When my kids were all littlies, a sandwich and some fruit was all they needed in their lunch boxes. But they’re a bit bigger now and are needing something ‘extra’. I get constant requests for mini packets of crisps, muesli bars, bags of sweets or all of the above…..!!! I refuse to buy into this for three reasons – the packaging, the expense and the crappy ingredients. I calmly explain this to my children each time I am asked for these individually wrapped snacks and I’m hopeful that the message is slowly sinking in…..
But I feel like a flat refusal to provide extra food if they need isn’t great parenting. So I’ve suggested they get organised and do some baking/preparation at the weekend so they have snacks prepared for themselves each week. I figure this is a great way to get them into the kitchen and give them some responsibility for feeding themselves!!
They were very sceptical when I suggested they try roasted chickpeas… but you know what….?? They LOVED them!! Roasted chickpeas are a doddle to make and they get to choose what spices they add, so they’re happy. And they’re cheap and healthy, so I’m happy too.
Here is the “recipe” we use, if you can call it that….!!
- Preheat your oven to 200°c.
- Drain 2 cans of chickpeas and leave to dry. Rub them in a tea towel if you’re in a hurry!!
- Put the drained chickpeas on a baking tray and sprinkle with 2Tbsp Olive Oil, 1 Tsp Cumin, salt and pepper. Toss the chickpeas around to coat them.
- Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, shaking the tray a few times. They should end up darker in colour and crispy!!
- Cool and store in an airtight container.
These crunchy delights are not just for kids either…!! Spice them up with some chilli for a a great snack to have with drinks, or sprinkle on salad for added texture.
It’s great to have a few ideas for waste free, healthy snacks up your sleeve. Here are some of the other things the children love to make for their lunchboxes:
Buy real popping corn and get extra points if you buy from a refillery for a completely waste free snack!!
We use a really simple mix together, shape and bake recipe. This recipe has peanut butter in it so it’s filling and I reduce the sugar content to 1/4C for lunchboxes…..!! Just skip the jar part and put everything straight into the bowl.
Fruit and Veg
Fresh or dried fruit is a great portable snack. Think berries, grapes, mandarins or wedges of melon. Apple slices tossed in cinnamon is also a favourite in this house!! Dried fruit like prunes or dates is great when fresh is harder to get, but can contain quite a lot of sugar so it’s good to balance this out with some carrot sticks, slices of cucumber, cherry tomatoes or any other veg your kids like!! Cubes of cheese and nuts also work a treat.
There are lots of fantastic recipes out there for seeded crackers which I LOVE, but the cost of the seeds can mount up…. So for lunchboxes, I made up my own recipe for homemade crackers which is mostly wholemeal flour and oats. This makes them filling but still affordable….!!!