All about Lunch Boxes with Love


My kids LOVE pancakes! We tend to make them on weekends, when we are not rushing out the door.  I try experimenting with different ingredients and the kids get excited, guessing what the difference might be, adding their own suggestions and then rating the final product with a score.

These fruit pancakes always prove popular with my family.  They scored a 10/10 yesterday!  The added banana and apple gives them a nice texture and there’s no need for added sugar as the fruit makes them naturally sweet.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups self raising flour (can be gluten free if required)

1 mashed banana

1/2 finely grated apple

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (although I add more as my kids love it)

1 1/4 cups milk

1 egg

Strawberries and blueberries for topping

 

Method

1.  Mix the mashed banana and grated apple with the egg and milk.

2.  Add the flour and cinnamon and mix until all ingredients are combined

3. Melt some butter in a frypan on medium heat.  Add tablespoon blobs of the mixture into the pan.  Turn as bubbles start to form and pop in the centre of the pancake.  Cook for a further minute (or until golden).

4. Top each pancake with a slice of strawberry and a blueberry.  Secure in place with one of our cute Bugs & Blossoms food picks!

A range of quick and easy lunch and snack ideas this week.

Let’s start with the 2 lunch boxes made for my boys to take to school.

The first was packed in our Laptop Lunch Box and featured our new Musical Picks. My boys are learning to play the guitar and thought these were really great.  I’m taking that as a compliment as I’m finding it harder and harder to be “cool” in their eyes!  I included some orange wedges, pretzels, cherry tomatoes, rice crackers and cheese.  Instead of a standard sandwich, I rolled up a slice of bread with ham in to a sausage shape and then cut into mini rolls.  My kids like these sushi-style sandwiches as a change.

Using the Laptop Lunch Box again, the next lunch box included a fruit salad that my kids helped to cut up.  It also included some yoghurt, a mini muffin pizza and some popcorn kept fresh in one of our little car containers.

I pulled together a very quick and easy snack for my toddler using our Cube It! cutter to cut a cheese sandwich into bite sized pieces.  I then placed a Petal Food Pick in each piece to make a beautiful rainbow garden with some sliced orange and apple.  My little girl LOVED this.  She spent at least 10 minutes talking about her garden and the colourful flowers she could see. Her imagination was running wild.

My little one pulled our two-tiered pig lunch box out of the drawer this week and I’m so glad she did as I hadn’t used it for a while.  I love packing this lunch box.  All the food grouped together always looks so bright and inviting.  I love stacking it all back together to make a compact and adorable little pig. My little one enjoyed taking the lunch box layers off one by one and discovering what was inside. This lunch included an avocado sandwich, semi-steamed snow peas, some grated cheese, strawberries, blueberries and popcorn.

All of the kids enjoyed making our mini muffin pizza faces after school.  I pre cut a range of food and vegies including capsicum, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, ham, olives and cheese.  When the kids got home, they spread some wholemeal English muffins with tomato paste and sprinkled them with cheese before making a range of funny faces from the vegetables in front of them.  Simple and fun cooking!

I tend to bake a batch of these muffins when I have a few brown bananas sitting in the fruit bowl.  The  natural yoghurt adds a very mild tang and moist texture.  The kids love them, so I tend to make a large batch in a variety of sizes and freeze them for lunchboxes or a quick snack.

Ingredients

1 & 3/4 cup of self raising flour (can use wholemeal)

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup of honey

1 cup of natural yoghurt

1 egg

150 g melted butter

2 large bananas – mashed

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly grease your muffin tray. I use a combination of standard and mini sized trays for a variety of sizes.
  2. Combine all of the wet ingredients until well mixed and then add the flour and cinnamon, stirring until just combined.
  3. Divide the mixture into the muffin trays. Baking time will depend on the size of the muffins.  Standard muffins take approximately 20 minutes, but you are looking for a nice golden top and waiting until a skewer comes out clean after being inserted in the centre of a muffin.
  4. Allow the muffins to cool for a few minutes and then remove to a wire rack to cool.  These are delicious warm too.

It’s been just over two weeks since I have taken over as owner here at Lunch Boxes With Love.  As things are settling down after the handover, I thought I would introduce myself and let you know a little bit about my family.

I live on the beautiful Central Coast of NSW with my husband and three gorgeous children.  I have two boys, aged 7 and 5, and a little girl who is 2.

My interest in creative and fun lunches started when my eldest was in preschool and has grown from there, catering for each child’s different and changing needs over time.  As my boys grow older, I am exploring new ways to make “cool” lunches, while now enjoying cute lunches all over again with my baby girl.

I initially stumbled across bento style meals searching for environmentally friendly lunch boxes.  I discovered a whole new world of lunch preparation.  Some were amazingly intricate and others were just beautifully presented, but the bright colours and varied foods made them all so appealing.  One of my favourite things to do is to cook for family and friends, showing my love through food.  Now I had found a new way to get creative and show my love!  (Please know, I don’t believe that you need to prepare extravagant lunches to show your kids you love them.  We all love our kids- this is just something that I enjoy doing.)

I am a Speech Pathologist and still work in that role as I manage Lunch Boxes With Love.  These days I work in a hospital with older patients, however many years ago I worked with some children who were labelled “fussy eaters”.  Although many of these children had a variety of complex issues impacting on their feeding, there were some children I believe would have benefited from products like the ones on this website to help tempt them to try new foods.  If only I had known about these products back then!  My experiences working with these children have come in handy as a Mum, as each of my own kids have, at one time or another,  gone through stages of being particular about the food they eat.

My hope for “Lunch Boxes With Love” is to continue to grow the community, sharing recipes, lunch box inspiration and tips with one another.  I want to share the tools that I have found successful with my own family and discover fantastic new accessories, including some for older children.  I hope that you and your children enjoy our products as much as we do!

With Love,

Katie x

 





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