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Creative recipe ideas to make lunch more fun

Sarah Megginson is a freelance writer, journalist and editor. She currently edits Ultimate, Australia's highest-circulating entertainment magazine available nationally through Sanity stores and writes for magazines including Cosmopolitan...

Lunch box remix

From SheKnows Australia
Sandwiches, muffins and vegetable slice: These are all perfectly healthy and adequate meals to feed your kids at lunchtime, but they’re not exactly exciting! Revamp your little ones' lunch box with these fun and creative recipes that will encourage your children to eat every last bite.
1

Butterfly sandwich

Butterfly sandwich

Image credit: www.neat2eat.com.au

The perfect lunch for the little girl in your life, this butterfly sandwich ticks several boxes as it's healthy, nutritious and loads of fun!

Recipe adapted from www.neat2eat.com.au

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices bread
  • 1 cheese stick
  • Cream cheese, butter, jam, Nutella or other spread
  • Sultanas for decorating

You'll also need:

  • A heart-shaped sandwich cutter or sharp knife (to cut the heart freehand)
  • A food pick for antlers; you could also make antlers out of toothpicks with grapes stuck on each end, or pretzel sticks that have been cut down to size

Directions:

  1. Use the heart cutter to cut one heart from each slice of bread. Alternatively, use a sharp knife to create a heart shape in each slice of bread.
  2. Turn each heart onto its side and slice off the bottom "tip" of the heart.
  3. Unwrap the cheese stick and place it onto a plate, with each bread "wing" placed on either side.
  4. Smother each heart with the spread of your choice.
  5. Add some antlers to the top of the cheese stick and decorate with sultanas. Ebony Malcolm from Neat2Eat recommends that you involve your little one in creating their own butterfly sandwich: "They'll have so much fun doing so and you'd be surprised how much more likely they are to eat it if they've had a hand in making it," she says.

2

Banana cinnamon muffins

Banana cinnamon muffins

Image credit: www.weemissmuffet.com

Add these magnificent muffins to your kids' kindy lunch box or school bag to give them a sweet treat that tastes great and has a little nutrition thrown in for good measure.

Recipe adapted from www.weemissmuffet.com.

Serves 12

Ingredients:

For muffins:

  • 1-2/3 cups wholemeal or plain flour
  • 2/3 cup raw sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For topping:

  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup of butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and line a 12-hole muffin tray with paper cases.
  2. Beat the sugar, oil and eggs with a wire whisk in a bowl.
  3. Stir in bananas and vanilla, then add flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, just until moistened.
  4. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.
  5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a skewer is inserted and comes out clean. Remove from tray and place onto a wire rack to cool.
  6. Once the muffins have slightly cooled, add the topping: Simply mix the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl, then dip each muffin into the melted butter and roll in the cinnamon/sugar mixture.

3

Sandwich kebabs

Sandwich kabobs

Image credit: www.eat-drink-love.com

They're the same ingredients your children know and love, but when presented in a kebab-style, they're that much more fun to eat and enjoy.

Recipe adapted from www.eat-drink-love.com.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices bread, buttered
  • Cheddar cheese block (firm enough so you can cut out shapes)
  • Turkey or ham, sliced
  • 8 cherry tomatoes
  • Handful of lettuce leaves

You'll also need:

  • Wooden skewers
  • Small cookie cutters

Directions:

  1. Use the cookie cutters to cut your bread and cheese into various shapes.
  2. Layer the ingredients however you desire on the skewers.
  3. Serve and enjoy! If you have young children and don't want to give them sharp wooden sticks, just skip the skewers and give them a plate of different shaped foods.

Boxout: It's all in the presentation

Fun Bento box lunches

Image credit: www.neat2eat.com.au

Sometimes, it's less about the content of the lunch box and more about the presentation. For instance, with Neat2Eat.com.au's range of quirky bento boxes, you can inject some fun into your child's midday meal.

Fun Idea:

Make lunchtime even more fun for your kids with the Golden's® Facebook app. Check it out for more ways to make lunch something your children will look forward to.

More snack recipes

Make your own sherbet
Country-style pumpkin scones
Energy-packed apple and apricot muffins

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