Next week, students will be packing or helping to pack their own lunch.
Have a chat with your children about what they would like to include, remembering to keep it healthy and packed to keep it fresh until lunchtime. Maybe plan and shop together for healthy food they want to include or write a lunchbox menu plan.
Making your own wraps is a fun, easy activity for kids and then they can use their favourite fillings for a quick, healthy lunch.
- 250g spelt flour or whole wheat flour
- ½ tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup boiling water
- Flour for sprinkling
- Place flour, salt and olive oil in a mixing bowl. Add boiling water and mix with a wooden spoon until dough comes together.
- Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly to form a smooth dough (not too sticky or dry). Divide into 8 equal-sized balls and roll each out into 20cm discs.
- Cook, one at a time, for 1-2 minutes or until lightly browned, in a hot non-stick pan. Cover with a tea towel until ready to use.
In the morning or night before, depending on the filling, hand your child a sandwich wrap, open the fridge door and let them create a wrap from whatever they find appealing. The little inventor in them will come out, and they will customise their own wrap with the leftovers in the fridge.
Make your own lunch
- Pick a wrap (homemade — see recipe, gluten-free, veggie infused etc).
- Pick a protein: sliced cold meats, cheeses, smoked salmon, nut butters, beans, tuna, leftovers from dinner, steak, chicken, tofu, tempeh.
- Choose condiments or spreads that go with your main filling — mayo, mustards, chutneys, relishes or jams, hummus, barbecue sauce, hoisin sauce, plain Greek yogurt, salsa, pesto, and use any leftover sauces or dips lurking in the fridge first.
- Finally, add vegetables and grains: ones that don’t make the wrap too soggy by lunch (tomatoes are a big soggy offender). Examples include shredded lettuce, sliced olives and pickles, roast vegetables, bell peppers, sprouts, thinly sliced cucumbers, mushrooms, and sauerkraut. In some cases, fruit is also welcome, such as thinly sliced or diced apples, pears, or dried fruit. Shelled sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, nuts etc.
- Layer up everything on about three-quarters of the wrap, making sure not to overfill. Then add condiment, sauce or spread of choice on the remaining part of the wrap.
- Roll the wrap, starting with the filled side closest to you, rolling towards the empty edge, ideally leave enough room so that the condiment at the edge will help seal up the wrap as you finish.
- You can leave the wraps whole, in one big tube-like piece; slice them in half on the diagonal; or slice them into bite-sized pieces.
- When packing the wrap into the lunch box, add an ice pack to keep everything fresh and tasty.
Great wrap fillings
- Chicken, lettuce and cottage cheese
Serve crumbed or poached chicken breast with lettuce and cottage cheese for a protein-packed snack. You could always substitute the lettuce for coleslaw or spinach leaves for further variation.
- Rainbow wraps: vegetable, cream cheese wrap
Cream cheese is great for protein and dairy. Add any vegetable that appeals to your child such as cucumber, capsicum, carrot, or roast vegetables to make a well-rounded healthy wrap.
- Strawberry and almond butter wrap
Fruit also tastes awesome on wraps. Add cut strawberries and almond butter for a tasty treat. Almond butter is allowed at most schools but just double check to make sure.
- Egg and lettuce
Take two boiled eggs and add some mayo. Mash together with a fork until eggs become creamy. Add the creamy egg to the wrap and add lettuce or spinach.
- Banana, seed (tahini) or nut butter (almond) and honey
Tahini is a great alternative to peanut butter and high in vitamin B and other essential minerals. Putting it with banana and honey will have your child asking for more.
- Avocado and nutritional yeast (dairy-free cheese)
If you have a child who loves plain wraps and you want to add some extra vitamins and protein, sneak in a bit of nutritional yeast (deactivated yellow flakes of yeast). People who do not eat dairy often use it for its cheese flavouring. Trust me, your child will love it.
- Hummus and cucumber
Hummus is a great dairy-free protein source in the lunchbox and tastes great with cucumber or lettuce. Buy or make hummus with added vegetables to give your kids an extra vegetable boost.
- Tuna salad
Combine tuna and mayo in a bowl until it becomes a creamy mix. Add it to a wholemeal wrap and add whatever vegetables appeal to your child, like grated carrot and lettuce.
- Ham wrap
Sometimes simple is often the best. Add good quality sliced ham, cheese (Jarlsberg is yummy), grated carrot and mayonnaise. This combination will always win the kiddies.
- Bean sandwich wrap
Add avocado or guacamole to help hold the wrap together, plus cooked rice, black beans, and shredded cheese. Yum!