Tomorrow is the big first day back to school for West Australians. I am so emotional about the whole thing. Especially with our twins starting Kindy.
One of the biggest time wasters of school prep is the lunch box snacks and with 3 kids going this year, I know I have to be more organised.
With Stella last year my lovely husband would make her sandwich the night before when he was making his own for work. Then in the morning I finished it off with snacks and filled her water etc.
Our lunchboxes generally consist of a piece of fruit (apple, Mandarin, banana) , some grapes or strawberries cut up in a container, some crackers , a yoghurt and a homemade treat/snack of some sort.
I am running with the same plan this year, however I know I will have to tailor make each lunchbox to suit the child. Ie; Stella likes Bananas and Max and Lacey don't. Lacey likes Kiwi fruit and Max doesn't. Things like that.
Max is our difficult eater. I don't know so much that he is fussy (well of course he is a little) but he is not a big eater. No meal is ever completed and 4 out of 7 nights a week , he won't eat his dinner. I used to worry about this, however now I figure that if he was hungry , he would eat. We are not force feeders in our house, but rather , there is no food after dinner. Eat your dinner or eat nothing at all.
Anyhoo, I worked out that per term I would need 140 snacks to last me the 3 kids each having one on their school days (M + L are 2 days one week and 3 the next). Plus I wanted to have extras for the afternoons we have sports and activities on, I can grab a few things and they can eat them on the way or before we get there.
With my choices of school snacks, I am rather open minded about what they are. I am a real believer of 'everything in moderation' and our kids aren't additive sensitive so we are lucky. Plus at least with home baked, I know exactly what is in everything. I figure the sugar content would be the same, if not less, than a store bought muesli bar or pre packaged snack.
As a bonus, in Kindergarten , the teachers make the kids eat their fruit first, then when that is finished , they are able to eat anything else they have.
I am happy for them to have A PIECE of loaf or slice , or one biccie , when the rest of their lunchbox is fruit, grains or dairy.
So the great bake off began!!
Soon I had a stock pile of Banana bread and muffins (same batter just different ways of cooking)
Passionfruit and Choc chip biscuits
Zucchini slice (cooked in a muffin tray)
Small chocolate muffins
Then I sliced the loaf, divided the biscuits etc, and packaged each bit in a plastic sandwich bag and wrote on the front, what it was and when it was baked.
These ziplock bags were all put in a few of these handy Kmart plastic baskets (I think they are around $3 each) and this is how they are stored in our freezer.
I now have a freezer draw like this ;
A terms worth of yummy, home cooked snacks.
I have another draw that also has a basket , this is my husbands snacks , just so he can't get in trouble for pinching from my lunch box supply. And I also made a few bags with multiple pieces for those sports days, or even a Mummy snack once in a while.
I understand that not everyone likes the idea of frozen goods. Or you may not have the freezer space, but I guess its all about finding out what works for you and your family. What makes your life easier and most importantly , what you enjoy doing!!
I'll be back with a post on the recipes and links to recipes I used, later on tonight.