We are already into Week 6 of the first term of School and I am struggling to find new and delicious lunchbox ideas for my eldest son! He is admittedly a little fussy but slowly over time and age we are breaking new ground and he now eats spinach, lettuce, basil, and he has even tried broccoli and liked it! Still working on tomatoes, avocado and capsicum and don’t even get me started on fruit besides apple and rockmelon…
Both my boys were great eaters up until they were about 2 years old, when they of course learnt how to say “no”. It has been struggle city ever since trying to get them to eat a regular amount of fruit and vegetables. Made all the more annoying, given that I am in fact a Vegequarian (I eat fish & seafood).
I have in the last few months been able to convince my eldest son to move on from cheese or honey sandwiches and we now have tuna, spinach, cheese and tomato salsa wraps for lunch! But I can’t make them day in and day out for him as he will soon tire of them.
So I was quite relieved to receive in the post a gifted copy of the brilliant “Munch Lunchbox” cookbook – by Anna Bordignon & Michelle Kitney. I have searched high and low for a decent, no fuss, easy lunch ideas for kids and I can honestly tell for ages 4+ years I haven’t found one, until now.
I am not much of a cook to be honest, baking yes, I love it but when it comes to cooking meals, I find it tiresome. Most likely because I have to cook at least 2 separate meals if I do a meat dish for the boys in the family and I do that 2-3 times a week. Just because I don’t eat meat, I don’t feel that my boys should have to follow my dietary habits.
But also I get sick of the arguments over dinner, don’t you? My youngest in particular says
” Arrrgh ( with a really excruciatingly dramatic whingey noise) do we have to eat this?”
“Yes, you do, I slaved away cooking Shepherds Pie for you and I don’t even eat meat! So yes you need to at least try it.” Then the tantrums and waterworks start. Ahh dinner time is so peaceful with kids isn’t it?!
Based in New Zealand and both mums of boys, Anna & Michelle have forged a name for themselves and their healthy and sustainable outlook on food. They believe in litter free lunches and have created their own lunchboxes, eco-friendly lunch wraps and reusable food storage to pursue this sustainable outlook.
This idea has permeated across most schools in Australia too. My son’s school has a waste free Wednesday campaign where each week, ALL children are encouraged to bring a litter free lunch to school.
Anne and Michelle also have an awesome blog filled with heaps of kid friendly, healthy recipes and lunchbox storage solutions. Finally, they are the brains behind the Munch Food Awards, now in its 5th year which gives New Zealand parents a chance to vote on issues relating to food products and marketing campaigns and its impact on kids, raising important awareness about these issues.
These 2 ladies hold values true to mine and ever since my son started school 2 years ago he has taken a litter free lunch to school, every single day with the help of the brilliant segmented BPA free and phthalates-free Yumbox. So I was really looking forward to finding some new meal ideas for my fussy boys.
I have to say I devoured the book ( ha not literally) reading it from front to back and thinking that honestly, for the first time I had found a cookbook where my kids would eat 85% of the recipes! This was indeed a first.
In looking at the recipes in the cookbook and with a play date taking place I thought I would attempt the “Apple and Cinnamon” muffins that look super easy in the book. I also have all the ingredients to hand which is even better! And well I love to bake but I had never attempted apple muffins before, so this was the perfect chance. I wasn’t quite sure my boys and their mate would eat them but it was worth a try…
Following the recipe which was only 10 mins prep time as it stated ( so often NOT the case with cookbooks), I had the muffins in the oven and baking. Once out after 15 minutes, I had a quick taste test and they were utterly delicious! But the true test would come with my boys and their friend after school.
After telling them in the car what I had baked and all three of them screwing their noses up at me, I thought “Wonderful, here we go again…” It wasn’t until they tried it (I told them they had to at least taste it!) that our house guest said “yummy” and no joke proceeded to eat 2 out of the 4 muffins on the plate. Yippee!!
My eldest was less than enthusiastic especially the concept of the baked apple but after trying it, slowly announced he too liked it. Win win!
Finally my sweet tooth youngest child who can also be picky ( he never eats vegetables unless I hide them) proclaimed they were “Delicious Mummy” and ate his in one gulp. Woohoo, success!!!!
One awesome aspect of the cookbook which I love is that the recipes are easy and you will have almost all the ingredients in your cupboard. Another thing I love is that almost all the recipes are good to freeze so for instance, I froze half a dozen of these muffins and I have been popping them in the boys lunches this week AND they have been eating them!
So I will challenge myself and I am going to try a new recipe every fortnight out this book for the next few months. Hopefully they are as successful as the muffins, watch this space…
Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post; however I did receive a sample for my review.