Laini Oldfield | January 25, 2019
*IMPORTANT* – This post is follow-up support from a Facebook live on school lunches. It’s hosted inside TWC’s fabulous Facebook Group – “The Wholefood Collective Community”.
So, the info below may not make much sense to you until you watch it!
And watching it?
Well, I’m confident it will give you whatever it is you need to get your nutritious school lunch box making mojo back for the fresh new year.
Here’s just a few of the comments from the live attendees!…
To get in on all the juicy stuff:
1. Click here to join the Facebook Group
2. Once accepted, click here to watch the live
What’s covered in the live session?
- The School Lunch Box Blueprint pdf is yours! See link below.
- My biggest (but smallest) piece of advice
- 5 strategies to get your kids on board
- The 30 minute menu party, with a list of my ‘go to’ resources
- 4 reasons to encourage your kids to make their own lunches
- Our family’s morning routine
- 4 time saving tips for the mornings
- How to give variety throughout the week
- See my ‘go-to’ foods for school lunches, and why I choose them
- Now to get stuck in to the follow-up helps!
My ‘Go-To’ Resources for the ‘Menu Party’
- Georgia Harding’s Well Nourished Lunch box here
- Brenda Janschek’s Easy Wholefood Lunches here
- Belinda Smith’s (The Root Cause) recipes here
- The Ultimate Wholefood School Lunch Box Resource Guide from TWC here
- The Wholefood Collective’s recipe page here (lunch box category coming soon)
- ‘Protein Packed Ideas for School Lunches’ from the TWC Community here
- TWC “The Ones” recipe ebook. Available to TWC Members for free here
- The Healthy Kids Lunch Box eBook here
- Real Lunches, Real Easy by 100 Days of Real Food here
Sick of trying to track down that recipe you saw once in one of those ebooks? To get a step by step explanation of a dead-set easy (and free) way to file recipes digitally… click here.
TWC’s School Lunch Box Blueprint – downloadable PDF
Sometimes the hardest part of packing a healthy lunch box is knowing what to put in it, right?
Let’s make that simple.
I showed the live attendees the downloadable on my phone last night. And they seemed to like it…
It’s a formula for a balanced lunch box.
Divided up into food categories with ideas, suggested recipes and supports, hyperlinked within the document for your convenience.
Simply have the kids pack ONE thing from each category, and they’ll have a lunch that’s gonna give them all they need to thrive in the classroom, playground and beyond.
Save it to your device. Print it and stick it to your fridge.
Add your own ideas or follow the suggestions. Be flexible, this is just a guide.
And remember – don’t stress about this. Their lunchbox won’t be perfectly balanced every single day, and maybe it’ll take your family a while to find your groove with this and reduce all those packets.
The point is – just keep putting one foot in front of the other, make small improvements consistently, and enjoy the ride.
*The above image is not for download. It’s purely to demonstrate what the blueprint looks like. It’s just the first page and not hyperlinked to the supports. You’ll need to click ‘download’ below for access to the complete and hyperlinked file.
- Waffles – supercharged and super yummy, by Ashley Jubinville, The Kitchen Coach. In fact, when our then 7 year old tried them for the first time, she’d had 3 and declared with enthusiasm, “Mummy! You’ve reached your goal! You made healthy yummy!” Woohoo! Click here.
- Vegan taco mince (that my meat loving daughter LOVES and raves about to her friends), by Ashley Jubinville, the Kitchen Coach.
Mince base here.
Taco spice mix here.
Cashew sour cream here. (Just use the basic recipe with 2 tsp Lemon Juice and 1tsp Apple Cider Vinegar, to make the cashew cream sour).
- Hemp pikelets – this was hotly requested. I just throw it all in the blender and whip ’em up while the kids eat breakfast. Get the recipe here.
- Gluten free wrap mix – Not a recipe per se, but a pre-mix that we LOVE. Get it here.
Dry Pre-Mix Recipes
- The Seedy Sicilian Pizza Base – By Ashley Jubinville, found on FMTV, click here. Get your free 3 month Membership when you join the Wholefood Collective.
