School lunch box ideas by Junior Masterchef Top 12 contestant, Alex. Healthy lunch box food needn't be boring.
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Lunch Box Ideas by Junior Masterchef Top 12 contestant, Alex

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What do you put in your kids' lunchbox?

Coming up with new and fresh lunch box ideas for kids is a daily chore isn't it? You have to try keeping it healthy, achieving a good balance between all the food groups, but still make it interesting and tasty!

Alex, from Balgowlah Heights in Sydney, was one of the 12 extremely fortunate Australian children to make it in to the Junior Masterchef kitchen where he prepared, cooked and dished up a magnificent array of dishes in an attempt to please judges Gary Mehigan, George Calombaris, and Anna Gare.

Lunch Box Ideas Alex learnt most of his cooking skills from his mum, and he loves to cook for his friends and family because it makes him feel happy. His dishes are versatile, but his favourites are desserts. When Alex is older, he says he would love to work in television as a presenter or a chef.

Anyway, now back in his own family kitchen, this young budding chef has come up with "Alex's Top Ten Lunch Box Tips". Bascially, healthy lunch box ideas written by a child and aimed firmly at children! Nothing too difficult, but a lot more interesting than boring carrot sticks or a cucumber sandwich!

So Mums, make sure you and your kids check in each week for Alex's next lunch box idea!



Lunch Box Ideas #1 - Lunch Boxes

My first ever lunch box tip is about the lunch box itself.

Your Mum might say it's better to have a plastic lunchbox because it's easier to wash or it won't break so easily, but I think you can get more into a soft one, and it stays a lot colder as they are insulated, so pick wisely.

Kids Lunch Boxes My favourite lunch boxes at the moment are the Fridge-to-Go lunch boxes (available online from www.sunandsnow.com.au).

They are spacious and have a large removable cold pack in an underneath compartment, which keeps your food cool for a long time.



Lunch Box Ideas #2 - Muesli Bars

Muesli bars are a great thing to put in lunch boxes but the shop bought ones are usually very expensive and full of either fat, sugar or both, so I make my own.

Muesli Bar They are tastier, cheaper, really fun to make and they can keep for a long time in an airtight container. Quite often I find recipes for my muesli bars on internet sites such as Taste.com.au or Lifestylefoodcom.au and usually they use honey instead of sugar which is better for you.

Once you have a recipe you like you can easily change around the ingredients - sultanas one week and dates the next!



Lunch Box Ideas #3 - Puff Pastry

Puff Pastry Lunch Box Snacks I think that one of the handiest things to have in your freezer is puff pastry.

You can make meat or vegetable pasties the night before to take the place of a boring old sandwich, or even sprinkle some cheese onto itand bake it to make cheese twists as a tasty snack in your lunchbox.

I make vegemite pinwheels, which are just a sheet of puff pastry with vegemite spread on, then sprinkled with cheese, rolled up, sliced into wheels and baked until golden and crisp. You can add other things to these - chopped ham is good but if you use meat you must keep them in the fridge.



Lunch Box Ideas #4 - Fruit & Yoghurt

Fresh Fruit with Yoghurt I usually have two or three types of fruit in a pot that I take to school - a combination of strawberries, melon and grapes is good.

However, as an alternative to plain fruit which can get a bit boring, I often put my fruit in some vanilla or flavoured yoghurt just to make it a bit tastier.

As a change to plain yoghurt, I also like the drinking yoghurts you can get at supermarkets, and when the weather is hot I also like to freeze Petit Miams (little pots of Fromage Frais) so that they are still really cold when I come to eat them.



Lunch Box Ideas #5 - Muffins

One of my favourite things to have in a lunchbox is a muffin and the best bit is that they are dead easy to make.

What I usually do is find a basic muffin recipe and add in my own flavour like chocolate chips, blueberries, grated apple or a spice like cinnamon. My favourite muffins are banana muffins - these are great because you can use old or soft bananas and even frozen ones.

Donna Hay has a really good basic muffin recipe which works every time and keeps for a few days in a sealed container (find it in Google).



Lunch Box Ideas #6 - Wraps

Sandwiches and rolls can get boring if you have them every day, so sometimes I make wraps. My favourite wrap consists of lettuce, cucumber, tzatziki sauce and tandoori chicken.

You can buy tandoori chicken paste in supermarkets, then just mix it with some Greek style yoghurt, marinate the chicken overnight then grill it and let it cool. If you have it sliced in a wrap with all the other ingredients you have the best wrap in the world!

Top tip for wraps: Fold over each end and roll them up in Glad Wrap or foil lengthways. Then slice them down the middle so you have two halves and put into an airtight box. That way they are much easier to eat and all the bits donít fall out of the bottom!





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Rob - JustWeb

18.02.2011


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