Brighten up the day with both fresh and vibrant lunchbox fillers and simple child-friendly dinners with these 77 back to school recipes and videos.
These fresh, seasonal dishes are jam-packed with energy to fuel their minds all afternoon and help you satisfy their hunger after school. From colourful Hummus and Grilled Vegetable Wraps, to this creative Take-to-School Taco Bar for lunch, then Orecchiette with Mini Chicken Meatballs or easy Make-it-don't-buy-it Frozen Vegetarian Burritos for dinner, we've got back-to-school cooking covered.
10 Clever Tips for Kids Meals
1. When baking, smart and simple changes from using white flour to wholemeal flour and full-fat milk to skimmed or semi-skimmed will make eating sweet treats that little bit healthier for kids. Watch Lisa Faulkner make her Wholemeal Blueberry Muffins for a once-in-a-while treat.
2. Make packed lunches the night before and keep them in the fridge to avoid last-minute panicking in the morning. Especially when they look as good as this Frog Bento Box.
3. If your child loves sandwiches and wraps, experiment with different varieties – try seeded or fruit breads and bagels instead of plain white or wholemeal, or chapattis and lavash instead of tortilla wraps. Most supermarkets stock a wide range of international breads.
4. Shop-bought cereal bars and granola contain a lot of sugar. If you want to pack a healthy energy snack bar into lunchboxes, try making them at home using honey or agave nectar to sweeten instead of sugar.
5. Try lightened-up homemade versions of kid favourites, like fish fingers and crispy chicken from our recipe collection above. This will allow you to keep an eye on the amount of salt and fat content going into their meals.
6. Shop-bought dips such as hummus may sound healthy but they’re also packed with oil and preservatives. Try making homemade guacamole or tzatziki for dipping instead.
7. Ditch your deep-fryer and bake potatoes and sweet potatoes in the oven until crisp. A drizzle of olive oil and pinch of salt will help do the trick.
8. Simple changes to the way you serve things the kids aren’t keen on can make a difference, so try to present food in interesting ways. Fruit salad on a lolly stick or a Mexican bean salad served in a baked tortilla basket should make mealtimes a little more exciting.
9. Sneak as many vegetables into meals as possible – whether it means blending iron-rich spinach into pesto for a pasta salad or blitzing a few red peppers and carrots into your Bolognese sauce.
10. Encourage your little ones to get involved in the kitchen. Even the fussiest eaters are more likely to try new things if they’ve helped prepare them.