Posted in Environmentally friendly, Healthy eating with kids, Parenting

The Lunchbox War

I have a war in my kitchen with trying to keep as much processed food and added sugar away from the lunch boxes. I’m definitely not anti sugar but with the amount of sugars that are added to our foods I would like the boys to have a good balance in their diets.  

 It seems at home they scream for snacks and sugar so this puts my mind to rest that there are good foods in their bodies during the day and they have no choice but to eat up or eat nothing!  I still have a fair way to go…but I’m feeling confident we are creating a great start for the kids.  

I have learnt that preparation is the key in making healthy easy lunches and of course I am lucky that one of my children loves vegetables, the other has to grim and bear it as his favourite catch phrase at the moment is “I like crap food.”  

My husband and I have a deal where he makes sandwiches/wraps and prepares the fruit and vegetables the night before and I pack all the other stuff the next morning.  I can’t stand making sandwhiches in the morning while getting the kids ready!  Having my husband help also gives me peace of mind for when our third arrives in August that everything may not go completely out the window! 

At the beginning of the week I shop a lunchbox shop where I make sure I have enough for everyday of the week, this usually means the following:

– A block of Edam cheese to cut into sticks

– Pretzels, popcorn or Potato sticks

– Meat sticks

– Yoghurt

– Wraps, bread or making pikelets 

– Fruit & Vegetables (try to cut these up and put in water in the fridge so that they are ready in the mornings)

– Baking supplies for bliss balls or baking (muffins, Anzac biscuits, afghans)

– Dates

– Frozen Edamame beans 

– Hummus 

I have also found that lunchboxes with compartments make lunches easier and cheaper for me to manage. If I can open the lunchbox and see all the compartments I can see what I need to add straight away. In this way I can buy big packs of pretzels which I split into their lunches over the week.  Thus also following a ‘green’ initiative where there is less packaging used daily too!  These lunch boxes I use were introduced to me by my mother in law and have been amazing, quite an investment but a family friend has used these right through the school years for her kids.  

There are lots of lunchboxes in this style out there now and can be very reasonably priced too!

So I have managed to conquer the time and money challenge with careful planning and preparation however the allergy challenge is a difficult one.  In so many blog posts they add it’s great for children to have nuts and/or eggs in their lunches, but in the younger years our children cannot take these as there are other children with allergies.  So I am still hunting for ways to add these proteins into the lunchboxes without putting any other children at risk.

I will keep you posted…and as for my own lunches?  Let’s just say one battle at a time!  I am a self confessed boring eater so marmite and cheese on crackers is putting in a big effort for me!  My husband freaks to hear me say if there was a pill for each meal I would take it as I find eating a bit of a waste of time!  Maybe I should start packing my own healthy lunch at the beginning of the day ūüėā. No way making two lunches a day is enough!  

Ps Share with me your lunchbox ideas your kids love, I would love to hear what you are doing! 

Posted in Education, Environmentally friendly, Parenting

Our wonderful worm farm

I know, I know it sounds gross right? ¬†But its not as bad as you think! ¬†After moving to our new house I ¬†looking for a way to get rid of our fruit and vegetable scraps without going down the compost route (they can attract rats..i hate rats!) and a practical way to help teach the boys about caring for our environment. ¬†After lots of research we decided on a worm farm, it wouldn’t take up too much space or my time and the worms create worm tea/wee that benefits the garden!

We have had a worm farm over a year now and have found it is so useful in our household.  It is very low maintenance and there is no need to touch the worms at all.  It was also very cheap to buy ($15) so it was a great investment for our first worm farm and you can build on it if you want more worms!

I have found that the kids are right into it, helping out feeding the worms, covering them over and collecting the worm tea/wee to use in our garden and to sell for pocket money!   It is a great learning experience for them in the way that they are learning how to look after our environment by using our food waste rather than throwing everything away.

Our wonky carrots and in the background amazing pansy garden thanks to the worm farm.

Have I mentioned it is AMAZING in the garden?  Our summer fruit and vegetables have been abundant.  The worm wee/tea collects in the bottom of the worm farm, the worms turn the food scraps into a solid amendment called vermicastings, also known as worm casting or worm wee which speeds up the plant growth and reduced the effect of plant diseases and pests.  Although I have learnt I do need to water it down as it can be so strong on new seedlings!

Our watermelon and tomatoes from the garden.

Today Levi made some labels for the worm tea/wee to sell for some pocket money which was a fun activity to do together. ¬†He decided on the wording…although I did talk to him about not labelling it Levi’s worm wee…doesn’t have the right message hehe!

Levi’s labels on the worm tea, “Levi is 5, Look worm wee” ¬†I love the addition of the black barcode!

So if you ever get a chance or are interested I definitely recommend getting a worm farm at your place.  There are so many websites with information and lots of gardening centres and hardware stores that are willing to help.