Healthy lunchbox ideas for school

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The school year is nearly here and it’s time to shake up your lunchbox routine and include some healthy lunchbox ideas and recipes. Getting going in the morning can be tricky at the best of times. But when you have kids running around it can feel like utter chaos. Trying to get everyone clothed, fed, packed, and off to school. This lack of time means it can be tempting to turn to less than healthy options like pre-packaged foods to fill up our children’s lunchboxes. Whilst we believe ‘everything in moderation’, nothing beats yummy home-baked snacks.

With just a little bit of planning and food prep (either the night before or on the weekend), you can ensure that your child is heading off with healthy lunchbox snacks for school. Here are some great, easy recipes you can make as a family ahead of time. They are all great lunchbox fillers that are not only tasty but nutritious, giving your children the brain fuel they need to make the most of their school day.

Start the school year with these healthy lunchbox ideas

Chocolate chip muesli bars

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Muesli bars are a fantastic grab and go option packed full of nutrients. The only catch is that many of the store-bought versions are also loaded with refined sugar, preservatives, and additives.

This recipe swaps out the bad with the good to make this nutrient-dense snack much healthier. The chocolate chips and honey give these healthy bars their sweet taste while the oats, coconut, sunflower seeds and chia seeds make them a filling and healthy lunchbox snack.

For the full recipe, click here.

Healthy banana bread

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Banana bread has always been a lunchbox favourite and is so easy to make from scratch. With all the sugar and preservatives found in pre-packaged, store-bought banana bread, it’s definitely worth taking the time on the weekend to make your own.

This healthy version uses maple syrup which is bursting with antioxidants and nutrients as well as wholemeal flour. If your child doesn’t have a nut allergy, (or your school doesn’t have a nut-free policy) throw in some optional healthy walnuts that are brilliant brain food to keep your child going throughout the school day.

For the complete recipe, click here.

Strawberry bliss balls

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If you’re pressed for time this is the perfect recipe to add a splash of colour and flavour to your child’s lunchbox. The best thing about it is that you probably already have the ingredients in the cupboard at home. So it is an easy snack to throw together on a tight schedule.

This healthy lunchbox idea is great to make in the spring and early summer when you can grab fresh, seasonal punnets of strawberries at a low cost. But if they are out of season you can just as easily make them with frozen strawberries.

For the full recipe, click here.

ANZAC biscuits (gluten-free)

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If your kids are calling for cookies in their lunchboxes, give them what they want without sacrificing their health. These ANZAC biscuits use pure maple syrup instead of golden syrup, giving you that rich, sweet taste while avoiding refined sugar and adding in some valuable antioxidants and vitamins to fuel your child at school.

This recipe is also completely nut, dairy, and gluten-free. Thanks to the use of coconut oil instead of butter and quinoa instead of oats, which are commonly processed on the same machinery as gluten products. These swaps make this recipe a great allergy-friendly option for the school lunch box that will energise your kid’s mind and body throughout the day while also being absolutely delicious!

Click here for the full recipe.

Healthy LCM Bars

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One of the biggest struggles when packing lunch for our kids is finding the right balance between healthy, wholesome foods and the occasional treat. When your little ones are calling for prepackaged, processed snacks such as LCM bars, send them to school with this easy substitute instead.

These Healthy Rice Crispy Bars have all the tasty flavour of LCM bars without all the nasty refined sugar and additives. They are super quick and easy to make too. The best part is that this healthy version is also gluten, nut, and dairy free making it suitable for school and those with allergies.

Read the full recipe here.

These healthy lunchbox ideas for school are the perfect addition to any wholesome lunchbox. They are ideal healthy substitutions for any packaged food your kid might be asking for. All of the recipes are filled with nutritious ingredients that will sustain your child’s learning throughout the day. So they won’t have that sugar crash as soon as they get back to class, when they are ready to learn.

For more healthy lunchbox ideas for school, have a look at our Kids Lunchbox Ideas.

Strawberry Bliss Balls

This delicious strawberry bliss balls recipe uses only 4 ingredients. A quick, easy and healthy snack that the whole family will love. Our strawberry bliss balls recipe is also refined sugar-free and nut-free.

