Editor's Note: I recently connected with Kim McCosker, of the Australian best-selling cookbooks and popular websites, 4 Ingredients. Vivacious and passionate, the 4 Ingredients team is run by busy moms who are committed to making healthy cooking easy and fun for the whole family. Today, Kim shares her best tips for getting kids to eat right at lunchtime.
With three active and growing boys ages 9, 6 and 3, lunchboxes are a part of my family’s daily routine! If you are like me, a busy mom intent on giving your kids delicious, nutritious lunches, here are some great ideas to get your children back to school packed with healthy foods.
I like these because they are quick, easy and economical and often help me make use of my leftovers.
Choose a lunchbox with individual compartments, or otherwise use lidded containers, kids loooove little containers of things! Then add some of these...
Apple slices: Served with peanut, cashew, or almond butter or then sprinkled with coconut or raisins. Or add thinly sliced orange and lemon slices with honey to the top.
Cheese cubes: With sliced turkey and grapes--for a lunchbox cheese board!
Crackers: Variety is the spice of life, so buy different crackers each week. Choose whole-grain crackers, of course.
Cottage cheese: Top crackers with cottage cheese, chopped toasted walnuts or raisins.
Fruit Salad: Is the ideal lunch box solution; it’s colorful, easy to eat and bursting with vitamins. Our faves are strawberries, grapes, apple and oranges (the juice of the orange prevents the apple from discoloring too)!
Leftovers: The trick is to think ahead and make a little extra at dinner for lunch the next day. Roast chicken becomes a yummy sandwich when cut and mixed with a finely chopped, dried apricot and mayonnaise, or it can be part of our sensational Chicken Carnival Cones! Turn leftover rice into a yummy fried rice, and Spaghetti Bol Scrolls cleverly uses any leftover spaghetti bolognaise sauce.
Lunchbox Sushi: This is a hit in our household! Instead of rice, we use whole-grain bread.
Pikelets: Oz’s version of a smaller pancake. (Editor's note: Use mini pancakes leftover from breakfast.) Take two, spread with nut butter and strawberry jam and watch them fly!
Yogurts: Add a separate container of wheat germ, granola, toasted coconut, berries, or chopped walnuts for a kid-pleasing crunchy topping.
What are your kids' favorite lunchbox foods?
About 4 Ingredients: Written by Rachael Bermingham and Kim McCosker, these bestselling cookbooks are jam packed full of quick, easy and very delicious recipes that you can easily whip up to WOW your friends and family, and ALL with only 4 or fewer ingredients.
You won't need to spend a fortune in measuring utensils. To use 4 Ingredients all you will need is 1 cup, 1 teaspoon and 1 tablespoon - it's cooking made real easy!
There are fantastic recipes for breakfast to dinner, entrees to desserts and lunchbox delights.
You will be super surprised and delighted with the fantastic dishes you can create using this easy to follow cookbook AND with ingredients mainly already found in your pantry!
If you are a busy person, or on a tight budget, have moved out of home, are still fine tuning your culinary skills, are going camping, are on the move and haven't a lot of room for a full pantry, OR you simply haven't had time to do the groceries, then this is the book for you!
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