school lunches // take two

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(rainbow chard fritters + a sneak peek at my massive 29 week belly)

Thank you so much for all your lunchy suggestions! I am finally finding my feet in the kinder lunch box department and Birdie has only had the odd sandwich thrown in the last few weeks (once after I asked her what she wanted for lunch and she looked at me with pleading eyes – “Mum, can I just have a vegemite sandwich, like the other kids?” :/ )

On the agenda this afternoon was a big batch of fritters for this week’s lunches. A few weeks ago we had an influx of rainbow chard in our veggie box. When this happens I always have good intentions to eat said chard, but I don’t like it very much so those good intentions seem to turn sour quite quickly, ending with a soggy heap of green stuff at the bottom of my fridge. So this time I tried chopping the whole bunch up, blanching it briefly and then froze in small lots to use (hide) in meals. Fritters seemed like a good way to get these nutritious greens into not just the kid, but into me too!

Rainbow Chard Fritters – with millet and corn

:: 1-2 cups blanched rainbow chard (or other green veg like spinach or maybe even kale… they would also be delicious with coriander added)

:: 1 cup millet

:: 1 can or 2 cobs of corn

:: 2-3 tablespoons of arrowroot flour or similar

:: 2 eggs

:: salt/pepper if you like

You can really do whatever you like with these – any grain or flour would do the trick really. Quinoa? Oats? Or you could start with just your basic pancake recipe and add veggies… whatever works. I’m so haphazard with cooking and generally just feel my way. Trial and error – there’s no better way! Lucky for me, these turned out well.

:: cook millet on stove

:: whiz up blanched greens in blender, then add in two eggs and other ingredients. Depending on your blender you could blend a little, or if it will get too chop-happy, tip everything into a bowl and mix through with a wooden spoon. You want the corn to be whole, not blended.

:: use fat of choice (I used coconut oil) and cook up in fry pan or on BBQ.

:: eat!

I’m on kinder duty tomorrow so I’ve also packed a lunch for me – I mixed some sweet chilli sauce and cream cheese together to go with these… I don’t know if this is completely weird or if it is normal, my pregnancy taste buds have got the better of me at the moment. For Birdie I’ve packed a small container of yoghurt for her to dip them into. If she eats them, I’ll be super duper happy.

school lunches: a whole new world

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Birdie started four year old kinder last week. And I started my new occupation: kinder lunch maker. As the title suggests, it’s a whole new world.

Last year she only needed a snack which I found difficult enough sometimes, particularly when we don’t eat much dairy, and the kindergarten has a no egg and no nut policy to boot.

We are big nut and egg eaters and I find my options slightly limited when they are taken out of the picture. Factor in a fussy four year old who keels over at the sight of anything green and only eats two mouthfuls at any given time and you’ve got some challenges on your hands!

Last night I was motivated by my sister to make some gelatin jubes for the kinder lunch box today (my favourite recipe here). What is meant to take 15 minutes ended up taking two hours after I accidentally blended up a foil easter egg wrapper in the final mixture (Prince Charming is still questioning me on how it got into the blender… I have no answers), moments before I was ready to pour into the moulds. Bye bye to over 10 tablespoons of grassfed gelatin (anyone who has ever bought this will be feeling my pain), two oranges, a few apples, acai powder, flax oil and some sweat.

Yes: I did shed a tantrum induced tear over the kitchen sink as I poured my foil laden tincture into the compost.

By this time I had also run out of most of my ingredients resulting in the jubes (pictured in heart shapes above) tasting rather foul in my humble opinion, but both kids were asking for more this afternoon, go figure.

The girls are going through such a fussy time, being forced to make kinder lunches has motivated me to find some meals I am happy to feed them, that they are equally happy to eat… no easy feat.

Birdie came home from kinder the other day and said in disgust: “Alexander ate a little tomato today.”

“Oh, did he get it off the plant?” I asked.

“No, it was in his lunch box.” she replied, her face filled with horror. To open her lunch box and discover a cherry tomato is one of Birdie’s worst fears. This is what I am dealing with.

In my searches this week I’ve found a few new, a few rediscovered, and a few daily used (by me) resources:

:: This Whole Family

::  Well Nourished

:: Jude Blereau – my favourite family friendly chef lady ever

:: IQS for kids

:: My sister 🙂

How do you organise your kids’ lunch boxes? I’d love some more ideas…