Creating a Lunch Box System

I’ve become a somewhat expert at school lunches after doing them for 8 years (so far).  My lunch boxes started out looking a lot like the picture below, with a lot of processed, pre-packaged food. I’m not here to make anyone feel guilty for throwing together pre-packaged lunches!  It’s just over the years, I’ve focused on what’s important to me in regards to food for my kids, and have refined the processes over time to achieve that, and I want to share my tips with anyone who wants to know.

lunch box

Here’s a snap shot of the lunches I make for my kids at school these days.

Lunch Box Ideas

Lunch boxes used to stress me out but I’m surprised to say that, while I wouldn’t say I enjoy doing school lunches, I find it quite easy now, plus I do find myself thinking about creative ways to fill the lunch box with nutritious food my kids will enjoy.  This transformation comes down to this: you need to have a system. 

1. Have goals

It’s important to have a sense of direction when it comes to what sort of lunch boxes you want to create for your kids.  You don’t necessarily need to achieve them straight away but it’s good to have goals and work your way towards them.  For me, I strive for mostly rubbish-free lunch boxes that contain wholefoods, including a fresh fruit and vegetables. I also like to provide variety, and a bit of fun sometimes.  I’ve come a long way in my goals, and next on my agenda is to experiment with healthier baking options.

2. Invest in great products

I’ve tried many different lunch boxes over the years.  To achieve what I want with my children’s lunches, the lunch box needs to have compartments.  I like the Bento Laptop Lunch boxes which I review in detail here.  They aren’t cheap but do last well. Another more affordable way to achieve this is to buy an insulated outer case and simply fill with different sized containers which are filled with food (like Decor and Sistema containers you can get from the supermarket).  

Lunch Boxes

The drink bottles I buy for my kids are the Contigo brand.  I reviewed them here.

Drink Bottles

Another product I have found REALLY fabulous for the lunch box are silicone muffin cases.  I use them to cook bakery items. Then, I freeze them in the cases, and they go straight into the lunch box of on a school morning.  Anther way I use them is when they are empty, they are a great way to section small food in the lunch box (there are examples at the end of the blog post).

silicone patty cases - great for the lunch box

Using the freezer is imperative to my lunch box success (which I go into further below) and so I have dedicated containers to store lunch box food in.  These Sitema containers are great, and they are clear so I can see what is in them easily.

Create a lunch box system

I also have a few fun things to include in the lunch boxes to make things interesting. My favourites are the eye food picks I bought from Lunch Boxes With Love.  However, I don’t do fun stuff all the time, maybe about once a week or fortnight. If you head over to my Instagram @beafunmum and search for the hashtag #BAFM_Lunchbox you will see many examples of the realistic lunch boxes I make for my kids. Sometimes they are fun, and sometimes they are boring!

Creating a lunch box system

My Lunch Box Product List

3. Have a dedicated lunch box storage section

The system I use requires the need for containers. This is a bit of a pain, but it really makes it quick in the mornings.  I have lunch box items stored in my pantry in baskets.  One for drink bottles and lids, one for the containers and one for the lunch boxes and other bits and bobs I don’t use everyday.  

Creating a lunch box system

Creating a lunch box system

Of a school morning, I line up four lunch boxes, fill with containers and then throw in the food.  Last step is to place a lunch box size freezer brick in the insulted case and place the entire lunch box inside.

Lunch Box System

4. Use the freezer

My freezer is my best friend when it comes to the lunch box.  Food items can be taken out of the freezer in the morning and put straight in the lunchbox.  They will be thawed and fresh by eating time. The following items will keep for 2 weeks in the freezer. 

Sandwiches:

I tend to make sandwiches fresh, because I prefer to do that, but if you have a mad busy week ahead, it’s good to know you can freeze them ahead of time.

Make sandwiches with fillings like cheese and ham, vegemite, jam, tuna or egg.  It’s easy to include some fresh salad in the morning if that’s a preference.

Other Food:

Cakes and slices, muffins, canned fish, baked beans, zucchini slice, quiche are some snack ideas that are able to be frozen.

Organising the freezer:

  • It’s helpful to have dedicated draw in the freezer for lunch box items.
  • Separating portion size is easy with zip-lock bags. For a more environmentally friendly option, use individual containers or freeze in batches and place directly in the lunch box of a morning. For layering in containers, use a sheet of baking paper.

This is a heap of food I prepared ahead of time to freeze. 

Creating a lunch box system

5. Pre-Prepare

To aid the morning rush, much of the lunch preparation can be done the night before and the weekend.

