By Abby Courtenay, a dietician with a special interest in infant and child nutrition working at Nutritional Solutions, Athol- Johannesburg. She loves to create unique meals in the kitchen using whole foods and promoting natural living. Check out their website if you would like to contact her or for more recipe’s and interesting blogs.
Are you feeling a bit uninspired when it comes to packing your child’s lunch box? Why not take up the challenge! Four ingredients each one done in two exciting ways to spruce up any lunch box!
The methods & ingredients:
- Tuna salad on wholegrain wraps OR on provita’s
- Mango fruit roll OR dried mango pieces
- Apple chips OR chia seed yogurt with cinnamon stewed apples
- Roasted chickpeas OR carrot hummus
Mix tuna with chopped cucumber, carrot, red onion, sprouts and grapes*. Mix in some mayonnaise (mixed with low fat plain yogurt to lighten it up) and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve on either a wholegrain wrap or provita’s. *If you don’t have grapes, apples work very well with tuna as well! Try to store the tuna and wrap/ provita separately, as it may make the starch soggy overnight
1. Puree mango pulp until smooth. Pour onto a non-stick baking sheet (spray ‘n cook works well here too!) Spread evenly on the baking sheet and bake at 100⁰C for 2-3 hours. Peel off the baking sheet, roll and store in an air tight container.
2.Peel and slice the mango into strips and bake at 100⁰C for 2-3 hours.
1. Core the apples and slice into 0.5cm slices. Bake in the oven at 100⁰C for 1 hour or until crisp. *Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon sugar for an extra treat!
2. Peel and core apples and dice into blocks. Cover the bottom of a pot with water and add cinnamon to taste. All the diced apples to the cinnamon water and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer gently until the apples are soft. *Eat over plain yogurt with chia seeds-for omega3 benefits.
1. Arrange the chickpeas in a single layer on a baking sheet and sprinkle with spices of choice (I used cumin). Bake at 100⁰C for 2-3 hours or until crunchy. *I used tinned chickpeas (dried ones can also be used, but then must be soaked beforehand )
2. Puree a tin of chickpeas with cumin, 1 garlic clove, a big glug of olive oil (1-2 Tbsp) and half a peeled and cooked carrot. *Keep well in the fridge for about a week.
I had so much fun doing these lunch boxes and because most of the methods involve baking the ingredients at a low temperature for a long period of time, I prepped them when I got home and everything was ready before I went to bed.
On a nutritional note: Did you know that different coloured fruits and vegetables give different health benefits? The main groups are green, orange/ red, purple and white. The above lunch boxes incorporate 3 of these groups and so your child gets a major nutrient punch before they even get home from school!