
4. Add flour and apple and cinnamon and stir well to combine
5. Spoon the batter into mini muffin cases
6. Bake for about 40 minutes
7. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 5 mins before moving onto a wire rack to cool
8. These keep well (4 days) in an air-tight container
Flapjacks - These are the lunchbox staple of my English youth. My kids adore them. Very low GI....
75g of butter or margarine
60g soft brown sugar
1 tablespoon of golden syrup
175g of rolled oats
1. Put the butter, sugar and golden syrup into a saucepan and stir over a low heat until it has all combined and dissolved together.
2. Add the rolled oats and mix thoroughly.
3. Press into a well greased slice tin
4. Bake in the centre of a moderate oven at 180`c for 20 minutes or until evenly golden brown.
5. Mark into fingers whilst warm.
6. Allow to become almost cold in the tin before removing. Can be stord for abouot 5 days in an airtight container.
See? I AM a teachers pet!
I have 15 more years of packing lunchboxes. So if anyone else has any
bright ideas, please, let me know?!