Night before:

  • Cut up fruit and vegetable pieces
  • Portion yoghurt and crackers. I also make custard the night before sometimes and let it set in the containers that fit into the lunch box. Then in the morning, they get slotted in.

Weekend:

  • Make a batch of sandwiches and place them in the freezer
  • Bake home goods and freeze in portion size

6. Break it down

Instead of thinking morning tea/lunch food, I break the lunch box down into food types. So in each packed lunch I aim for this balance:

  • 1 x Fruit 
  • 1 x Vegetable
  • 1 x Snack Food (baked goods, energy balls, crackers, egg, cheese, yoghurt)
  • 1 x Lunch Item 
  • 1 x other (if needed, depending on the child)

This system allows for seasonal variety and helps me to shop smart. I’m fairly consistent with this system and so my kids are used to seeing vegetables in their lunch box.

7. Lunch box staples

It’s great to have your lunch box staple foods you can fall back on (like the humble sandwich). I have certain foods that I know work well in the lunch box and here are some of the items on my list:

Vegetables: corn on the cob, cucumber, mushroom, snow peas, carrot, celery sticks, baby corn, tin corn, avocado, cherry tomato

Fruit: small apple, tin fruit, stone fruit, strawberries, blueberries, grapes, kiwi fruit, small pears, watermelon pieces, pineapple pieces

Snacks: muffins, nut-free choc energy balls, apricot balls, rice crackers, popcorn, trail mix, muesli slice, corn & cheese muffins, coconut bread

Protein: ham, salami, salami sticks, bean dip, cheese, boiled egg, hummus, yoghurt

Lunch: sandwich, mini quiche, zucchini fitters, meatloaf, pizza scrolls, zucchini slice, wraps, pizza, salad, flat bread 

Lunch Box tips

Lunch Box tips

7. Make it safe

I have a guest post from a dietitian you can read which gives great tips on making the lunch box healthy and safe: Lunch Box Tips

8. Make it fun

Once you have a good system down, it’s easier to find ways to make lunches fun. Try new foods and different ways of presenting them.  Below are a few links:

9. Lunch Box Examples

Below are a few lunch box examples and you can find even more ideas by looking through the lunch box tips on the blog under Lunch Box Ideas or on my @beafunmum Instagram feed.

Lunch box ideas

Tip: Depending on what is on the wrap, I separate the fill ingredients from the wrap in the lunch box and the kids make it up themselves fresh at lunch time.  

1-_DSC1035

Tip: Energy balls are fabulous in the lunch box and they freeze well.

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Tip: Silicone muffin cases are great for separating food in the lunch box.

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Tip: Leftover rice or pasts can be turned into an easy lunch box food.

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Tip: Food picks work well with cut up fruit and veggies. 

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Tip: You can make a big batch of pizza and freeze in small square portion for the lunch box (if kids like cold pizza)

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Tip: Try growing cherry tomatoes in a pot in the backyard. They are so easy to grow and it’s wonderful to be able to include food you grow yourself in the lunch box. Here’s a guide: Plant Pot Garden.

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Tip: Make sandwiches a bit more interesting by cutting them in different shapes sometimes, or make soldiers.

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Tip: Try new foods! The kids may not like it, but they might too, and it’s all about building your lunch box repertoire.

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Tip: Make quiche in muffins trays so they are in individual sizes.  This make it easy and quick to use in the lunch box. This is the recipe I use: Quiche Recipe.

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Tip: Think outside the box! My kids love it when I put plain corn chips and dip in their lunch box. The bean dip recipe is here.

If you have any questions or your own tips, leave them bellow.

More

How I encourage my kids to eat veggies

Muesli Slice

This is an easy one for the lunch box.

Muesli Slice Recipe

Muesli Slice Recipe

Ingredients

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup sultanas
½ cup desiccated coconut
½ cup self-raising flour
½ cup brown sugar
125 grams margarine, melted
2 tablespoons honey

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Combine dry ingredients.
  3. Add Margarine and honey.
  4. Press into greased 25cm slice pan.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden.
  6. Cut into squares when cool.

More

Lunch Box Ideas

Lunch Box Idea: (Nut-Free) Trail Mix

I have my lunch box staples: stuff I know the kids like. I also like to mix things up sometimes and try new things I can (hopefully) add to my lunch box food repertoire.  I found another one winner with my kids: a lunch box friendly (and nut free) trail mix.  

Just three things in it:

  • Pretzels, Popcorn & Sultanas

It’s a nice sweet/salty snack. Not amazingly nutritious but neither is it really nasty either.

