7 secrets of school lunchbox ninjas (AKA mums with experience!)

Kinderling News & Features

As a first time kindy mum this year, I am unabashedly lunchbox obsessed. 

Like, I get up at 5:30am to make sure I have time to do it right. 

I fawn over Instagram peeps who are nailing it. 

Shout out to you, @patchworkcactus and @brendajanschek and @mumlyfe

My 5:30am headstart. LOL. 

Yes, I know we’re only two weeks into the school year. Yes, I know 5:30am seems early. 

But as a very-early-to-bed person (hello, 8:30pm), I make the best decisions in the morning. 

Here is my first attempt - I was so proud of it:

Getting enough food to last the whole week

But this is a long game ... and I have already hit some snags! 

Like, running out of 'stuff' to fill the lunchbox on a Thursday. Note to self: Buy more this week. 

And really getting stuck on sandwich fillings. My little guy is not so adventurous and peanut butter (a favourite go-to) is on the banned list at our school. 

Keen to know how to make my lunchbox mastery stretch the full five days (without killing myself or him with boredom) I asked some of the best lunchbox whizzes around! 

Here’s what they said: 

Brenda Janschek 

Brenda is a mum of two kids and a lunchbox whizz! She's so committed to producing wholefood luncboxes for her kids, she even whipped up an eBook

Here's what she says about lunchbox planning: 

View this post on Instagram

People say to me all the time that I'm lucky that I love cooking . Truth is, while yes, in the right environment I do find it satisfying and grounding, most of the time I find it quite the chore . What I do love however, is nourishing my family . That's what drives me to cook simple meals from scratch as much as I can . Providing my kids with the proper fuel they need to keep their bodies and minds strong and healthy is one of the greatest gifts I can give them and is deeply satisfying to me . The trick for me is to keep food uncomplicated. Plan ahead so I can be organised and use leftovers and have a freezer stash to save time and money down the track . And get the kids to help me whenever they can . Cue today's lunchboxes . 💗Leftover Baked Chicken Nuggets with mayo and baby spinach wraps 💗Cut up vege sticks 💗Plum in season 💗Strawberry Oat Muffins made by my daughter 💗Leftover sausages and garlic, butter, rosemary chat potatoes 💗Watermelon, pineapple and grapes to cool them off in this heat . For some more two- in- one meal inspiration and to make packing lunchboxes a breeze, check out Easy Wholefood Lunchboxes recipe ebook via the clickable link in my profile . . . . . #lunchbox #lunchboxideas #lunchboxideasforkids #lunchboxlove #kidslunchbox #lunchboxinspiration #baking #sausagerolls #wholefoods #foodforthesoul #inspiration #realfood #instafood #instayum #eattherainbow #healthyfood #healthyeating #realfood #realfoodfamily #instafood #feedfeed #foodblogger #healthychoices#organic #foodie #delicious #health #yummy #schoollunch

A post shared by Brenda Janschek Health Coach (@brendajanschek) on

Barbara from Patchwork Cactus 

Barbara is a mum of two, with her youngest starting kindy this year. Her lunchbox photos on Instagram have huge appeal for me! 

They're colourful, healthy and always with a touch of yum. 

Here's what she says: 

"To keep the kids out of the lunchbox food in the afternoons, I freeze anything I can. So a 10 pack of mini muffins can easily last two weeks and they aren’t having to eat them every day. I also tend to do a midweek top-up shop for strawberries, bread etc and I’ll grab some sushi if there’s any available so they can have something a bit different that day," says Barbara.

"But it’s really the bento boxes that help the most. I don’t buy anything prepackaged so things do last longer. A litre bucket of yogurt and a bag of frozen raspberries goes a LONG way!"

Bron Mandile from Mumlyfe

Bron is mum to three kids! That's three lunchboxes every. single. day. No wonder she's so organised!

"I plan them out like I meal plan dinners, so I know exactly what’s going in each day. The kids can then make their own lunch, according to my 'menu'. That should probably help you get through the full week without running out of food! I also tend to stockpile individual serves of home baked goods in the freezer, so there’s always back-ups. Slices of date or carrot loaf, savoury muffins, etc," says Bron.

And all of that just goes to show that you can't beat a mum with experience!

I'm off to double the contents of my trolley, and include a handy bag of frozen raspberries!