With strawberry season in full swing (and when it’s not, frozen strawberries work equally well), now is the perfect time to whip up some healthy bliss balls to keep in the fridge or freezer.

Do your kids (or husband) ever come home from school (or work) and complain that they are soooo hungry but can’t find anything good to eat?  The days of opening up the pantry or fridge to simply declare ‘but there is nothing yummy to eat’ are over.  Making healthy snacks like these strawberry bliss balls ahead of time will mean that you can instantly satisfy those afternoon snack cravings with a yummy and healthy snack.

Strawberry Bliss Balls Recipe

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Ingredients

1 punnet (250g) fresh strawberries hulled (or frozen if not in season)
1 cup desiccated coconut (plus a little extra coconut for rolling)
2 cups of rolled oats
2 tbsp honey or natural maple syrup (not maple-flavoured syrup)

Directions to make strawberry bliss balls

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and whizz on medium for 5-10 seconds.
  2. Scrape down sides and whizz on medium for another 5-10 seconds.
  3. Take a spoonful of the mixture and roll into a ball.  Roll each ball in the extra desiccated coconut. Repeat until all the mixture is used.
  4. Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

Makes approx 20 balls (depending upon how big they are rolled). The strawberry bliss balls last approx 1 week in the fridge and up to 2-3 months in the freezer (if they last that long!)

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(Note: You can substitute the maple syrup or honey for rice malt syrup. The rice malt syrup will make the balls not quite as sweet as the other two options).

If you like these bliss balls and are looking for another healthy snack, then we think you will love our Coconut Caramel Bliss Balls!

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Healthy homemade chocolate chip muesli bars

healthy-chocolate-chip-museli-bars-good-for-you
healthy-chocolate-chip-museli-bars-good-for-you

A classic lunch box snack all around the world is the humble chocolate chip muesli bar.  Some supermarket brands aren’t quite as healthy as we would have been lead to believe as kids though, with additives and more sugar than is recommended. So we whipped up our own recipe for a healthy, homemade chocolate chip muesli bar, which is delish.

Healthy homemade chocolate chip muesli bars that are good for you

Our healthy homemade muesli bars still have some chocolate chips and honey in the ingredients list, but there are no other nasty additives or colours, which in our books is a big tick of approval. And the best part? No baking is required!

Our homemade muesli bar recipe contains lots of goodness with oats, coconut, chia seeds, and sunflower seeds.  This recipe is also nut-free making them perfect for the school lunchbox and allergy-friendly too. So get some ready for this kids’ school lunchboxes, or if you’re like me and are still quite partial to a muesli bar – pop one in your work lunch box too!

Homemade muesli bars with no baking required

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Healthy homemade chocolate chip muesli bars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1/3 cup honey or rice malt syrup

Directions

  1. Line a tray (approx 20cm x 30cm) with baking paper.
  2. Combine melted coconut oil & honey (or rice malt syrup) in a medium bowl until mixed well.
  3. Add oats, coconut, chia seeds, sunflower seeds and chocolate chips.
  4. Mix all ingredients together well.
  5. Pour mixture into baking tray, and press down well with back of spatula.
  6. Place into the fridge for 1-2 hours minimum (to allow the coconut oil to solidify).
  7. Remove from fridge and slice into 10-12 bars.
  8. Store in fridge or freezer. Enjoy!

Makes approx 10-12 muesli bars.

Check out our delicious nutty muesli bars too!

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Healthy Coconut Macaroons (Refined Sugar Free)

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If you are a lover of coconut, then you can’t go past our delicious & healthy coconut macaroons! They are such a simple recipe, using only 3 ingredients – so perfect for any level of cooking experience.

These healthy coconut macaroons are not to be confused with the glossy ‘macarons’ which are super popular in cafes.  They are 2 very different recipes!

We love coconut, and with it being the main ingredient in these macaroons, it is one of our favourites.  Not only is it quick and easy to make… they definitely satisfy when we have a little sugar craving – yet have no refined sugar!

We love baking these on a weekend morning and enjoying with a cuppa ☕  They are also great for kids lunchboxes, or even an after dinner treat!