Lunch Box Ideas - Trail Mix (nut free)

Lunch Box

Ham & Cheese Sandwich on multigrain

Date loaf

Carrot sticks

Apple

Popcorn, Pretzel & Sultana Trail Mix

Other Variations

I found this helpful article about building trail mixes with many different combination ideas (some with nuts, some with out).

  • Pretzels, Popcorn & Cheerios
  • Pretzels, Popcorn & Craisins
  • Shredded Wheat Cereal, Sunflower Seeds & Goji Berries
  • Brand flakes, Oats & Dried Apricot (cut up)

Lunch Box Ideas - Trail Mix (nut free)

Sometimes I do only popcorn, or pretzels, or sultanas and sometimes all together.  It all counts as lunch box options. Variety!!

Lunch Box Ideas - popcorn

Lunch Box

Mini Quiche & Salad

Mini Muffin

Popcorn

100% Fruit Juice

* The lunch boxes are Bento Laptop Lunch Boxes and you can read my review of them in the link below.

More Posts

How I Encourage my Kids to Eat Veges (and other good food)

Bento Laptop Lunch Box Review

6 Dinners and How to Turn the Leftovers into Lunch Box Food

More Lunch Box Ideas

Lunch Box: Temporary Tattoo Banana

Temporary Tattoo Banana - fun for the lunch box

I’ve used temporary tattoos to decorate boiled eggs around Easter time and they work on bananas too. This is fun for the lunch box or just to make the fruit bowl look uber cool.  Follow the packet instructions and apply to the banana just as you would skin.

Temporary Tattoo Banana for the Lunch Bo

  • Corn & Cheese Scrolls (used this recipe)
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Boiled egg
  • Banana
  • Carrot mini muffin

Banana Tattoo - fun lunch box idea

More Lunch Box Ideas

2 Ingredient Dough Scrolls

Cheesy Toasted Sandwich Bites

Bread Crackers

Leftover into lunch boxes

Lunch Box Safety

How I tackle The Lunch Box Monster

Date, Oat & Coconut Balls

Lunch Box: Scrolls (2 ingredient dough)

A little while ago, I shared how I make pizza scrolls for the lunchbox.  I make the dough from scratch in my Thermomix. Many asked about an easier way to do the dough so I’m sharing two different ways I do scrolls that are a little less hands-on. It’s handy to have these up your sleeve so you can smash them out depending on how much time you have.   They freeze well so you can make a big batch for the lunch box.

Puff Pastry

Firstly, I have made scrolls with puff pastry before.  Simply lay out a piece, sprinkle with desired ingredients, roll when thawed, cut into sections and cook in a hot 190°C-200°C oven until golden (about 15 minutes).  They turn out ok but not very full (and they are a bit greasy) so I don’t tend to do that option much anymore. Below is a batch of puff pastry scrolls I made a couple of years ago.

puff pastry scrolls

2 Ingredient Dough

Easy Greek Yoghurt Dough

Another method I sometimes use is the greek yoghurt, 2 ingredient dough.  This is great because the dough doesn’t require rising time.  I also use this recipe to make flat bread (which is great for the lunch box too). I’ve done this in both the Thermomix and by hand and I’ve detailed how below.

Ingredients

2 Cups SR Flour (300 grams)

1 Cup Greek Yoghurt (280 grams)

Filling ingredients (I used ham & mustard this time)

Dough Method – Thermomix

1.  Weigh out all ingredients into bowl.

2. Slowly turn to speed 6 for 12 seconds until dough is formed.

3. Lock lid and set timer to 1.5 minutes, kneed option.

4. Remove dough from the Thermomix bowl and place on to a floured board or Thermomix mat.

5. Kneed into a ball. Add a little extra flour when kneading if needed.

Dough Method – Regular

1. Place yoghurt & 1 cup of SR flour into a large mixing bowl. 

2. Mix until combined (use your hands when the mixture is too thick to stir).

3. Add the rest of the flour, a little bit at a time, until you have formed a dough ball.

4. Knead for about 5 minutes on a floured board or bench.

Filling Instructions

You can fill the scrolls with anything you like!   Great combinations are:

  • bacon & cheese
  • corn & cheese
  • spinach & feta
  • tomato sauce & cheese
  • vegemite & cheese
  • ham & mustard

1. Preheat oven to 180°C.

2. Roll out dough into a rough rectangle shape at about 1.5 cm thick.  As you can see (pictured below) I don’t worry about making it perfect.

3. Add desired ingredients.  I spread on mustard before laying with ham.

4. Roll up into a log.

5. Cut into sections on a board. Depending on the fillings, I cut the log into approximately 9 portions of about 3 cm thick.  I have done it both thicker and thinner than this before too so again, it doesn’t have to be perfect.

