26 October 2016Last updated

Food | Recipes

Yummy packed lunches

Start the new school term on a healthy note with these fresh ideas for your kid’s lunch box

28 Aug 2016 | 12:41 pm



Prep time 10 mins
Baking time 25 mins
Makes 16 fairly large squares

3 cups oats
½ cup muesli
½ cup brown sugar
4 tbsp cake flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Salt, a pinch
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ cup almonds or pecan nuts, roughly chopped
1 cup dried apricots, finely chopped
½ cup dried cranberries or sultanas
4 tsp sesame seeds
4 tsp pumpkin seeds
4 tsp sunflower seeds
½ cup oil
2 eggs, whisked

Preheat the oven to 160°C and line a 24x18cm cake tin with baking paper. Mix all the ingredients, except the oil and eggs, in a large bowl.

Whisk together the oil and eggs and stir into the oat mixture.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and press down firmly with the back of a spoon. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool slightly before cutting into squares.

Remove from the tin and leave to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.



Prep time 20 mins
Cooking time 10 mins
Makes 24

250g mince of your choice
½ carrot, finely grated
½ celery stick, finely chopped
1 tsp Worcester sauce
5 tbsp dried breadcrumbs
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
1 egg, whisked
Oil, for shallow-frying
100g cherry tomatoes

Mix all the ingredients except the oil and tomatoes in a mixing bowl. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Use a fork to break up any lumps or large pieces of meat.

Shape into small balls (about 20g each). Refrigerate the meatballs for a few minutes.

Heat oil in a pan and shallow-fry a few meatballs at a time until brown and done. Leave to cool, then thread on to skewers, alternating them with the cherry tomatoes.

Pack a few skewers into a lunch box and chill.



Prep time 5mins
Makes 600 ml

10 strawberries
1 pear, or 1 mango
3 peaches
Honey, as required
500ml Greek yogurt

Wash the fruits under running water and pat dry with paper towels.

Cut into chunks and put them in a food processor.

Add honey and yogurt and blitz until the mixture is smooth.

Refrigerate until ready to pack.



Prep time 10 mins
Baking time 1 hour
Makes 1 loaf

150g butter, softened
1 cup soft brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
4 tbsp golden syrup
1½ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Ground cinnamon, a pinch
Salt, a pinch
4 ripe bananas, mashed
Butter and cheese, to serve (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line an 8x18cm loaf tin with baking paper. Cream together butter and sugar for a few minutes. Then add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla essence and golden syrup to the mixture and stir well.

Sift together flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and salt in a mixing bowl and fold the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Mix in bananas and pour the batter into the prepared tin. Bake for 40 minutes. Cover the loaf with foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until done (a skewer inserted in the middle should come out clean).

Leave to cool on a wire rack. Slice and spread thinly with a little butter and scatter grated cheese on top.



Prep time 5 mins
Cooking time 10 mins
Serves 2

4 tbsp butter
2 cups cooked rice
½ cup frozen peas
½ cup whole-kernel sweet corn
1 cup shredded smoked chicken
5 tsp finely chopped parsley

Heat butter in a wok and add cooked rice. Sauté for a few minutes, until glossy.

Add peas and stir-fry for aminute, then add sweet corn, chicken and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Let it cool, then spoon into a lunch box.



Prep time 10 mins
Makes 4

4 slices white bread
50ml cheese spread
1 carrot, scraped and cut into matchsticks
¼ cucumber, scraped and cut into matchsticks

Remove the bread crusts. Spread a thin layer of cheese over each slice.

Divide carrot and cucumber matchsticks between each slice of bread and roll up, securing with a cocktail stick if necessary.


Prep time 15 mins
Serves 2

175g canned tuna, drained
½ shallot, finely chopped
2 gherkins, finely chopped
50ml mayonnaise
2 tsp finely chopped fresh parsley
Butter, as required
4 slices wholewheat bread

Mix tuna, onion, gherkins, mayonnaise and parsley in a mixing bowl. Spread each slice of bread with a little butter and divide the tuna filling between 2 slices of bread. Cover with the remaining slices and cut each sandwich in half.


Prep time 10 mins
Makes 2 sandwiches

4 slices wholewheat bread
Sliced tomatoes
1 can chickpeas, rinsed
100ml lemon juice
100ml olive oil
4 garlic cloves

To make hummus, puree together chickpeas and lemon juice. Add olive oil and blend until creamy. Add garlic and blend again.

Spread hummus on 2 slices of bread, top with tomato and lettuce and close the sandwich with remaining slices.