Back to School Lunchbox Ideas - The Winter Edition

8 min read

Winter is well and truly making its presence felt, just as our kids are about to head back to the classroom. And after weeks of having full access to your kitchen with its convenient appliances, condiments and what not, the thought of preparing lunches for the kids to take to school is a daunting one. We know it, so we've found a few simple recipes and ideas for easy-to-prepare, nourishing and warming school lunches.

NOTE: It is recommended to store some of these meals in an insulated jar/thermos to keep them warm. There are some great kids options available

Recipes

  1. Veggie Nuggets for Kids 
  2. Mac 'n' Cheese Zucchini Slice
  3. Chicken Zoodle Soup
  4. Savoury Chicken & Rice Muffins
  5. Fast Beef Stroganoff
  6. Carrot & Chickpea Patties
  7. Chicken Sausage Rolls

Veggie Nuggets for Kids Vegetarian Option

Ingredients:

  • 200g (half a bag) frozen mixed veggies (carrots, peas, corn, green beans, & lima beans)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • Juice of 1/2 small lemon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C degrees
  2. Cook veggies according to package directions. Let cool.
  3. Place veggies in a food processor and pulse a few times (don’t over process).
  4. In a large bowl, combine veggies, bread crumbs, egg, salt, garlic powder, lemon juice, & olive oil.
  5. Mix well using the back of your spoon to continue to mash the veggies.
  6. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Using a spoon or small scooper, scoop the mixture onto the baking sheet. Using your hand, shape into a nugget form.
  7. Bake at 180C degrees for 40 minutes. Flip nuggets to other side after 20 minutes.

Recipe + Image Source: Weekly Bite

Veggie Nuggets for Kids

Mac 'n' Cheese Zucchini Slice

Vegetarian Option  - if you remove bacon

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried macaroni pasta
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small brown onion, finely chopped 
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 125g middle bacon rashers, trimmed, chopped 
  • 2 zucchini, coarsely grated
  • 200g orange sweet potato, unpeeled, coarsely grated
  • 1/3 cup self-raising flour
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup grated light tasty cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan-forced. Grease a 6cm-deep, 20cm (base) square cake pan. Line base and sides with baking paper, extending paper 2cm above edges on all sides
  2. Cook pasta following packet directions, until tender. Drain. Refresh under cold water. Drain well.
  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, thyme and bacon. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Add zucchini and sweet potato. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until sweet potato softens. Transfer to a large bowl.
  4. Add pasta, flour, eggs and half the cheese to vegetable mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  5. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden and firm. Cool in pan. Serve.

Recipe + Image Source: Taste

Mac N Cheese Zucchini Slice

Chicken Zoodle Soup

- Best served in a thermos or insulated container to keep hot

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 500g boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed
  • 2 carrots, peeled, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 cup green beans
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 500g zucchini veggie spirals (you can purchase pre-spiraled or DIY at home)

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in large stockpot over medium heat. Add chicken and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook 3-4 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Remove from pot and set aside.
  2. Add carrots, garlic, onions and green beans to pot. Cook 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Add stock, 2 cups water and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil, add chicken and zucchini.
  3. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook 3-5 minutes, or until zucchini is tender.

Recipe + Image Source: Produce for Kids

Chicken Zoodle Soup

Savoury Chicken & Rice Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup cooked, shredded chicken
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, finely chopped
  • 1 cup shredded lowfat Cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp Moroccan seasoning (or Taco Spice mix)
  • 1/4 cup trail mix
  • 1/2 cup snipped green beans
  • 1 tablespoon lowfat Ranch dressing

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 200C. Spray 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Whisk eggs in large mixing bowl. Add cooled rice, chicken, broccoli, cheese and seasoning. Mix well.
  3. Fill muffin cups with chicken and rice mixture.
  4. Bake 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Let sit in pan a few minutes to cool, then remove.
  5. Serve with trail mix, green beans and dressing.

Recipe + Image Source: Produce for Kids

Savoury Chicken + Rice Muffins

Fast Beef Stroganoff

- Best served in a thermos or insulated container to keep hot

Ingredients:

  • 600g beef fillet steak, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 2 tsp smoked sweet paprika
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1 large onion, finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 250g button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup (60mL) brandy
  • 150mL Massel Beef Style Liquid Stock
  • 300mL sour cream
  • 2 tbs flat-leaf parsley

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large frypan over high heat, cook half the steak for 1-2 minutes until brown on all sides.
  2. Remove and set aside, repeat with remaining steak.
  3. Add butter to frypan, reduce heat to medium and cook onion until onion starts to soften and colour.
  4. Add garlic, cook for 30 seconds, then add mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Add brandy and stock, cook for another minute.
  6. Add meat, any juices, sour cream and stir well to combine.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Garnish stroganoff with parsley and serve with boiled potatoes or rice.

Recipe + Image Source: Kidspot

Beef Stroganoff

Carrot & Chickpea Patties Vegetarian Option

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 425g tin macro organic chick peas, drained
  • 2 carrots, peeled, grated
  • ½ cup fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs 
  • 1 egg

Directions:

  1. Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a medium-sized frying pan over medium heat. Cook onion, stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until softened. Set aside to cool.
  2. Place chickpeas in a food processor and process until crumbs form. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the onion mixture, carrot, breadcrumbs and egg. Using clean hands, mix until well combined. Shape mixture into 12 patties.
  3. Heat remaining oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook patties for 2-3 minutes each side or until golden. Set aside to cool. Cover and refrigerate remaining serves until required. Serve with pita bread.

Recipe + Image Source: Woolworths

Carrot & Chickpea Patties

Chicken Sausage Rolls

Ingredients:

  • 500 grams chicken breast, minced
  • 1 cup wholemeal breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoons sage
  • 1 carrot, finely grated
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 zucchini, finely grated
  • 4 sheets puff pastry
  • 1 stalk spring onion, very finely chopped
  • Egg white or milk for cooking.

Directions:

  1. Mix chicken and bread crumbs together really well. You can use a food processor if needed.
  2. Mix in the finely grated carrot and zucchini, the sage and finely chopped spring onions. Combine really well.
  3. Cut each pastry sheet in half – make a long sausage like shape of the filling down one side of each piece. Roll the pastry over it and onto itself. Press the pastry together to seal it.
  4. Cover in cling wrap, place in a large clip seal bag, label and date and freeze until needed.
  5. To cook: Heat oven to a hot 200C. Make sure oven is really hot, then remove sausage rolls direct from freezer and place onto an oven tray, removing all plastic.
  6. Brush each sausage roll with egg white or milk, reduce heat to 180C and bake for approx. 30 minutes or until golden and pastry is clearly cooked.

Recipe + Image Source: Mama Bake

Chicken Sausage Rolls

We hope these recipes are a hit with the kids!

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