As the new year for schooling has begun, we often wonder what can go into our lunch boxes to help our nutrition and be fun and tasty.
“School meals must provide nourishment for growing minds, and the lunch box stands as a pivotal component of a child’s daily nutrition, requiring a delicate balance between health, time efficiency, and budget considerations,” Mbali Mapholi, the Laager Tea4Kidz partner dietitian, said.
She shared some cost-effective lunch box meals and snacks to get the school year off to a nutritious start:
Hummus and veggie sandwich
Blend 1 can of chickpeas (drained and rinsed), 2 tablespoons of tahini, 2 tablespoons of cooking oil, 1 clove of garlic or ½ teaspoon of minced garlic, juice of 1 lemon, and salt to taste.
Layer the lettuce on a slice of brown or seeded bread, add hummus and cucumber slices, add more lettuce and close with another slice of bread.
Chicken and pea pesto sandwich
Blend 1 cup of thawed frozen peas, 2 tablespoons of cooking oil, ¼ cup of grated Parmesan cheese or a handful of nuts, salt and pepper to season.
Spread the pea pesto onto a slice of bread (toasted or not). Add lettuce and cooked chicken pieces.
Tuna with a twist
Combine canned tuna (drained) with mayonnaise or mustard and diced cucumber. Mix well.
Spread the mixture over the bread and add mixed herbs (optional).
Peanut butter and apple sandwich with honey drizzle
Spread peanut butter on brown bread, layer with thinly sliced apples and drizzle with honey before closing with another slice of bread.
Home-made iced tea is a healthy and cost-effective alternative that can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge. It can also help keep a child hydrated.