Healthy Coconut Macaroons

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Ingredients

3 cups dessiccated coconut
3 egg whites
1/3 cup rice malt syrup

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 C.
  2. Whisk the egg whites until they are light and fluffy.
  3. Add the rice malt syrup and continue to whisk through. It will turn a little like meringue.
  4. Slowly add the coconut, folding it through the meringue mixture.
  5. Using an ice cream scoop or spoon, gently mould into half ball shapes.
  6. Bake in pre-heated oven for 20 mins.
  7. Remove and allow to cool on wire rack.  Enjoy!

Makes approx 14 macaroons.

If you like these yummy macaroons and are looking for another healthy snack, then we think you will love our our Healthy Bounty Bites!

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Refined Sugar Free Shortbread Cookies

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I love shortbread cookies! There is nothing quite like that delicious buttery goodness… yumm! Making refined sugar free shortbread cookies might seem like it’s impossible – but we think this classic cookie alternative is bound to still be a hit with the whole family!

This fantastic recipe uses only 4 ingredients!  And if you don’t happen to have any rice flour in the cupboard (which just gives the cookies that ‘classic’ texture), they still taste great if you only use plain flour.   To jazz the cookies up, or to add some extra fun for the kids, we like to do half of the cookies with Hopper’s 100s & 1000s on top!

Refined Sugar Free Shortbread Cookies 100s & 1000s

Shortbread cookies definitely remind me of Christmas time… but growing up my mum would just buy the Walker’s shortbread fingers from the supermarket. There is nothing quite like homemade shortbread in my opinion!

Refined Sugar Free Shortbread Cookies

Ingredients

3 cups plain flour

1/4 cup rice flour (or another 1/4 cup plain flour if you have no rice flour in the cupboard!)

250g butter (chopped & at room temperature)

3/4 cup maple syrup (or preferred sweetner)

Optional – 100s & 1000s (we use Hopper’s, which contain no artificial colours or flavours) 

Directions

  1. Place butter into a mixing bowl, and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Add maple syrup & beat until well combined.
  2. Sift both flours into mixture.
  3. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, combine all ingredients until a soft dough starts to form.
  4. Place dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently.
  5. Wrap dough in glad wrap and refrigerate for 30 mins until chilled.
  6. Once dough is chilled, pre-heat oven to 160C.
  7. Place chilled dough onto bench or cooking mat, and roll out until dough is approx 1cm thick (or desired thickness) & cut out into shapes with cookie cutter.
  8. Place shapes onto an oven tray lined with baking paper.
  9. If you would like to add some extra ‘colour’ to your shortbread, then sprinkle some 100s & 1000s onto your cookies and gently press into cookie.
  10. Bake in pre-heated oven on 160C for approx. 15 mins.  Remove & cool on wire rack.
  11. Enjoy!

If you liked this recipe, then another favourite of ours is the Healthy Banana Bread – yumm!!

Melissa Dickfos, is the Founder at Nourishing Your World, a coffee lover, mum of two children, advocate of making small steps towards healthy living and loves to laugh

 

 

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Healthy Banana Bread

Got some old bananas to use up? ? Then making a loaf of healthy banana bread is the perfect way to stop them from going to waste. If you’re anything like me, your family goes through phases of eating bananas like their monkeys, and the next week? They all end up sitting there, slowly browning.
 

Healthy banana bread that the whole family will love

Making banana bread is the perfect way to use up those old bananas that are sitting in the fruit bowl. It’s not just the kids in our house that love banana bread, it’s a popular choice for a mid-morning or afternoon snack with a cup of coffee too.

Healthy banana bread recipe that is refined sugar-free, dairy-free and nut-free

We’ve reduced the refined sugar content in this recipe, by using a natural, sugar-free alternative. If you’re catering for family or friends that experience allergies, then this recipe is also dairy-free and nut-free too.
 

A simple banana bread recipe that is great in the school lunch box

We love baking a loaf of healthy banana bread on the weekend that can be added to school lunch boxes during the week (if there is any leftover that is!)

We have also included walnuts or pecans as an optional addition to the recipe if you don’t require a nut-free recipe – it adds a delicious flavour!

