When packing school lunches in the morning I first look to repurpose leftovers from supper; use meat (chicken, beef, pork) in a wrap or sandwich, using leftover pasta, rice or quinoa by adding vegetables and a dressing to make a cold salad or making a hot lunch by putting soup, pasta or casseroles into a thermos. When there aren’t any leftovers then my next plan is to grab a main from the freezer. Here are my favourite freezer mains made to date!
Ham and Cheese Quinoa Veggie Bites
These are so easy to make and delicious to eat. These little bites are held together using the power of eggs. Eggs combined with the quinoa provides a source of protein, many vitamins and minerals to help fuel-growing bodies. Quinoa is also a high fibre whole grain, which is a healthy addition to any diet. This recipe is very forgiving and makes it possible to make it your own by using ingredients your family loves. As a school lunch I provide them cold with mustard, pizza sauce or tzatziki sauce to dip. At breakfast I like to serve them warm with ketchup or plain greek yogurt and fruit. Children of all ages and adults will love these little bites.
Kale and Sweet Potato Egg Muffins
For a quick breakfast, lunch or snack these egg muffins are another favourite in our house. The eggs and cheese provide a great source of protein packed into a convenient serving that can be eaten with one hand. Shredded sweet potato is an excellent source of vitamin A and kale is an excellent source of manganese, copper, calcium, and vitamins A, C, B6, and K. Both are full of a variety of vitamins and minerals that are essential for growth.
Whole Wheat Waffles
I love the versatility of waffles as a breakfast food to replace bread in sandwiches or to slice into sticks and eaten cold for lunch with a dip. These waffles are our go to for batch cooking. We often make a batch on the weekend, let cool and freeze so they are ready for breakfast or lunch during the week. I like to serve them with plain greek yogurt topped with hemp hearts, chia seeds, a little maple syrup. All you need is some fruit and veggies to create a balanced school lunch.
If you like falafel these waffles are for you! The addition of chick peas (also known as garbanzo beans) provides protein, fibre, folate, iron and zinc as well as many other essential vitamins and minerals. If you have a child who likes hummus these waffles have the flavours of hummus but in a waffle. Try serving with tzatziki sauce, plain greek yogurt with lemon juice or a favourite salad dressing.
Sweet Potato Falafel
One of my favourite falafel recipes is this one that has the addition of sweet potato for added nutrition and a wonderful flavour. Black beans and sweet potatoes go so well together and add chickpeas and sweet potato for another winning combination. These are a perfect texture for little ones just learning to feed themselves and for our big kids to eat on their own dipped in tzatziki or stuffed into a pita. Instead of rolling into a ball try shaping into a nugget for a fun twist!
Super easy to make and freezes amazing! I made it, baked it and then cut it into slices and froze the slices on a cookie tray and popped them into a zip top bag for quick and easy lunches! There are so many variations to make; try ham and swiss or broccoli and cheddar. A veggie variation would be good too with shredded veg or even a Margherita version with sliced tomato, mozzarella and basil. Frozen pizza dough (defrosted) or refrigerated dough works perfect!
Kids love nuggets and these are no exception. Packed with broccoli and carrots and cheese make this delicious and nutritious. These are definitely school lunch worthy or an option for dinner too! For school you can try serving them cold or warm in a thermos and with a dip like honey mustard sauce, greek yogurt tzatziki or ketchup. These are a great main or serve as a side with a protein like chicken breast cut into strips for dipping too!