Well 2021 is already 1/12th in (cannot believe that school is opening after 2 years) and school is BACK!

My kids are not yet in ‘big school’. Miss 4 yo is at Pre-School this year and Miss 2 yo is starting day care 2 days a week (refer to Facebook for the DRAMATIC DISASTERS experienced last week when she had her first days…to be continued).

So what are we going to feed our little children on these days of school/preschool/daycare?

One of the best things I did today was get the girls to make their sandwiches with me. It kept them entertained, meant it was one thing less I had to do when they were asleep tonight, and I think they were very proud of their accomplishments! We now have 2 loafs of bread made into sandwiches frozen in the freezer, ready to pull out and quickly pop into lunch boxes.

Miss 4yo has a current obsession with honey sandwiches. Far from the best all round nutrition, but I chose the wholemeal added iron and fibre bread in a hope to make it a bit better!

Miss 2 yo enjoys a basic ham sandwich. Again, I’m not so fussed with this choice, but I suppose it is better than a plain butter sandwich. Again, my effort to make this a bit better nutritionally is to choose the non-additives, low salt, low fat ham.

We also whipped up a batch of our varied Donna Hay choc brownies (I made them into mini muffins and added zucchini and raspberries to the mix). I blogged about doing this some time ago which you can read here.   While we were cooking, Miss 4 yo thought I looked funny in the apron (it’s a first time we have worn aprons!) and said “I need to take a photo of you mummy!” Then told me to “dance about like Katy Perry” when taking the photo. This is the best I could come up with…

As it turned out Miss 4yo told me the choc brownie muffins tasted disgusting. Looks like I will be eating them myself. She is such a funny eater sometimes – will eat raw vegetables and fruit until the cows come home, but put veggies on a sandwich and she’s not keen – just a plain honey sandwich thank you very much. So I give her the honey sandwich as her carbohydrate ration and then supplement it with ‘snack’ box of vegetables. I also freeze a ‘popper’ of milk to go in the lunch box to keep things cold, and also for her calcium ration.

SO getting back on track: ideas for SNACK BOXES

I love to keep to the ‘colours of the rainbow’ theme when offering food to children. I find the bright colours are appealing to children, but moreover offering different colour fruit and vegetables ensures a great source of varying nutrition.

You can learn more about what nutrition sources are in each ‘colour’ food here at Nutrition Australia.

Here are some of my daughters’ recent snack boxes…

Keeping it VERY simple

There are no prizes here for being fancy, but this snack box still offers a good range of vitamins and fibre:

GETTING A BIT FANCY: Featuring pomegranate and edamame (soy beans)

{Nut alert – the almonds are not daycare friendly! Replace for something else if your child is taking his/her lunch box to childcare/school.}

One of my daughters’ favourite foods if we go out to a sushi train is the edamame. They are a soy bean which comes in a pod. Most people don’t eat the pod casing, just pop the beans out and eat that way (but there is a lot of fibre to be enjoyed if you can eat the pod!). Edamame is rich in protein, calcium, and vitamin C.

Pomegranate is a personal favourite and it seems my daughters also enjoy it. It probably helps that whenever I introduce a new food, I preframe it in a way that entices their excitement – like “Ooooh! Look at this – they are like ruby red crystal diamonds. They look gorgeous! Who’s going to eat them with me? Yum!”. You know, generally carry on about it in that hyper positive mood us parents must display if we wish to appeal to their interests! On a more serious note, I have personally found that little cute finger foods are always fun. Children are very tactile and like to get involved with touching everything.

For those of you unfamiliar with pomegranate, it is a fruit that comes in a hard shell – its can be a bit fiddly popping all the kernels out, but worth the effort as (in my opinion!) pomegranate makes a fruit salad from standard to exceptional, or sprinkle them on top of a salad to turn it into something special.