We have been back to school for a few weeks now and Ive been packing healthy lunchboxes for the children ... Ive been following the dietitian's notes from last year and been ploughing through my low GI cookbooks.
We have a baking store up the road that sells bulk portions of baking supplies and packaging material. I buy lots of little bags and repackage the nuts and dried fruit into more child friendly sizes.
At the moment I spend about an hour a week standing in the kitchen scooping out portions, and have a few tubs that are full of snacks on the kitchen counter. While they are not "eat as much as you like" they are always available if the children get snacky during the afternoons.
I also make little packets of cheese and biscuits, these are provitas and whatever low fat processed cheese is on sale that week.
The little yoghurt's are the easiest option for transporting to school, I have not yet found a little container that doesn't leak to decant yogurt into. Sometimes these explode too - if someone stands on them, but most of the time they work perfectly. I pack them with those teaspoons you get free with medicine, because they are short and fit nicely in the box.
Tonight I have made a batch of hummus and julienned a bag of carrots - these are going to be for dipping. I would like to add some snow peas and baby corn but that will have to wait till I next go past the shops.
In their lunch boxes they get a fruit, bottle of water, a sandwich and 2 or 3 of the above. I change the mix every few days so they dont get bored.
For me its a great way to be prepared for the week ahead, I have lots of ready made packages waiting to be tucked into the lunchboxes first thing in the morning. I realise all these little packages are not a particularly green way to live, so sometimes I do use little boxes that get washed or paper bags... but for our family these are tips and tricks that work, get healthy food into my children and save me time and money.