6. Lay on a tray lined with baking paper.

7. Cook in an 180°C oven for about 20 minutes, until golden.

Ham & Mustard Scrolls (2 ingredient dough scrolls)

I still prefer my Pizza Scroll recipe dough over this one, but I still use this method often because it’s so simple and easy.

Lunch box idea

lunch box idea -- ham & mustard scrolls

  • Ham & Mustard Scroll
  • Boiled Egg
  • Blueberry muffin
  • Carrot Sticks
  • Grapes

More 

Flat bread

Lunch Box Idea: Cheesy Toasted Sandwich Bites

lunch box ideas - cheesy toasted sandwich biites

I saved bread shapes from the Egg in the Basket I made for dinner to use in the lunch box the next day.   It makes for an interesting change from a regular sandwich in the lunch box.

Ingredients

Bread

Grated cheese

Tomato sauce (optional)

lunch box ideas - start cheesy bites

1. Cut bread shapes out of bread using a cookie cutter.  I used the left over bread for Egg in the Basket. You can also use the bread to make bread crumbs and use in this meatball or chicken meatball recipe.

2. Put a layer of baking paper down on an oven tray.

3. Lay bread shapes over tray.

4. Sprinkle bread with grated cheese. 

5. Place another bread shape on top.

6. Cook in an 170°C oven for about 15 minutes, until the bread is golden and crisp and the cheese is melted. You can cook in a regular sandwich press instead.

I made these the night before and kept in an air tight container overnight to use in the lunch box of the morning.  I haven’t tried freezing them but I think they will work well.  I’ll come and update this once I’ve tried it.

Variation: add a little ham with the cheese; add a spread of tomato sauce

Another lunch box idea

Make Bread Crackers

lunch box ideas - bread crackers

Coconut Bread Recipe (only 4 ingredients)

I’ve been making this coconut bread recipe since I was a child and now I make it with  my own kids. 

coconut bread recipe

Ingredients

1 Cup SR Flour

1 Cup Desiccated Coconut

1/2 Cup Sugar

3/4 Cup Milk

Method

1. Gently combine all ingredients with  a large spoon.

2. Spoon into a well greased or lined loaf tin.

3. Cook for about 35-40 min in 170°C (325°F) oven.

Delicious served warm with butter.

Tip: you can make this coconut bread recipe in muffin size to fit easily into the lunch box. Cook for less time (until just golden and knife comes out clean – usually about 15 minutes).

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Coconut Bread
Simple ingredients. Easy to make . Great for the lunch box.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
35 hr
Total Time
40 hr
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
35 hr
Total Time
40 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 Cup SR Flour
  2. 1 Cup Desiccated Coconut
  3. 1/2 Cup Sugar
  4. 3/4 Cup Milk
Instructions
  1. Gently combine all ingredients with a large spoon.
  2. Spoon into a well greased or lined loaf tin.
  3. Cook for about 35-40 min in 170°C (325°F) oven.
Be A Fun Mum http://beafunmum.com/
I found a cute clip of my daughters (from about 6 years ago!) making this simple recipe.

Lunchbox Ideas

I usually make this recipe and cook it in a small or medium muffin pans.  This makes it easy to freeze and pop in the lunch box of  a morning. 

Lunch box 1

  • Ham & Salad Wrap
  • Apple
  • Cherry Tomato
  • Carrot Sticks
  • Yoghurt
  • Coconut bread mini muffins

lunch box ideas

Lunch box 2

  • Ham & Pineapple Pizza
  • Plumb
  • Cucumber
  • Cherry Tomato
  • Coconut bread muffins

lunch box ideas

Lunch box 3

  • Meatloaf (meat balls) with salad
  • Tomato sauce
  • Corn on the cob
  • Pear
  • Coconut bread muffins

lunch box ideas - coconut bread

More

Lunch box ideas

Leftovers into the lunch box

Lunch box safety tips (from a Dietitian)

Lunch Box Idea: Bread Crackers

lunch box ideas - make bread crackers

I saved these bread shapes from the Egg in the Basket I made for dinner to use in the lunch box.  

Ingredients

Brown Bread

Olive Oil

A little salt (optional)

Lunch box ideas - bread crackers

Bread Shapes for the lunch box

1. Cut bread shapes out of bread using a cookie cutter.  I used the left over bread for Egg in the Basket. You can also use the bread to make bread crumbs and use in this meatball or chicken meatball recipe.

