5 quick and easy lunchbox tips for busy parents

Image: Getty Images
Image: Getty Images

Whether you’re the mom who goes out of her way to pack balanced, creative lunches for her kids, or the dad who packs last night’s leftovers into a Tupperware, every parent has the same end goal: to make sure their kids are happy and well-fed.

Ditch the fish fingers and peanut butter sandwiches and opt for goodies every kid will love, with these nifty lunchbox ideas perfect for moms and dads on-the-go.

Dr. Oetker South Africa shares 5 lunchbox hacks to make preparing your kids lunchboxes easier:

DIY lunches
When you’re running late and stuck for ideas, DIY lunches are an easy, time-saving alternative to the traditional lunchbox – and fun for the kids too! Throw in a stack of crackers, slivers of cold meat and a few slices of cheese, which kids can easily put together on their own. You can also include a few carrot sticks, pretzels or diced fruit on a skewer for easy munching.

Sandwiches - one variant can make the world of a difference
While sandwiches are by no means a revolutionary lunchbox item, the problem is that we’ve been looking at this marvellous, time-saving invention all wrong. The difference between a boring old sarmie and a gourmet alternative comes down to adding a filling or two – add jam to a peanut butter sarmie, cheese to a jam sarmie or lettuce to a cheese and tomato sarmie to add a slight variant, which can easily be prepared in the morning.

Treats for your sweets
While kids need balanced and nutritious meals to grow big and strong, there’s nothing wrong with surprising them with a mid-week treat every now and then. If time is of the essence, give your kids something to smile about by grabbing a few Dr. Oetker Ital pizza slices or mini pizzas from the freezer, bake for a few minutes until the cheese is just about melting, and wrap in foil before placing in their lunchbox.

Sides make the meal
The trick to preparing truly impressive lunches comes down to variety, and no, that doesn’t have to mean waking up an hour earlier to slave away in the kitchen. Along with a sarmie, or mini pizza or slice, try to include a few other snacks, like pretzels, pistachios, dried fruit pieces, and veggies with cream cheese for dipping. If you don’t have the time to get creative on the main element of the lunchbox, give your kids a variety of sides and snacks to keep things interesting.

Lunch and snack boxes
Why spend all that time packing neatly sliced portions of food into a tiny lunchbox when you can just toss it all into a brown paper bag and be on your way? Creating lunch and snack box stations is an efficient approach to the lunch-making tradition, particularly when there’s more than one school-goer to prepare for. Simply place all the lunchbox items –sandwiches, fruit cups, juice boxes and treats – in separate boxes, and get the kids to grab one of each on their way out the door. 

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