Let’s eat lunch!

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Packing a healthy school lunchbox will help your children to learn and grow

Every parent knows the challenge of finding fun, healthy recipes to cure kids’ lunchbox boredom. A good diet is essential for growth and development in children, but also for simply giving them the energy to be kids!  A key change at the start of the school year is the transition from holiday play to sitting and concentrating back at school. Fuelling your kids with the right balance of nutrients will play a part in keeping them energised and focused throughout the day.

So how do you get the right balance of nutrients? “Keep it simple by remembering to include something from each of the five core foods groups: plenty of veggies, fruit, meat or meat alternatives, dairy and wholegrains,” says Amanda Menegazzo from The Dairy Kitchen.

If you’re after some inspiration for fabulous back to school, healthy lunchbox combinations, try these recipes from The Dairy Kitchen.

Cauliflower and Cheddar Fritters with Kiwi Salsa

Serves 4
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes

The Dairy Kitchen.Indian Link

INGREDIENTS

Fritters:
1 cup tri-colour quinoa
½ medium cauliflower, cut into florets
½ cup rolled oats
4 eggs, lightly beaten
6 spring onions, sliced
1 ½ cups grated cheddar cheese
Finely grated rind of one lemon
Oil, for shallow frying
Kiwi Salsa:
250g punnet red and yellow cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 kiwi fruit, peeled and diced
1 tbsp olive oil

The Dairy Kitchen.Indian Link

METHOD

-Rinse the quinoa and place in a medium saucepan with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil then immediately reduce heat to a simmer, add a pinch of salt and cover and cook for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, fluff with a fork and set the lid ajar to rest.

-In a food processor, pulse the raw cauliflower until it resembles cous cous. You will need 2 cups cauliflower crumbs. Remove from the processor.

-Process rolled oats in the food processor until fine. Add quinoa, cauliflower crumbs, eggs, onions, cheese and lemon to the food processor and pulse until just combined. Season to taste and set mixture aside.

-Make salsa by tossing together all ingredients. Set aside.

-Thinly cover the base of a large frying pan with oil and heat over medium-high heat. Drop 1/4 cups of mixture into the pan and fry, in batches, for 3-5 minutes on each side, turning carefully with an egg flip. Cool slightly before serving with salsa.

Tip: Tri-colour quinoa is a blend of white, red and black quinoa. Substitute any coloured quinoa if unavailable. If you don’t have a food processor try grating the cauliflower, use quick oats and toss everything together in a bowl.

Cheesy Broccoli Gems

Makes 30
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

The Dairy Kitchen.Indian Link

INGREDIENTS

1 medium head broccoli, cut into florets
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
½ cup dried breadcrumbs
2 tbsps chopped fresh basil or parsley
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 egg lightly beaten

METHOD

-Blanch the broccoli in boiling water for 1 minute then refresh in iced water. Drain well. Place all the ingredients except for the egg in a food processor and ‘pulse’ until finely chopped and combined. Add the egg and pulse to combine.

-Shape approximately 2-3 teaspoons of the mixture, into nugget shapes and place on a baking paper lined tray.

-Spray the gems with oil and bake at 200°C for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with sour cream or thick yoghurt.

Cheese and Egg Muffins

Makes 6
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

The Dairy Kitchen.Indian Link

INGREDIENTS

6 small (50g) eggs
1 cup self-raising flour
1 spring onion, finely sliced
1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese
½ cup milk
¼ cup (50g) melted butter
1 large (59g) egg, lightly beaten, extra
1 tsp English-style mustard
good pinch of salt
1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese, extra

METHOD

The Dairy Kitchen.Indian Link

-Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan forced). Line the bases of 6 x 1/3 cup muffin pans with muffin paper cases or baking paper that overhang at the top at least 2cm.

-Place eggs in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring the water to the boil and then simmer for 3 minutes. Run under cold water until almost cold. Peel, discard shells and reserve boiled eggs.

-Combine flour, spring onion and cheese in a medium mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Combine milk, butter, extra egg, mustard and salt in a separate jug and pour into the well. Gently stir mixture with a large metal spoon until just combined. Do not over mix.

-Place 1 tablespoon of muffin mixture into the base of each muffin case. Top with a boiled egg. Top with remaining mixture to cover. Sprinkle with extra cheddar cheese.

-Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through and cheese is golden brown.

-Cool on a wire rack and serve warm or cool. These muffins are best eaten on the day they’re made.

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