Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Teachers Pet......

The teachers at our local kindy (where Charlie currently attends) are,.......well, to be honest, a bit scary.

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?!


  1. Gold star with a smiley face! Good stuff Lucy...

  2. Those Apple Bran Muffins sound good I am going to have to try them thanks for sharing:)

  3. Oh yay!! Good for you!
    Fantastic ideas...I'm going to pinch the flapjack one, thanks. :) xx

  4. Oh wow! Cool stuff. Fritz? Apparently that is what we call devon. I have a very funny story about an Adelaidian living in Canberra needing some Fritz. Must remember to tell that on the blog one day ....

  5. Fritz is devon I think. Luncheon meat. Spam. Processed bulls knacker and sawdust I would imagine......the very thought makes me want to hurl, but the kids love it. And it is considered a healthy snack at kindy? Ha! Go figure!

  6. I cannot dare go down the fritz/devon/straz path with my kids. I am sure straz was hyping my eldest up and she loved the stuff with tomato sauce for dipping.

    I have received compliments from the kinder teacher for the little zucchini cakes I put in the lunch bag.

  7. Astrid, can I ask you for your the little zucchini cakes recipe? Please? (My email is top right, under the contact me tab.)

  8. No prob - will get it to you later today. If I don't, then just hassle.

    Oh, they are egg based. Are you allowed egg at your kinder?

  9. GOLD STAR! Some great ideas here!

  10. I get a gold star from our preschool too, they love Zander's lunches :)

    Have you tried cheese & corn muffins? They are super easy, easy to modify & taste great.

  11. Sarah, can you email me or FB me the recipe babe? They sound yum!

  12. Go Sarah's cheese and corn muffins Luce, they rock.

    I am soooo dreading the beginning of packed lunches. Dum de dum.

  13. Wow! I am beyond impressed! I love the roasted beans. I put cashews in Anna's lunch a lot (not allowed at Danny's school). I also pack her yogurt ALL the time (she never tires of it) and fruit and nuts or granola. I want to make my own granola but haven't gotten around to it yet. I almost never do sandwiches. I'll do mozzarella cheese sticks and fruit and nuts (do you see a theme?) and granola bars (high sugar in the bars, tho). They also like the little mini carrots sometimes, tho can't get away with that too often. If berries are in season, I'll throw those in a little baggie. They're expensive, but so healthy. Oh, and little grape tomatoes.

  14. You are such a good Mommy Lucy! I love all of these suggestions, so thanks for sharing! You will be so glad that you fed your kids nutritious foods! I'm sure it shows in their school work and their energy. :)

    I'm thinking I want to make some of these for ME. Specifically the Apple Bran Muffins! Y-U-M.

  15. Awesome, I haven't started with preschool/kindy/daycare yet, but I'll keep l those tips in mind.

    Here's one that my best friend who is a kinder teacher told me. A kid in her class takes either day old cheeseburgers or nuggets to school each day. Another has a lunch box full of choc chip biscuits, and another has 2 kinds of breakfast bars. Healthy no?

  16. Good job on the Gold Star. My Mom has never got one of those. I didn't want to show my lunch to the teachers. I always felt they would eat it all up! LOL
    Have a good day...:)

  17. So much good stuff here! I'm heading over to the bulk bins to see if I can find some fava beans!

    Those flapjacks look yummy, too. And something I can veganize!

    Have you ever been to the Vegan Lunchbox blog? Loads of healthy ideas for kids AND adults!

  18. Wow, good job Lucy! It's tough to get the pre school teachers' approval! Gold star for you from me too xx

  19. Just popped across this post today and wanted to say thankyou for the fabulous lunchbox ideas just when I needed them!

    (I like making choc chip and chickpea cookies a la jessica Seinfeld and Banana bread, no main ideas as Abi likes sandwiches..)


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