Thursday, March 10, 2011

Back to school!

The countdown is on, the new school year is just around the corner and it’s time for mummy to get her butt into gear and start getting organised!
(As you’ve probably all noticed, school has been back for forever...term one is almost over, but hey, we've all been busy, so better late than never!)

Check list:

Lunch boxes washed – tick

Drink bottles washed – tick

School uniforms – washed and laid out (so we can avoid any domestic’s in the morning with 2 very flustered girls, (who I might add are just as disorganised as their mother) - tick

Freezer stocked with chicken stock, bolognese, schnitz, and organic pizza bases - tick

Food shopping done for the week ahead – tick

Now, what will I put in their lunch boxes for their first day back?

              Both my girls have very different tastes, but they do have a few things in common. 
    They both want delicious lunches everyday and they both love treats!
Raw Chocolate is a healthier option
Sweet & Salty or just plain Salty popcorn is a great snack

My girls' lunchboxes look like this: (most of the time)….
This obviously is not the lunchbox below - another day!
½ avocado with lemon juice and olive oil dressing, which she pours in the middle and eats with a  spoon. 
Piece of tortilla
 Mini muffin or homemade cookie or cake
Piece of fruit
Rice biscuits
All packed and ready to go! 
Small salad with parmesan shavings and dressing on side.
 Sandwich with ham and rocket
   Mini muffin or cookie or cake (I always try and make these as healthy as possible, and they like them        just the same)
2 pieces of fruit (because she has fruit break)
 rice crackers

Seasonal fruit
My children's favourite - Raspberry's
I try to give them food that will give them energy throughout the day and then when I pick them up they can finish whatever’s leftover and then have an icypole or icecream on the way home.

Miss Heather nette-king and myself, doing our thing in the tuckshop.
Tuckshop at school
I really believe it’s important to get our kids eating healthy food during the day at school. The year before I had Wilco, Corrine (a mum at school) and I set out to feed all the kids in our school one cooked from scratch, seasonal, organic meal, a fortnight using the few things in our then very small vegie patch (which I might add is now huge and full of delicious things to cook with) and the rest being purchased in the wee hours from the organic markets.

What my children's sandwiches look like
Mountain bread wraps

The deal was the kids were all going to eat the same. I would come up with a meal that was seasonal and kid friendly, it always came with salad on reusable bamboo plates, cups and cutlery. If the children bought back their plates and utensils after they had finished, they were given an icypole made from scratch by Corinne and myself the day before (again with whatever fruit was in season). The food was delicious (even if I do say myself) and the kids loved it.
So again, I’m in the process (all fingers crossed), with our wonderful new Principal to turn our tuckshop into a healthy, delicious, convenient way to feed our kids a yummy lunch, when maybe we cant be bothered being inventive, (let’s be honest, we all have those day’s).
Will keep you posted on our progress.

Back to lunch boxes, I have been asked by Sheridan (a mum at school) to put together a booklet on what you need to be sure your child is having a safe, environmentally conscious, healthy lunch.
So here we go with a little info on how to get that started:

Photo's by Sheridan Nilsson
 Lunch box ideas:

         It is really easy to give our children a well-balanced lunch that has little to no packaging that is still delicious!

  Here are a few ideas to help you on your way:

Lunch suggestions for the colder months:

Soups that are clear with no bits pop in a long Thermos.
Any leftover soup with chunks it’s best to put in the smaller Thermos.
Leftover stew from the night before, with brown rice.
Pasta with sauce, Bolognese, Napoli, pesto or plain butter and cheese.
My Frank loves rice, brown or white plain with Tamari.
Jemima will eat anything if she knows It’s hot and in a Thermos.

