Ideas for batch & pack lunch boxes

Healthier lunch boxes in the bag

Packing healthier school lunch boxes can take some thought, so designating one day a week to planning and cooking in bulk will help you prepare an entire week’s worth more easily. Planning ahead for the school week also means less stress for you, and healthier and enjoyable lunch boxes for the little ones.

The basics of batch cooking

Opt for dishes you can make in large quantities and can use in different ways, then divide them into smaller portions so you can store them easily in the fridge or freezer. A selection of small-sized tupperware containers is useful for this, and you’ll need to make sure your fridge or freezer has plenty of free space beforehand. Check out our lunch box container collection for some ideas.

These delicious vegie crumbed chicken nuggets are a favourite among school kids, and you can make them healthier by using wholemeal bread, cauliflower and sweet potato for the crumb. Cook a batch of these nuggets, then portion up and store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to three days or in an airtight container in the freezer for up to one month. Enjoy these nuggets in a chicken nugget wrap, a wholemeal sandwich or simply toss in a fresh salad.

Other lunch-box goodies that are easy to cook in bulk include vegie falafels and feta and kale pasta muffins. Serve with vegie sticks and hummus or alongside yoghurt with a twist of lemon or lime.

Dinner reinvented

If you can’t justify setting aside one day a week just to prep lunch boxes, make extra quantities of healthier dinner options that you can turn into nutritious lunch-box additions the following day.

For example, cook up a tasty vegetarian mince for a spaghetti dinner, then use leftovers in a quesadilla for your child’s lunch box. Or enjoy chicken schnitzels for dinner, and reinvent into a tasty schnitzel wrap for their next envy-of-the-classroom lunch box.

Make-ahead snacks

This breakfast slice is ideal for bulk baking and storing in the freezer. For those time-pressed weeks, whip up these no-cook spiced apple & cranberry balls. Dips paired with whole grain crackers, wholemeal flatbread or vegie sticks are also a healthier and easy snack. Try a roast vegetable hummus with carrot or celery sticks to boost the vegie intake.

*Articles provided courtesy of Woolworths Australia

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