Get Real Food’s super-crispy chicken or beef Smuggler bites will win over even the fussiest of eaters. The perfect-sized finger food to tuck into a lunch box and, oh joy of joys, the veggies have been smuggled in (hence the name): pumpkin, carrot and cauliflower, your child won’t even know they’ve almost had their five-a-day. Also look out for the company’s tomato and BBQ sauce, again crammed with veggies but free from preservatives and refined sugar.
Ditch the sugary chocolate snacks and pack a muesli bar instead. Yes, they are still relatively high in sugar but they are also packed with nutritious nuts, grains and dried fruit (do check your school’s policy on nut allergies first though). Here are some of TNP’s favourite brands:
Organically certified Artisse Organic Chewy Cocoa Aribars have 25% less sugar than most mainstream brands, no artificial nasties and are gluten, wheat & dairy free and low in salt. They are deliciously chewy cocoa snack bars, made with crisp wholegrain brown rice.
Mother Earth is an NZ-brand offering Oaty Slices made with butter and wholegrains, plus baked fruit slices and Nut Bars using the best quality ingredients sourced ethically, minimally processed and with no artificial colours or flavours.
If you’ve never tasted real yogurt, as in ‘made-overnight-and-fresh-from-the-fridge’ yogurt, then you’ve never lived! Totally free from any artificial ingredients, all you do is mix an EasiYo yogurt sachet with water, put it in the EasiYo Yogurt Maker and in a matter of hours you’ve created 1kg of fresh, delicious yoghurt full of live enyzmes and probiotics, a perfect lunchbox treat for your little tikes.
Let’s be honest, packed lunches often spell Waste with a capital ‘W’: from plastic sandwich wrappers and throw-away cutlery to disposable drinks bottles, eco and green they are not.
But have no fear Ladies and Gents, two great Kiwi companies offer some clever alternatives. First-up the Munchcupboard stocks a wide range of waste avoiding products all free of toxin-leaching plastic. Think stainless-steel cutlery, water bottles and snack storage containers as well as reuseable sandwich wraps, food dividers, lunchbox coolers and a nifty range of lunch-boxes: I’ve got my eye on the retro space-rocket design.
Elsewhere, Bubbalooz have a truly eye-watering selection of lunch boxes in fresh urban designs. Kids will love the bento box designs with bright octopuses, ladybirds, robots and a grumpy looking owl! I like the zippable Planet Wise sandwich bags – kids will love the bright colours: cerise pink, aqua turquoise, ciel blue and parents will appreciate the leakproof lid so they can pack wet foods like yogurt and applesauce without using separate containers.