2. Put a layer of baking paper down on an oven tray.

3. Lay bread shapes over tray.

4. Drizzle olive oil over all the bread.

5. Add a little salt if desired.

6. Cook in an 160°C oven for about 15-20 minutes, until the bread is golden and crisp.

I made these the night before and kept in an air tight container to use in the lunch box of the morning.  Went down a treat with the kids.

Another Lunch Box Idea

Toasted Sandwich Bites

Lunch box idea - toasted sandwich bites

Lunch Box: Pizza Scrolls Recipe (Thermomix)

Pizza Scrolls Recipe - great for the lunchbox - on beafunmum.com

These pizza scrolls are the best. The kids and the husband LOVE then. I’ve never had a fail batch.  Sometimes, I do a double batch and pop them in the freezer for school lunches. 

Pizza Scrolls Recipe

Dough Ingredients

310 g Luke warm water (1  1/3 cups)
1 sachet dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
510 g plain flour (3  1/2 cups)
30 g extra virgin olive oil (3 tablespoons)

Filling

Tomato Sauce
200 grams Bacon bits
Grated cheese

Dough Method (for Thermomix)

1. Add ingredients into the bowl as listed.
2. Mix on 6 for 12 seconds.
3. Lock lid and knead for 1.5 minutes.
4. Place dough in a bowl and cover with a clean tea towel.   Allow to rise for 30 minutes.

Dough Method (other)

1. Add ingredients as listed into a bowl.
2. Mix with a spoon until just combined.
3. Use hands to form a ball and knead for about 10 minutes.
4. Allow to rise in a bowl for 30 minutes (cover with a clean tea towel).

Filling Method

5. Remove dough from the bowl and punch down.
6. Form dough into a ball and roll out in a rectangle shape (use a bit of extra flour on the bench or board before rolling out to avoid sticking).  Tip: The rectangle doesn’t have to be a perfect shape — as you can see from the picture below.
7. Cover rectangle with tomato sauce and sprinkle on desired amount of cheese and bacon bits (or whatever filling you want, like vegemite and cheese).
8. Starting from the small side of the rectangle, roll up the dough until you get to the end.
9. Using a bread knife, cut the scroll into 9 even sections and place on a baking paper lined tray.  (NOTE: do not cut on a Thermomix mat as it will damage it.  I took the picture on the mat before transferring it to a board.)
10. Allow to rise for 15-20 minutes.
11. Place tray in a cold oven and turn to 180°C to 190°C and cook until golden (about 15-20 minutes).

pizza scrolls recipe - thermomix

pizza scrolls recipe - thermomix

pizza scrolls recipe - thermomix

pizza scrolls recipe - thermomix

pizza scrolls recipe - thermomix

pizza scrolls recipe - thermomix

pizza scrolls recipe - thermomix

pizza scrolls recipe - thermomix

pizza scrolls recipe - thermomix

** Do not cut on a Thermomix mat or it will be damaged.  I just did this for demo purposes and transferred the roll to a board to cut.pizza scrolls recipe - thermomix

pizza scrolls recipe - thermomix

pizza scrolls recipe - thermomix

Pizza Scrolls
Serves 9
Delicious lunchbox food
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Prep Time
50 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Prep Time
50 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Dough
  1. 310 g luke warm water (1 1/3 cups)
  2. 1 sachet dry yeast
  3. 1 teaspoon salt
  4. 1 teaspoon sugar
  5. 510 g plain flour (3 1/2 cups)
  6. 30 g extra virgin olive oil (3 tablespoons)
Filling
  1. Tomato Sauce
  2. 200 grams Bacon bits
  3. Grated cheese
Dough Method (for Thermomix)
  1. Add ingredients into the bowl as listed.
  2. Mix on 6 for 12 seconds.
  3. Lock lid and knead for 1.5 minutes.
  4. Place dough in a bowl and cover with a clean tea towel. Allow to rise for 30 minutes.
Dough Method (other)
  1. Add ingredients as listed into a bowl.
  2. Mix with a spoon until just combined.
  3. Use hands to form a ball and knead for about 10 minutes.
  4. Allow to rise in a bowl for 30 minutes (cover with a clean tea towel).
Filling
  1. Remove dough from the bowl and punch down.
  2. Form dough into a ball and roll out in a rectangle shape (use a bit of extra flour on the bench or board before rolling out to avoid sticking). Tip: The rectangle doesn't have to be a perfect shape.
  3. Cover rectangle with tomato sauce and sprinkle on desired amount of cheese and bacon bits (or whatever filling you want, like vegemite and cheese).
  4. Starting from the small side of the rectangle, roll up the dough until you get to the end.
  5. Using a bread knife, cut the scroll into 9 even sections and place on a baking paper lined tray.
  6. Allow to rise for 15-20 minutes.
  7. Place tray in a cold oven and turn to 180°C to 190°C and cook until golden (about 15-20 minutes).
Variations
  1. Cheese and Vegemite
  2. Sweet chilli sauce and cheese
  3. Cheese only
  4. Tomato sauce and cheese
Freeze
  1. Freezes well
Adapted from The Bestest Bread Rolls
Be A Fun Mum http://beafunmum.com/

