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6 JANUARY 2021

Three back to school to dos


We’re really excited to be partnering with The Root Cause to provide our parent community with great tips and tricks for how to stay organised, pack nutritious school lunches, and encourage your children to eat healthily. The following article has been written by the team at https://therootcause.com.au

It’s almost back to school time and we’re about to look down the barrel of roughly 200 days (per child) of packing lunchboxes. Whether the thought of packing lunchboxes fills you with dread or excitement, these three back to school to dos will help get you more organised so packing lunchboxes is a more pleasant task.


1. Clean out and tidy up

During the school term, there are a few places in the kitchen you’re likely to go to daily. If they are organised and tidy, then your life is so much easier.

Lunchbox and plastics cupboard sorted

Hands up if your lunchbox and plastics cupboard somehow seems to expand and explode as the year goes on? Mine certainly does. I don’t know how, but it just does.

Now is the time to:

  • Go through and match up all the lids to the bottoms.
  • Check the catches to make sure they work.
  • Work out what you will be reusing this year and what you no longer need to keep.
  • Restack the cupboard so it’s orderly.
The fridge and freezer

The fridge and the freezer are another place where things accumulate. Go through and do a purge of both. Here are some things to check:

Use By dates – have they expired? If so, dispose of them (if they are bottles, repurpose the bottles if you can). If not, ask yourself how long you have had it and whether you will use it soon. Make a choice about whether to keep it or not.

Anything that is in a container or bottle with no label, think about how long it may have been in the fridge or freezer. Is it likely to still be food safe? If not, dispose of it. If so, add a label. A simple label you can use that works well in the fridge or freezer is masking tape with permanent marker. Be sure to add the date to the container so you at least know the date you last checked it was ok.

Make a habit of labelling your food in containers or jars with the contents and the date. This way at a quick glance you will know what it is and how old it is.

The pantry

The pantry is definitely a place where foods can hide and go unused without you realising it.

Take this opportunity to clean it out and restack it neatly so it’s easy to find things. I also suggest you talk to your family about keeping the pantry in an orderly manner. Maybe even draw a diagram of what goes on each shelf.

Let them know an orderly pantry helps take the stress out of making food and when you’re less stressed, you’re happier and less likely to get upset with them. Surely that’s a good incentive for them, right?!


2. Stock the fridge with fruit and veg

Make it as easy as possible for your family to eat real food every day and to pack it into the lunchboxes by stocking the fridge (and bench tops) with fruits and vegetables.

Remember, many packaged foods use ingredients that make our kids’ (and even our) taste buds go “Yum!”. But many of these packaged snacks contain ingredients that may affect behaviour, learning, concentration, energy levels and overall health.

Make it a habit to pack fruits and vegetables as a snack. And please keep in mind that if you also include a packet snack for your kids, they are more likely to eat the packet snack and skip the fruit and vegetables, especially if they have a short eating time at school.

Some great lunchbox real food snacks are:

  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Fruit salad
  • Plain crackers with cheese or dips
  • Bliss balls
  • Plain Greek yoghurt, top with muesli or fruit
  • Popcorn popped at home
  • Baby cucumbers
  • Veggie sticks (carrot, cucumber, tomato, celery) and a dip
  • Berries, grapes
  • Edamame (hummus)
  • Cheese cubes/sticks cut from a block of cheese
  • Homemade biscuit/slice

Save yourself some time and wash your fruit and vegetables before you load them into the fridge.


3. Batch cook a couple of snacks

School mornings and lunchbox packing are so much easier when you have invested a little bit of time in preparing in advance of the school week.

Batch cooking some snacks and popping them in the freezer is a great way to do this. Choose two simple snack recipes and either make them yourself or get your kids in the kitchen to help.

Here are two simple kid-friendly recipes. Make these now and pop them in the freezer ready for back to school.

  1. Chocolate protein bliss balls
  2. Anzac biscuits

There you have it. Three back to school to dos that will help make your school mornings easier.

For more lunchbox inspiration and help to empower your kids to make better food choices, join Bel over at https://therootcause.com.au or follow her at Facebook or Instagram.