Healthy Banana Bread Recipe

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Ingredients

2 ripe bananas

2 eggs

125g melted coconut oil (or butter if you prefer and don’t require to be dairy-free)

1 1/2 cups wholemeal self-raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/3 cup maple syrup (or your preferred sweetener)

Optional – 1/2 cup walnuts/pecan nuts or your other favourites (if you don’t require the recipe to nut-free)

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees & grease a loaf tin.
  2. Pour melted coconut oil (or butter) in to mixing bowl and then add 1/3 cup of maple syrup and combine.
  3. Whisk 2 eggs in a separate bowl and then add to coconut oil (or butter) and maple syrup, and mix together.
  4. Mash banana well until a smooth consistency is reached. Add bananas to mixture.
  5. Combine all ingredients together well.
  6. Slowly add 1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour and 1 teaspoon of baking powder to the mixture and combine until all ingredients are mixed well.
  7. Optional – add 1/2 cup walnuts/pecan nuts to the batter and stir through.
  8. Pour batter into greased loaf tin.
  9. Bake in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes (depending upon your oven). Test with cake skewer, and if the skewer comes out clean, then your healthy banana bread is ready!  When ready, remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

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If you liked this recipe, then another favourite of ours are the Banana & Apple Muffins– yumm!!

Melissa Dickfos, is the Founder at Nourishing Your World, a coffee lover, mum of two children, advocate of making small steps towards healthy living and loves to laugh.

 

 

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Healthy LCM Bars

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Healthy-LCM-Bar
Healthy-Rice-Crispy-Bars-LCM-3
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Do you struggle with healthy school snacks for your kids? When all you want is something that is quick, easy and healthy to make… it can seem like it is as hard as finding a flying unicorn wearing a tutu! Don’t despair – our Healthy LCM bars are a healthy version on the supermarket classic, and don’t contain all the processed sugar, nasty additives or preservatives!

We are all about balance in our house, and whilst treats are allowed, it is easy to make healthy swaps for school snacks like LCM bars.  Our recipe for Healthy LCM Bars is the perfect substitute for store-bought LCM bars and is also nut-free!  So it is not only safe as a school snack, but perfect for playgroup, birthday parties or when you’re looking for a recipe that is suitable for family members or friends with allergies.

The Healthy LCM Bars are also versatile, so you can easily swap out the tahini (sesame seed paste) and replace with peanut butter, or your other favourite nut butters, if you don’t require them to be nut free. This recipe is also dairy-free and gluten-free – so a wonderful, healthy snack for the whole family!

Healthy LCM Bars

 

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Ingredients

3 cups puffed rice

3/4 cup dessicated coconut

1/2 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)

1/2 cup rice malt syrup (or your preferred sweetner)

Directions

  1. Start by pouring 3 cups of puffed rice into large mixing bowl.
  2. Add 3/4 cup of coconut to puffed rice, and stir through.
  3. Pour 1/2 cup tahini & 1/2 cup rice malt syrup into saucepan and mix together on a low-medium heat. Mix until both ingredients are combined and you have what resembles delicious caramel.
  4. Pour the caramel mixture into mixing bowl and fold through the puffed rice & coconut mixture (you may need to combine with your hands!)
  5. Line a 20 x 10cm baking tray with baking paper.  Pour the mixture into the baking tray, and press down – ensuring you evenly spread the mixture.
  6. Place into refrigerator to set for at least 30-60 mins.
  7. Remove from your fridge, place on cutting board and cut into desired size ‘bars’. Enjoy!!

If you liked this recipe, then you’ll also love the Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies – yumm!!

Melissa Dickfos, is the Founder at Nourishing Your World, a coffee lover, mum of two children, advocate of making small steps towards healthy living and loves to laugh!

 

 

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Banana & Apple Muffins

Healthy-Apple-Banana-Muffins
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Finding healthy snacks for your kids can be hard! My kids love fruit, but they can also get tired of the same thing every day.  We had recently been away for a few days in the school holidays and came back home to over-ripened bananas and decided to make our Banana & Apple Muffins!

These muffins are a super simple recipe that contain a much smaller amount of a sugar substitute, due to the high content of natural sugar from the fruit in the recipe.  You can also alter the recipe to be gluten free or dairy free, if required.