Lunchbox Idea

  • Pizza Scroll
  • Broccoli with mayo dip
  • Mini muffin
  • Puree fruit (in a Sili Squeeze)

Lunchbox idea - Pizza Scrolls

More

Lunch Box Tips (from dietitian)

The Lunch Box Monster

Leftovers into Lunches

After School Snacks

Easy Flat Bread Recipe

Easy Flat Bread Recipe - only 2 ingredients

If you look at most of the recipes on my blog, they are all really (and I mean really) easy.  I’m not saying this is the best or most perfect way to make flat bread, but it’s the way I whip it up, it’s delicious and I use it to accompany curries and soups. Plus the leftovers go beautifully in the lunch box. This recipe works as a pizza base too.

Ingredients

2 Cups SR Flour (300 grams)

1 Cup Greek Yoghurt (280 grams)

Olive Oil (approx 1/4 cup)

Salt

Dough Method – Thermomix

1.  Weigh out yoghurt and flour into bowl.

2. Slowly turn to speed 6 for 10 seconds until dough is formed. 

3. Lock lid and set timer to 1.5 minutes, kneed option.

4. Remove dough from the Thermomix bowl and place on to a well floured board or Thermomix mat.

5. Kneed into a ball. If the dough is sticky, add extra flour when kneading until you have a nice firm ball.

Dough Method – Regular

1. Place yoghurt & 1 cup of SR flour into a large mixing bowl. 

2. Mix until combined (use your hands when the mixture is too thick to stir).

3. Add the rest of the flour, a little bit at a time, until you have formed a dough ball. Add a little extra flour the dough is too sticky.

4. Knead for about 5 minutes on a floured board or bench.

Cooking

1. Preheat oven to 200-210°C.

2. Cut dough in half, and then section into even pieces (depending on how big you want the bread to be).  I cut each half section into 4, so 8 portions all up.

3. On a floured board or clean bench, roll out each portion in an oval shape. Roll each piece thinly (as thin as possible; less than half a cm works best).  I don’t stress about the shape here.  As you can see at the picture below, they are all pretty rough. I’m going with rustic here!

4. Lay bread on a tray lined with baking paper and drizzle with a generous amount of oil.  I just wing it, but to be more precise, I would use approximately 1 tablespoon of oil for each portion.

5. Season with salt (optional)

6. Cook in a hot 200-210°C oven for approximately 15-20 minutes until golden.

Easy flat bread recipe - Thermomix recipe

2 cups chopped onions 2 cups chopped carrots 4 cloves garlic, minced 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon ground coriander 1 teaspoon ground turmeric 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper 6 cups vegetable broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth 2 cups water 3 cups chopped cauliflower 1 3/4 cups lentils 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes 2 tablespoons tomato paste 4 cups chopped fresh spinach or one 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Thickness

I’ve tried rolling the bread slightly thicker (1/2 – 1 cm) and thinly (as thin as possible – under 1/2 cm). Both work but we like the thinner version best.

Thick Flat Bread

easy flat bread recipe

Thin Flat Bread

Easy flat bread recipe

Easy Flat Bread - Thermomix
Serves 8
A 2 ingredient flat bread recipe. Great for soups!
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Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 Cups SR Flour (300 grams)
  2. 1 Cup Greek Yoghurt (280 grams)
  3. Olive Oil (approx 1/4 cup)
  4. Salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 200-210°C.
  2. Weigh out yoghurt and flour into bowl.
  3. Slowly turn to speed 6 for 10 seconds until dough is formed.
  4. Lock lid and set timer to 1.5 minutes, kneed option.
  5. Remove dough from the Thermomix bowl and place on to a well floured board or Thermomix mat.
  6. Kneed into a ball. If the dough is sticky, add extra flour when kneading until you have a nice firm ball.
  7. Cut dough in half, and then section into even pieces (depending on how big you want the bread to be). I cut each half section into 4, so 8 portions all up.
  8. On a floured board or clean bench, roll out each portion in an oval shape. Roll each piece thinly (less than half a cm works best). I don't stress about the shape here.
  9. Lay bread on a tray lined with baking paper and drizzle with a generous amount of oil. I just wing it, but to be more precise, I would use approximately 1 tablespoon of oil for each portion.
  10. Season with salt (optional)
  11. Cook in a hot 200-210°C oven for approximately 15-20 minutes until golden.
Be A Fun Mum http://beafunmum.com/

Serve

Delicious with soup! I cut up the bread into strips and served it with this Slow Cooker Lentil Soup.

