Kitchen Tips

Five Fresh Ideas For School Lunchboxes

If you spent 2017 fishing out half-eaten sandwiches and untouched apples from your kids’ backpacks, then it’s time to reinvent school lunchboxes for 2018. Be inspired by the bento boxes of Japan by using a lunchbox with different sections so you can pack your children off with a nutritious, diverse meal that covers all of the food groups. These five fresh ideas for school lunchboxes look and taste so good, we think you’ll be taking them for your office lunch, too.

Oodles of Noodles Lunchbox

For the main event, whip up a batch of South East Asian fried rice vermicelli  with omelette strips, green herbs and lean protein such chicken breast or pork fillet. Add cherry tomatoes, cucumber batons, mandarin segments and peeled quail eggs for added vitamins and protein. This box has a great balance of carbohydrates, protein, fruit and vegetables for sustained energy.

Beefy Bento

Guaranteed to be a hit with kids and adults alike, this lunchbox features Japanese beef rolls filled carrot and enoki mushrooms, a side of steamed rice, broccoli florets and carrots, plus a morning tea snack of Korean-style omelette and apple wedges. The quality protein from the beef and eggs will help your kids stay fuller for longer.

Katsu Sandwich Bento

Who says school lunches can’t be on-trend? Japanese-style katsu sandwiches were one of the biggest food trends of 2017, so we know your little ones will love them. Our version uses sushi rice and nori for the ‘sandwich’ with fillings of pan-fried tofu or chicken. Serve with a side of Japanese potato salad, plus fresh fruit and steamed corn on the cob.

Kawaii Onigiri Lunchbox

Onigiri sushi rice balls have long been a favourite lunchtime snack in Japan, thanks to their portability and versatility – you can fill them with anything from tinned tuna to roast chicken or pickled plums. Add another Japanese snack of chikuwa fish sticks (available from Asian grocery stores), plus a hard-boiled egg, tomatoes and orange slices for a deliciously nutritious meal that’s perfect for eating with your fingers.

Yummo Puffs Lunchbox

With their flaky pastry and gently spiced filling, these mild Malaysian-style curry puffs are sure to make your child the envy of the playground. Think of it as an Asian twist on the Aussie meat pie. For little lunch, make a California roll using wraps, and add a handful of cherries or other fruit in season.

For more lunch inspiration, try these five Asian recipes for meals in jars or five great bento box ideas for your next picnic.

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