The key to good eating is all about the preparation according to health and wellbeing guru Fe Taylor. She tells haven readers how to make like a boy scout and ‘be prepared’!
As the youngest of five children, I learnt very early that getting the slices and lunchbox treats ready on a Sunday was all part of the plan. Mum’s plan! When I was a small child I remember the “production line” in mum’s kitchen with us all contributing to the measuring, mixing, cooking and cleaning and at the end of a couple of hours, the Tupperware containers and biscuit tins were full for the week ahead.
Our lunchboxes were pretty straight forward – fruit, sandwich, and homemade biscuits or slices. No cold packs, water bottles, packaged foods or sushi in sight. Today, my Sunday kitchen prep is pretty straight forward and revolves around veggies. But still the prep for a short time Sunday means the mornings (and evenings) run pretty swiftly with no need for emergency food stops on the way home.
Getting the kids involved is an important part of the preparation for the week. Not just to have some help to speed it all up, but to teach kids a connection to food – being organised and planning for the week ahead.
FE TAYLOR’S SIX TIPS TO SUNDAY PREP
- Plan, plan, plan ahead. Checking the school diary and my own to see what is coming up for the week and what is on after school too. On those hectic days (early morning cross country training, school, then straight off to basketball training), I need to ensure I have prepared enough of the right foods to get Mr. 11 through his day.
- Organise the menu for the week. I will take Jude with me to the markets to get fruit and veggies and let him select what is in season and what he knows he will eat too. When we bring it home it is washed, chopped and stored in airtight containers immediately.
- Some schools have a no nut and egg policy.If your school has this, my advice is to have boiled eggs and small bags of nuts/ seeds prepped and ready to go for the afternoon snack. These are great sources of whole food proteins and keep tummies full after school so they are not searching for extras before dinner. They are also great on-the-go foods between school and training or tutoring.
- Fill the fridge with the basics. Dips made or pre packed into smaller containers.Slices, protein balls, muesli slices. Whatever the preference, these items are super quick to make and can be stored in the fridge for the week. If they are homemade you know exactly what is going in them and kids love to help (and show their friends at school what THEY made). Give the kids some sites to look at, or recipe books to look at, or recipe book stop read, to find some lunch box fillers.
- Variety is the spice of life. Find about 10 recipes for biscuits, slices and balls that your child loves and rotate them over the school term. The initial shop may seem to add up for all the ingredients but as the weeks progress you will notice the savings.
- Smooth it out! My kids have always loved fruit smoothies and “gelati” in their lunchbox. Instead of juice boxes full of refined processed sugars and on-the-go-type drinks, I add a small 300ml drink container bursting full of goodness to the lunchbox. Our favourite is almond milk, frozen banana and ice. We sometimes add in a whole food powder for extra nutrients – you could also add chia seeds, some cacao and even some good quality nut butter. This can then be frozen and will thaw out in the lunchbox. Just shake, drink and go! The “gelati” is a combination of frozen fruits and berries to taste. Once blended, I place in small containers and pop back into the freezer. They stay solid next to a cold pack until morning tea. Great for warm weather and a quick way to get fruit in for kids who just want to get to the oval to play!
Keep the kids involved and let them help you plan the lunches for the week ahead. An hour in the kitchen Sunday afternoon can save you plenty of time each morning and will save you money as well. Remember these are life-long lessons on being organised, planning, saving money and importantly, understanding good nutrition.