- Crunchy Granolas – Maple Vanilla and Chocolate. Click here. Suuuper popular with the TWC Community.
- Oat Pancakes recipe in the ‘The Ones’ ebook, free to TWC Members (just go to ‘Memberville’ on the website).
- Waffles! As above. Click here.
- A crumble topping (I haven’t written a recipe for this but it’s a mix of oats, quinoa flakes, coconut shreds, chia seeds, flaked almonds, LSA, and cinnamon. I just drizzle some raw honey over the top before cooking).
- Whatever your family loves.
Some notes on pre-mixes:
My advice? Try a bunch of recipes over time, pick out the family faves – the ones you go to make again and again, and make a big pre-mix of that.
Pancakes / bread / granola / crumble topping / cookie base….
We’re all different, with varying likes and dislikes. So when it comes to dry pre-mixes, it’s really what works for you and your family. It’s important to try a recipe in a smaller batch first, before investing time and money into a massive batch.
Some pre-mixes can be super nutrient dense like Ashley’s Sicilian pizza. Others can be as simple as a couple flours and baking powder popped together for ease of use.
Recommended Blog Posts
- What’s the deal with sulphur? And why you definitely wanna get sulphur-free apricots and dried fruit. Here.
- Protein Packed Ideas for School Lunches. Here.
- Feeding Hungry Teenagers a Wholefood Diet. Here.
- Which Oil for Which Purpose blog post here.
- Oils Aint Oils explainer blog post by Ashley Jubinville, Australia’s leading Kitchen Coach.
Recommended documentaries to watch with kids
1. That Sugar Film
2. What’s With Wheat?
3. That Gut Movie
From live attendees:
4. The Paleo Way
5. Fork Over Knife
6. The Sugar Crash
7. And of course, FMTV (Food Matters TV). Get your free 3 month Membership to FMTV when you join the Wholefood Collective.
How to: Variety over the week rather than the same food day in day out
From Belinda Smith of The Root Cause;
The first thing we need to really work out is whether our kids actually want variety. Some children are quite happy to have the same thing day in day out – change can sometimes trigger anxiety in kids, especially food changes. Some kids get bored, so variety is important. So get your kids involved and ask them about whether they want to have something different every day, every couple of days or whether they are happy to just eat the same every day until they tell you they are bored with it.
If variety is wanted, here’s my top 3 ways to give it to them:
1) Leftovers from dinner – the bonus here is that if your kids liked it for dinner, they will probably like it for lunch. If you want help in getting your kids to eat cold leftovers, Bel has a great education article she wrote about how she trained her kids to eat cold leftovers. (post this link to the comments – https://www.therootcause.com.au/how-to-get-kids-to-eat-cold-leftovers/)
2) Menu plan with your kids. Ask them to tell you their favourite lunches (or meals) and make yourself a menu plan for lunches. Keep it simple for yourself. For instance if they like sushi, have that on the same day each week. If they like a chicken and salad sandwich, make that on the same day each week. This sort of work can make it simple for you to plan each week and it creates a routine. During the school terms, routines and systems help reduce our stress.
3) Have a stash in the freezer – batch cook a few different snacks and keep them in the freezer.
There are loads of other ideas in The 5 Minute Healthy Lunchbox System eCourse, including 12 weeks of menu plans and shopping lists, over 140 kid and family friendly recipes. If you enrol using the TWC link, then you’ll get access to some great free resources from TRC including a Jumpstart Your First Lunchbox Guide with a menu plan and 9 recipes for the first week back at school. Bel will also give you her template on how you can pack your own wholefood adult lunches in a jar.
Live Attendees ‘Go-To’ Foods for Lunch Boxes
- Miso, avo and cheese sandwiches
- Banana bread (blueberry banana bread)
- Shakes with banana and blueberries
- Wholemeal pasta with cauliflower cheese sauce
- Ashley’s seedy sicillian pizza
- Quiche muffins with zucchini
Here’s the ‘why’ for Belinda Smith of The Root Cause – Australia’s school lunch box guru.
