Back-to-school lunches for kids

Annette Sym
Annette Sym Cade Mooney

THE holidays are over and school has begun again.

Normal routines have finally returned and even though most parents are relieved to have their children back to school, we are now faced with the hard task of what to pack in their lunchboxes. 

It can be difficult trying to think of healthy, convenient and delicious food for their lunches each day, plus what do you give them when they come home starving from school.

Unfortunately, there are too many little packets of this and that to put into the lunch boxes that are filled with sugar, salt and fat.

Most parents don't have the time to home bake but if you can allocate a bake day say once a month and make muffins, pikelets, cakes and my low fat corn chips your children will reap the healthy rewards and so will your budget.

You can freeze all these items except the corn chips, which will keep fresh for weeks in a well-sealed container.

Some other ideal snacks are rice crackers, yoghurt, fruit, dried fruit and, for the older kids, nuts.

If you don't have time to bake then take time to read the labels on some of the packets you buy and try to choose the lower salt and sugar varieties.

Dips with celery and carrot sticks are a great snack for kids at school or pack a salad but keep it cool in a special cooler bag.

Try to avoid giving your children too many sugary drinks.

When your hungry horde arrives home in the afternoon why not make a fruit smoothie for them or a bowl of high fibre cereal will fill their bellies.

You can't beat fresh fruit and with the wide variety available at this time of the year it is easy to tempt them.

I think making fresh fruit salad is so nice and more appealing, and if their piece of fruit is coming home in the lunch box then dicing the fruit may help tempt the little ones.

Eating habits are set in the first few years of life so if you encourage good healthy food then hopefully your children will take these habits into their adult life.

If your child is carrying excess weight then get them active, turn off the television and computer and get them outside.

Get them involved in some type of sport or go for a walk with them and you will find that with a healthy diet and exercise their weight will naturally balance out.

Annette's cookbooks Symply Too Good To Be True Books 1-6 are sold in all good newsagencies.

Visit Annette's website for more tips and recipes, and join Annette's Facebook page at Symply Too Good.

Muesli fruit slice: Recipe from Symply Too Good To Be True, Book 3

Makes 16 slices

  • 6 tablespoons (90g) Flora Light® margarine
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 2 cups low fat muesli
  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup dried fruit medley mix
  • 1 egg white
  • cooking spray

Preheat oven to 180ºC fan forced.

In microwave melt margarine with honey.

In a large mixing bowl combine all dry ingredients.

Add margarine mixture and egg white, combine well.

Press into slab tin coated with cooking spray.

Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

When cool cut into 16 slices.


Nutritional Information



























597 (cals 142)






















Dietitian's Tip: This slice is an excellent snack for people with diabetes.

Topics:  annette sym back to school easy eating recipes

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