Easy Flat Bread Recipe (with lentil soup)

I also use flat bread as lunch for myself with avocado, tomato and freshly cracked pepper. So delicious and a nice alternative to a sandwich.

Easy Flat Bread Recip

Lunch Box Idea

Any leftovers go in the lunch box as bread fingers.

Lunch Box idea - flat bread

  • Flat bread (great served with bean dip, tomato sauce, tzatziki, hummus)
  • Cheese
  • Carrot
  • Boiled Egg
  • Grapes
  • Ginger Snowballs

More

Slow Cooker Lentil Soup

2 Ingredient Dough Scrolls

Pizza Scrolls (Thermomix)

2 Ingredient Pizza Dough

The Lunch Box Monster

lunch box monster -- lunch box tips and ideas

It is there, waiting – every school day morning – waiting to be filled: The Lunch Box Monster.

NOOOOOO!

(Think Luke Skywalker’s response to Darth Vader’s “I am your father” declaration, and you’ll get the no just right).

To say I don’t like making school lunches is an understatement. You see, it’s a battle: me trying to find ways to fill the monster against the constant hunger. And I can’t just fill the box with anything; items need to be tasty, healthy, packed well, transportable and varied. It’s always a struggle for me, but I’m pleased to say I’m learning to manage the beast and I’ll tell you how.

Before I launch into how I conquered the monster, I have to do some math.  Stay with me.  To fill the lunch box in primary school alone, a parent will approximately make 1,400 lunches per child. Now, for me this means…

lunch box ideas

5,600 lunches!!

To overcome, I’ve drawn on the experience of many warriors who have gone before me and boiled it down to this: you need a little pre-planning, a lot of food, the training of recruits and a special relationship with the freezer.

Organisational Tips

1.      Dedicated lunchbox basket

Have a dedicated lunchbox, basket or draw. I use plastic baskets to keep container sizes and lids separate.

lunch box organisation

2.      Pre-preparation

To aid the morning rush, much of the lunch preparation can be done the night before and the weekend.

Night before:

  • Cut up fruit and vegetable pieces
  • Portion yoghurt and crackers

Weekend:

  • Make a batch of sandwiches and place them in the freezer (more details below)
  • Bake home goods and freeze in portion size

3.      Freezer

My freezer is my best friend when it comes to the lunch box.  Food items can be taken out of the freezer in the morning and put straight in the lunchbox.  They will be thawed and fresh by eating time. The following items will keep for 2 weeks in the freezer.

Sandwiches:

Make sandwiches with fillings like cheese and ham, vegemite, jam, tuna, avocado or egg.  It’s easy to include some fresh salad in the morning if that’s a preference.

Other Food:

Cakes and slices, canned fish, avocado, baked beans, zucchini slice, quiche and hard-boiled egg are some snack ideas that are able to be frozen.

Organising the freezer:

  • It’s helpful to have dedicated draw in the freezer for lunch box items.
  • Separating portion size is easy with zip-lock bags. For a more environmentally friendly option, use individual containers or freeze in batches and place directly in the lunch box of a morning.

4.      Train recruits

The best thing about this system is the ability to train recruits to feed The Lunch Box Monster.  Of a morning, my six year old is able to grab a lunch box, take a main item from the freezer, a baked item, a whole piece of fruit, cut vegetables and yoghurt.

Recipes

Below are some favourite lunch box recipes.

Coconut Bread

1 cup self-raising flour
1 cup desiccated Coconut
½ cup white sugar
¾ cup milk

  1. Preheat oven to 170°C.
  2. Mix all ingredients together.
  3. Pour mixture into greased loaf tin.
  4. Cook for 40 minutes or until knife comes out clean.
  5. Slice and serve with butter.

Zucchini Slice

3 large zucchini grated (400 grams)
1 onion grated
200 grams of diced bacon
5 eggs
¼ cup vegetable oil
¾ cup self-raising flour
1 cup grated cheese
100 grams of fetta cheese crumbled (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Grate zucchini and onion into a large bowl.
  3. Add bacon, flour, fetta cheese, oil and lightly beaten eggs in a large bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Pour into a greased 20cm square dish.
  5. Bake for 35-40 mins until golden and set.