Banana & Apple Muffins

Ingredients

2 ripe bananas

2 apples

2 eggs

125g butter (or coconut oil for dairy free)

1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/3 cup rice malt syrup or maple syrup (or your preferred sweetner)

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees & place 12-24 silicone muffin moulds (depending upon the size of your muffin moulds) on 2 baking trays.
  2. Melt butter (or coconut oil if using the dairy free option).
  3. Pour melted butter in to mixing bowl and then add 1/3 cup of rice malt syrup and combine.
  4. Whisk 2 eggs in a separate bowl and then add to butter & rice malt syrup and mix together.
  5. Mash banana with a fork until a smooth consistency is reached. Add bananas to mixture.
  6. Grate 2 apples and add to mixture.  Combine all ingredients together well.
  7. Slowly add 1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour and 1 teaspoon of baking powder to mixture and combine until all ingredients are mixed well.
  8. Place 2-3 spoonfuls of mixture into each muffin mould (each mould should be two-thirds full).
  9. Bake in pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes.  Test with cake skewer, and if skewer comes out clean, then muffins are ready.  When ready, remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool.

If you liked this recipe, then another favourite of ours are the Gluten Free Brownies – yumm!!

Melissa Dickfos, is the Founder at Nourishing Your World, a coffee lover, mum of two children, advocate of making small steps towards healthy living and loves to laugh

 

 

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Coconut Caramel Bliss Balls

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Coconut-caramel-bliss-balls

We LOVE anything with a caramel or coconut flavour – and the two combined – is simply divine! These Coconut Caramel Bliss balls are the perfect snack, with the addition of sunflower seeds which are full of Vitamin E and magnesium.  Try them for a delicious healthy snack or treat, or they are a great addition for your kids’ school lunchboxes, as they contain no nuts!

Coconut Caramel Bliss Balls

Ingredients

1 cup rolled oats

2 cups dessicated coconut (plus a little more for rolling)

6 medjool dates (pitted)

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

2 tbsp golden syrup (or your preferred sweetner)

1 – 2 tbsp water (optional, only add at the end if your mixture is a little dry or you have used standard dates in place of medjool dates)

Directions

  1. Put all ingredients into blender and blitz on medium-high for 30 seconds. Scrape down sides and blitz for a further 15 seconds.
  2. Roll into small balls and then roll into dessicated coconut (if desired).
  3. Store in an airtight container in the fridge (if they last that long!) and enjoy!

If you’re looking for some more healthy snack ideas, then check out the Gluten Free Brownies or Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies!

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Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

gluten-free-chocolate-chip-cookies
gluten-free-chocolate-chip-cookies
gluten-free-chocolate-chip-cookies

Finding healthy lunchbox snacks that are nut free can be hard work! We have put a few twists on the classic, to make these yummy gluten free chocolate chip cookies.  They are nut free (so perfect for school lunchboxes), and there is also an option to make them dairy free to help those out with other allergies.

Healthy Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

1 cup coconut flour

120g butter (or coconut oil for dairy free)

1/2 cup rice malt syrup (or sweetner of your choice)

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

 

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees & line 2 trays with baking paper.
  2. Melt butter (or coconut oil if using the dairy free option).
  3. Pour in melted butter to mixing bowl and then add 1/2 cup of rice malt syrup and combine.
  4. Whisk 3 eggs in a separate bowl and then add to butter & rice malt syrup and mix together.
  5. Add 1 cup coconut flour and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to mixture and combine until all ingredients are mixed well.
  6. Add chocolate chips to mixture and gently combine.
  7. Roll spoonfuls of mixture into small balls and place onto baking tray. Should make approx 30 cookies (depending upon size of balls).  Lightly press down each ball with a fork.  Bake in pre-heated oven for 12-15 minutes.  When finished, remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool.

If you liked this recipe, then another favourite of ours are the Gluten Free Brownies – yumm!!

 

Melissa Dickfos, is the Founder at Nourishing Your World, a coffee lover, mum of two children, advocate of making small steps towards healthy living and loves to laugh!

 

 

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