Lunch suggestions for the warmer months:

Tortilla or Frittata is great with a little salad and dressing on the side
Get creative with salads; use ingredients that you know your kids like, keep dressing and cheese separate to be mixed in at the last minute.
Make a delicious dressing, one that I used when I did the O’Yum lunch was, freshly squeezed orange juice, a squeeze of lemon, a little honey or maple, olive oil, salt and pepper. All the kids loved it, I think that’s the reason they ate the lettuce.
Sandwiches with fillings like: egg, mayo and lettuce, ham, avocado and lettuce,
Salami and rocket, tuna, grated carrot, avocado and lettuce, cheese and salad,
Cream cheese with capsicum.
Just make sure you use good quality bread.
Cold Boiled eggs
Corn on the cob
Chopped up vegies & bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a smaller container for dipping.
Hummus or any other dip with pieces of bread, rice crackers and cut up vegies.

               Get a large lunch box that is insulated to keep food cool and fresh.

                       Make sure these lunch boxes are safe – this means they are:

                     Phthalate free, Bisphenol-A (BPA) free, Lead free, PVC free

                     Below are links to company's that sell safe Lunch products:

What all Lunchboxes need.
They should all have an ice pack or block to put in their lunch boxes, this will keep their lunches cool and fresh. I personally, don’t blame kids for not eating their food if it’s not kept cool. Not only is it dangerous to eat food that’s unrefrigerated, but would you eat a warm yogurt or a hot banana?
You can buy cool blocks that you leave in your freezer and stick in their lunch boxes. Put directly under or over the things that need to be kept cold.
Compartmentalized Lunch box


Sandwich and snack bags
If for some reason I’ve forgotten (or more likely the children have forgotten to take them out of their lunch boxes), I use a zip lock bag full or better yet a snack container of ice, wrapped in a face washer (to catch any spillage).

 The perfect scenario is a phthalate free bisphenol-A (BPA) free, lead free, PVC free drink bottle full of water – frozen, and put into their lunch box – lunch time comes  – its melted or a little icy, ready to drink!
If you buy good quality it should last the distance so don’t skimp on your children’s lunch.
meatballs & pasta ready to put in the Thermos

For the colder months buy your child a Thermos for soup and a smaller one for pasta or rice with stew.
Try and use as little wrapping as possible, but if it’s necessary, the best option is wax paper.

Kids Konserve
No waste Lunchbox
An all-in-one option
Attached are some simple recipes and ideas for lunch boxes.
A great book that I found is one I know a lot of mum’s I know have the dinner version, it’s called ‘Ready, Steady, Lunchbox by Lucy Broadhurst.
We Love food by Kirsty Manning-Wilcox & Peta Heine
Apples for Jam by Tessa Kiros

 Different foods that work well in Lunchboxes
I was doing this booklet for the parents at our school, but when I sat for a second and thought…my best girlfriends have little people, not yet at school and a few of those aren’t to up to date with what’s OK and what’s not. So this is also for them and their friends. After all as parents we need all the information we can get.
 squeeze half a lemon into a small bowl and dip your cut fruit in the lemon juice, this will prevent the fruit from going brown. 
This also works for avocado.
Always make sure the food that needs to kept cool is on top of the cool block.
Buy big packets of snacks (pretzels, corn chips, popcorn, rice crackers, etc..) and put small portions into reusable containers - this will reduce the amount of packaging waste.

*****Note - all my images can be enlarged to see the very finest of detail by just clicking on them.
 Also any word in a sentence that is another colour and has a line underneath it, has a link attached. 
I would really love some feed back on how your all enjoying my blog and if the information I'm giving is helpful at all.

'Lunch box Ideas' photo's by Sheridan Nilsson, recipes from cookbooks stated above and all the other photo's by me. x

Chicken stock coming really soon.........
©Michelle Schoeps 2013
All photos taken by Michelle Schoeps


  1. a great,honest to goodness blog. love it's "refreshingness".

  2. This is great Mishi
    May I pass this on to Billi's school.
    Well done love me x

  3. I love what you're doing Michelle!
    Your blog is honest and down-to-earth. Just how I like them.
    Keep going!
    Kerrie x

  4. Naz, I would love you to pass it on. That's why I did it!
    All schools need something like this to give to parents otherwise how do we find out!
    We are going to print it out to give to the parents at our school and put the link in the newsletter, so they have a basic reference on how to give their kids an Ok lunch. xx

  5. Thanks Kerrie for your comment.
    I don't get many comments, so it's nice to know people are looking at it!
    x Michelle