It’s Monday morning, you’re running late for school drop-off and your kids’ empty lunch boxes are staring longingly at you from the kitchen bench. Ahh, the relief when you open the freezer and reach in for these nutritious tummy fillers, which you know your kids will love.
As parents, we loathe the thought of sending our kids off to school with a lunch box filled with chips, or sugary biscuits, or worse still – a handful of cash to spend at the school canteen. But we also know, time can get the better of us. So we teamed up with some of our favourite Aussie bloggers to bring you these tasty lunch box snacks that you can prepare ahead of time and keep handy in the freezer for up to three months. For more healthy lunch box recipes and tips, see the HBF Lunch & Play Report.
Makes 12. Prep time 15 mins. Cooking time 20 mins.
Packed with veggies, these muffins will be a big hit with the little ones at school and can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.
From our friends at Stay at Home Mum
- 2 cups self-raising flour
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 1 cup milk
- 2 grated zucchinis
- 1 cup grated cheese
- 1 cup diced bacon
- 1/2 Spanish onion
- 1/4 cup pitted olives
- 1/4 cup feta
- 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp Italian herbs or Tuscan seasoning
1. Preheat oven to 170°C. Mix grated cheese, zucchini and self-raising flour together in large bowl. Add olives, feta and sun dried tomatoes, mix well.
2. Lightly sauté chopped bacon and onion until soft, then allow to cool before adding to mixture.
3. In separate bowl, mix eggs, milk, garlic and herbs, then add to the muffin mix and stir with wooden spoon until mixed through evenly.
4. Line muffin tins with cupcake cases or baking paper wrappers.
5. Divide the mixture evenly between 12 muffin tins.
6. Bake them for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Pizza muffins are great for school lunches. They can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for three days. If you’d like to store them for longer, individually wrap them in cling wrap and keep them in the freezer for up to three months.
Tasty vegetable sausage rolls
Makes 8. Prep time 15 mins. Cooking time 30 mins.
Sausage rolls are always a winner with the little ones and they’re much healthier when they’re homemade. This version is packed with loads of vegetables to give kids an added boost at lunch time.
From our friends at One Handed Cooks
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 brown onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup diced/peeled sweet potato
- 1 cup diced/peeled potato
- 1 carrot, grated
- 1/3 cup frozen peas
- 1/3 cup fresh corn kernels
- Handful of finely chopped fresh herbs and a light sprinkle of spices
- 2 sheets frozen ready-rolled puff pastry, partially thawed
- 1 tbsp chia or sesame seeds
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line two baking trays with baking paper.
2. Steam or boil sweet potato, potato, peas and corn until soft. Use a fork to roughly mash the mixture together. Set aside.
3. In a small frypan, heat one teaspoon of olive oil. Add onion and carrot, lightly fry until soft. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, combine herbs, onion and vegetable mash.
5. Cut your pastry sheets in half. Spoon a quarter of the mixture evenly down the centre of each pastry rectangle. Fold one edge of the pastry over the filling, stretching it slightly as you go. Fold the other pastry edge over the top to overlap and form a seam and press down gently to seal. Turn the roll over and place on the baking trays (seam side is down).
6. Half cut each roll into four or five segments and prick small holes in the top to stop them from bursting. Brush the tops with egg, sprinkle with sesame or chia seeds and bake for around 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days. Alternatively, freeze cooked or uncooked sausage rolls in individual portions, wrapped in cling wrap, for up to two months.
Broccoli and cauliflower fritters
Makes 20. Prep time 20 mins. Cooking time 20 mins.
Loaded with fibre, vitamin C and protein, the combination of broccoli and cauliflower packs a healthy punch for little ones.
From our friends at My Lovely Little Lunchbox
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
- 1/3 cup self-raising flour
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 heaped teaspoon garlic, minced
- 1 heaped teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 eggs
- Olive oil
- Wedges of Roma tomato and cucumber, to serve
1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil.
2. Add broccoli and cauliflower and cook for five to seven minutes or until tender. Drain and place into a large mixing bowl.
3. Use a fork to slightly mash all the vegetables together.
4. Set aside four cups of the vegetables and allow to cool.
5. Add the flour, parmesan, garlic, mustard and eggs and mix to combine.
6. Heat a good drizzle of oil in a large fry pan over medium-high heat and cook rounded tablespoons of the fritter mixture in batches, for one to two minutes on each side or until crisp and golden.
7. Add extra oil as necessary. Place the cooked fritters on kitchen paper to absorb excess oil.
8. Serve warm alongside wedges of Roma tomato and cucumber.
Wrap the fritters up into individual portions, pop them into a freezer-safe container and keep on hand in the freezer for up to three months.