Monday to Friday, 30-40% of what our kids eat comes from what we pack in their lunchbox. This food needs to nourish their body and brain. It needs to help with their ability to behave, concentrate, retain information and to socialise with their peers. What they eat can totally impact the dynamics of the classroom. Teachers right around Australia share stories of how they are spending vast amounts of time managing behaviour rather than educating, and this is impacting their stress levels.
Research shows that processed and refined foods impair brain function and have negative affects on mood and behaviour. Most Australian children today are eating 2-4 processed packet foods in their lunchbox a day. In 2017, The Root Cause with the support of a whole school of 320 students, undertook The Real Food Lunchbox Project where for 8 weeks, parents were asked to leave processed packaged food at home and the children were fed real food of fruits, vegetables, dips and smoothies for the crunch n sip, their recess and lunch snacks. The results were incredible. 59% of teachers surveyed saw an improvement in children’s listening, behaviour, concentration, working with others and being respectful for teachers. 64% specifically saw an improvement in concentration. At home, parents saw improvements in sleep, mood and energy levels, plus also children’s attitudes to fruits and vegetables changed.
So lunchboxes are super important to our children’s health and their ability to be the best version of themselves they can be.
But as the real food lunchbox project showed, a simple shift away from processed food to real wholefood, can make a massive difference to a child’s ability to behave, concentrate and learn.
And wow, I just loved reading YOUR motivation for bothering to figure out and persevere with this nutritious lunch gig! Check it out. Powerful stuff.
- Keeping them at their best
- Variety, healthy food that keeps them
- To have a healthy happy family
- Reducing the behavioural effects of additives and preservatives
- Healthy children and establishing this as the norm while they are young
- My motivation is seeing the difference in my son, his behaviour especially and it also feels so good to know I’m filling him with good stuff! And me too!
- To keep my kids healthy and teach them about looking after their bodies and health
- Nourished without missing out
- Healthy but yummy options for my kids so hopefully they don’t develop auto-immune conditions like I have and my mum’s side of family
- To nourish my little one with good food that don’t cause terrible behaviour after.
- To reduce feral behavior in my children LOL
- My motivation is to feed the kids the best food possible to keep their immune system at it’s best. And to avoid additives that cause health problems
- To help my grandchildren with good nutrition
- They always come home starving
- Manage ASD and ADHD and general better health, give them what they need to be able to continue this good nutrition when they are older too
- Anaphylaxis to preservatives and additives as well as providing the right energy throughout the day and help with behaviours
- To have optimum health that they can sustain as they get older
- So that she knows how good it feels to eat yummy healthy food
- To establish good eating patterns, as an investment in their health into their older age
- To make every meal and snacks good wholesome, nutritious and delicious
- I only have a 7mo but getting ready already
- I want to make sure my kids have the best opportunity for each meal to nourish their little growing bodies so they can grow up happy and healthy
- Food that they won’t bring home uneaten.
- Hate food wastage especially when I can’t eat it due to intolerances
- Healthy food fueling our bodies, and not feeling bad about eating Wholefood’s, as its all so good for you
- Definitely Health, and what long term affects it has on their bodies.
- I want my kids to learn to be healthy while they’re young so they can be healthy adults. And minimise the health risks that run in the family.
- Starting good habits and passing on the knowledge of healthy eating
- My 13D is awful with craving sugar and salt
- Make sure we feed our bodies the good stuff to stay healthy
- Just watched Bel’s live on school lunch today too! So much goodness and inspo for the beginning of the school year!
- Be keen to increase my knowledge on healthy eating for my family
- My motivation is to feed my children food that fuels their brains, bodies and mind along with teaching them great eating habits! As a preschool teacher I have seen first hand the side effects of lunches that are full of rubbish! We see a massive change in behaviour with kids that eat healthy versus the ones that eat loads of packaged foods. I like going back to basics!
- I want healthy eating to be their ‘normal ‘ and to give my kids the best start
- My motivation is to keep my kids satisfied and nourished
- Good nutrition for my kids