Toddler lunch time: Packed lunches for day care, and freezer-friendly lunches for home

Toddler lunch time: Packed lunches for day care, and freezer-friendly lunches for home

Lunch is an important part of a toddler’s daily routine and a great opportunity to experiment with some new flavours, textures, and nutrients from the five major food groups. We’ve assembled some of our favourite at home lunches, as well as the lunchbox lunches that your child will love! 

 

Toddler bowls

 

Lunchbox wonders!

Lemony grated carrot + pumpkin seed butter on thin rice cake

lemoney carrot

Ingredients:

  • 1 small carrot peeled and grated
  • ½ tsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • 1 thin rice cake or teething rusk
  • 1 tbsp. of smooth pumpkin seed butter or other nut butter you have on hand
  • ¼ fresh blueberries (optional)

Method:

  • Toss grated carrot with olive oil and lemon juice
  • Spread nut or seed butter on rice cake or teething rusk  
  • Wash and dry blueberries
  • Pack grated carrot, rice cake, and berries in separate air-tight containers (a sectioned lunchbox is our preferred method)

Why is it great?

Nothing beats a sambo for a school/day care lunch – we love to switch it up a bit with these thin rice cakes that go so well with nut and seed butters. No refrigeration required! This lunch is minimal mess and minimal fuss for your little one. 

 

Onion and Goat Cheese Frittata with Steamed Green Beans


Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 small shallot or ¼ red onion – finely diced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 50g goats cheese 
  • 4-6 whole green beans – steamed
  • 2-3 fresh strawberries

Method:

  • Whisk the eggs to combine
  • Warm olive oil in a small non-stick pan on medium heat then add shallot until softened
  • Add in eggs and stir to coat the pan. 
  • Add a lid to the pan and turn down to medium-low
  • Cook for about 5 minutes or when the eggs are firm and the edges begin to curl, then add crumbled goats cheese
  • Return the lid to the pan and continue to cook for another 5 minutes or until the cheese has set
  • Transfer from the pan to a cutting board and let cool. Cut into 3cm strips.
  • Pack frittata, steamed green beans, and strawberries in airtight containers and refrigerate upon arrival to day care. 

Why is it great?

Frittata is a super easy, protein packed, toddler favourite that can store in the fridge for 4 days (that’s nearly a whole week of day care lunches!) The green beans and strawberries make this lunch textural, colourful, and nutritious. Plus, frittata is comparatively easy for little ones to eat without too much mess. 

 

The toddler tasting platter

toddler tasting plate

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • ¼ cup cooked black beans (from a can is perfectly acceptable)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • ½ ripe avocado cut into wedges
  • ¼ cup blueberries
  • Handful of strawberries 

Method:

  • Cut sweet potato into wedges and place in pot. Cover with room temperature water.
  • Bring pot to the boil, then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until wedges are easily pierced by a fork (around 15-20 minutes). Cool to room temperature.
  • Rinse canned beans and gently mash with a fork. Add olive oil.
  • Assemble the ingredients togerher in an air tight container. 

Why is it great?

This lunch is the definition of not overthinking it. Ultimately, as long as you have some fruit, veggies, and a bit of protein in there for good measure, your child will get the nutrients they need while also getting to sample from a range of favourite foods. We love sweet potato because it is high in beta carotene (which raises vitamin A in children particularly effectively), full of fibre, and delicious! Make sure to refrigerate once at day care.


At home lunches:

Salmon Cakes + Avocado Yoghurt Dip

Salmon cakes

Ingredients:

  • 1tbsp. of high-heat oil (we like avocado oil)
  • 150g tin of BPA free, ‘no salt added’, pink salmon 
  • 1 medium potato - boiled
  • 2 spring onions – white parts minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp.  lemon juice
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs or cornmeal
  • ½ ripe avocado
  • ¼ cup unsweetened Greek yoghurt

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 205 degrees Celsius and prepare a sheet tray by coating it in oil
  • Add the cooked potato, minced spring onion, eggs, lemon juice, and seasonings to a mixing bowl with the salmon. 
  • Mash and mix to form a paste
  • Shape into 5cm diameter cakes, then roll in breadcrumbs and place on the baking tray
  • Bake for 10 minutes on each side, remove from the oven to cool to room temperature
  • Prepare the avocado yoghurt dip by mixing both ingredients in the child’s bowl
  • Top with one salmon cake – refrigerate or freeze the rest in an air-tight container

Why is it great?

Tinned fish is one of the all-time easiest proteins to work with, while also delivering important omega-3s and healthy fats. These salmon cakes are a delicious option for the whole family and when frozen provide an excellent on-the-go healthy meal for your little one. The cakes can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months.

 

Lamb Meatballs + Red Pepper Yogurt Dip 

Lamb Meatballs with capsicum and yoghurt dip

Ingredients:

  • 500g Fresh or frozen ground lamb 
  • 1 garlic clove (minced)
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup low-sodium breadcrumbs, nut flour, or rice four
  • ½ tsp each ground coriander, ground cumin, and turmeric (optional)
  • 1 roasted red capsicum (from a jar is fine) - diced
  • ¼ cup unsweetened Greek yoghurt 
  • ½ cup of cauliflower florets

Method:

  • Defrost the meat in the fridge the night before you intend to cook
  • Preheat the oven to 218 degrees Celsius and line a baking sheet with baking paper
  • Combine lamb, garlic, egg, breadcrumbs, and spices in a mixing bowl
  • Mash and mix until they form a paste, then shape into meatballs (should make 8-12)
  • Bake the meatballs for 8 minutes, then turn the meatballs onto the other side baking for another 5-10 minutes or until there is no pink meat remaining in the middle when cut open
  • Take out of the oven, cool to room temperature
  • Mix the yoghurt and capsicum together until mostly smooth then top with 1-2 meatballs
  • The rest can be frozen and defrosted for future meals

Why is it great?

These meatballs and tasty yoghurt base are delicious for the whole family and can be prepared well in advance (they last in the freezer for up to 2 months). They also make for great day care lunches if sent in refrigerated. Have got time check out our range of meatballs; 



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