* A different oil free Zucchini Slice recipe here

Magic Strawberry Mousse

1 punnet strawberries
1 avocado
1 banana
2 tablespoons of lemon juice

  1. Blend all ingredients until smooth.
  2. Pour into individual containers and allow to set for 30 minutes.
  3. Will keep in the fridge for 3 days.

Variation: Mix equal portions of vanilla yoghurt and Magic Strawberry Mousse.

Muesli Slice

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup sultanas
½ cup desiccated coconut
½ cup self-raising flour
½ cup brown sugar
125 grams margarine, melted
2 tablespoons honey

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Combine dry ingredients.
  3. Add Margarine and honey.
  4. Press into greased 25cm slice pan.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden.
  6. Cut into squares when cool.

Avocado Dip

2 ripe avocadoes
1/2 cup plain yoghurt
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 roughly diced tomato
2 tablespoons of chopped coriander
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 chilies chopped (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Mash avocado with a fork.
  2. Mix in the chili, garlic, tomato, lemon juice and yoghurt.
  3. Whisk together until smooth.
  4. Add to lunch box with carrot slices, celery slice, crackers or beans.

Serving suggestions

lunch box ideas

 lunch box ideas

I may have conquered the monster but I’m not sure if I’ve won the battle.  Ask me after 5,600 lunches and I’ll tell you.

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Lunch Box Tips

Leftovers into Lunches

After School Snacks

Happy Lunchbox Message Buttons

Guest post from Rebecca from WithLOVEfromMEtoYOU

milk bottle lid craft -- lunch box happy buttons

My eldest daughter is now at Preschool, and every now and then, I like to put little notes in her lunch box to make her smile. I tried writing and drawing pictures on paper bags, or on small pieces of paper but in the end they got food on them, of course, and by the time she saw them, they were looking a little worse for wear.

I was thinking it would be a great idea to manufacture little buttons to put in kids lunch boxes with different messages or pictures. Then it occurred to me: what makes it special is that I write the messages for my daughter, not a machine. So…

Enter the milk bottle lid!

It’s like a button, and you can write on it and it doesn’t get soggy with lunch (and I love to recycle).

Happy Lunchbox Message Buttons

Materials

Permanent marker

Milk bottle lids

Stickers (optional)

I wrote messages and drew pictures on the inside of the milk bottle lids. My daughter can’t quite read yet so pictures are great. I then placed funky little decorations on the flip sides of the lids to jazz them up and make them extra special. Stickers are great but you can just leave them if you like.

milk bottle lid craft -- lunch box happy buttons

milk bottle lid craft -- lunch box happy buttons

milk bottle lid craft -- lunch box happy buttons

milk bottle lid craft -- lunch box happy buttons

milk bottle lid craft -- lunch box happy buttons

Milk bottle lid messages are a sweet way to give your child a little surprise in their lunch box and remind them that you love them through out the day.

About Rebecca

Rebecca is a SAHM of two daughters in Northern NSW. Trained as a Printmaker and High School teacher, she loves up-cycling, vintage, paper and all things CrArt (craft+art). In her “spare time” (i.e. when the kids are asleep) she makes an eclectic array of hand made items for her business withLOVEfromMEtoYOU.

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Milk Bottle Lid Craft

Lunch Box Ideas

Lunch Box Idea: Zebra Sandwiches

lunch box idea -- zebra sandwiches

Making food fun can help to encourage the kids to eat wholegrain bread if you’re trying to make the switch from the white variety.

Instructions

Simply use two different colour breads for a sandwich, cut into four soldiers and turn every second one over to make a zebra pattern. My son loved finding a zebra in his lunch box!

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Lunch Box Ideas

Corned Beef

Corned Beef

how to cook corned beef

Ingredients

1 kg corned beef

2 bay leaves

½ cup malt vinegar

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 onion, peeled

10 cloves

 Instructions

1. Stud the onion with the cloves

2. Place the beef in deep pot; add onion, sugar, bay leaves and vinegar

3. Cover with water

4. Bring beef to boil and simmer for approximately 1 and ¾ hours

Slow cooker: cook for 10 hours on low or 6 hours on high.

5. Serve with corn cobs and a side salad or mixed vegetables

6. Use sauces such as tomato, horseradish for the adult or Dijon mustard

Printer Friendly PDF: Corned Beef Recipe

Lunch Box Idea

Lunch: Corned beef and mustard sandwich

Baked: Fruit Salad Muffins

Fruit: Banana

Snack: Half an avocado (leave the seed in and sprinkle a bit of lemon juice to ensure freshness)

lunch box ideas

lunch box ideas -- corned beef sandwich