Lunchbox lethargy and a good schoolyard chat

I’m back into the groove of term 4 and the other morning I found myself in the schoolyard way past bell-time, gas-bagging away with my new collection of mum friends. None of us are shy about a chat, we talk kids, schools, educations, housing, ponder why our daughters are all such chatterboxes and we chat chat chat. We see the irony.

Conversation got onto the dreariness of our daily lunchbox scenarios – even I had to admit that my sandwich repetoire is getting a little stale. I’d started the year well, but now mostly opt for cheese, but fancy it up with chutney, mustard or avocado. There are the usual dried fruit options, the odd muesli bar and fruit, fruit and more fruit.

Soggy sandwiches are a major problem in our hot Australian conditions, even with the coolie brick. And then there’s the time factor and the fact that the lunchbox usually gets thrown together in less than 5 minutes.

So what can we do to break the dreariness?

Try and find 20 minutes at the beginning of the week to mix up or bake something interesting that you can dig into for the rest of the week. Try savoury muffins, salmon pikelets, beetroot dip (there’s a good recipe in the Vegie Smugglers cookbook), poach a chicken breast or just chop a batch of carrots and cucumber into interesting shapes.

Have a go at this home made muesli slice. It’s really quick and easy to make and you can modify it to suit the tastebuds of your family.

***Since I first posted this, I’ve gone on to create The Complete Lunchbox Planner, with 40 weeks of seasonal recipes to keep you inspired throughout the year.

home made muesli bar recipe

Made by mum - not Uncle Toby

Home made muesli bars

Butter, for greasing
2½ cups rolled oats
½ cup desiccated (or shredded) coconut
1 cup Sultana Bran
½ cup All Bran
1½ cups dried fruit (I use chopped prunes, chopped apple and sultanas)
125g unsalted butter
¼ cup grapeseed oil
¼ cup honey
2 eggs, lightly whisked

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line a lamingon tin with baking paper, allowing overhang on each of the long sides.

Mix all of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add the fruit and mix through well.
Place the butter, oil and honey in a small saucepan over low heat. Melt gently till the butter just melts and mix together. Add to the dry ingredients. Add the egg and mix thoroughly.

Press firmly into the pan (roll a glass over to apply even pressure) and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden. Leave in the pan to cool and refrigerate until set and firm before slicing into squares.


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3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    becky mcclure said,

    Looks good, and will work for hubbys lunch too….might have to leave out the sultanas. (thats for the husband…not the kids) 🙂

  2. 2

    PJ said,

    Do you think they would freeze ok? 🙂

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