The daily chore of school lunches can be quite daunting for all parents especially when preparing for the fussier eaters… even more so whilst trying to stick to the National Healthy Food Policy.
All of this whilst trying to give your kids breakfast, get them dressed, make yourself look presentable for the day ahead and getting the kids and yourself in the car to arrive at school by 8am. Just saying it is exhausting in itself – pat yourselves on the back, parents!
Support local produce and Maltese farmers by including the following healthy items and products in your lunchboxes. Remember to use seasonal produce as often as possible.
1. Benna’s Yummy Kids Yoghurts
This is the first local yoghurt range that is made up of fruit AND veggies, and there are three delicious flavours to choose from. A great way to sneak in those 5 a day – especially for the pickier eater. Sugar content is low and it is made up of 100% fresh local milk.
2. Fresh, local strawberries
With strawberry season around the corner, why not try greek yoghurt and mashed strawberries to create your own flavoured yoghurt but without all that extra sugar. Strawberries are a great source of vitamin C and manganese. Our favourite place to stop for a box of strawberries is Vincents Eco Farm in Mgarr.
3. Local, Gozitan asparagus
Currently in season! It can be added secretly to savoury muffins, omelettes or smoothies. Asparagus is a good way of sneaking in some extra fibre and vitamins A, C, E and K into your kids’ (and your) diet!
4. Local grown tomatoes
these can be eaten as a snack with some hummus, in a sandwich or why not try a maltese style caponata?
Local soft or hard goats cheese. Make your own version of ‘lunchables’ with a Maltese twist. Stacks of galletti, small slices of gbejniet and small squares of low fat ham or turkey and let your kids enjoy making and eating their own cracker sandwiches. (Insert pic of lunchables)
6. Over-night oats
Using Benna’s natural yoghurt, a drop of benna milk and oats drizzled with local maltese honey. Mix it together, pop in the fridge the night before and grab them in the morning. Oats are a great source of energy and carbohydrates which will give your kids the fuel they need to get them through the morning. The added honey boosts the immune system, which is a super bonus seeing that schools can be a germ fest in flu season.
7. Jacket potato filled with various toppings such as tuna and avocado or shredded chicken mixed with greek yogurt
Maltese potatoes are one of the main vegetables grown by Maltese farmers, and are some of the BEST potatoes on the planet… after all – ‘my life is potato’.
8. Traditional bigilla
Remember, homemade is always best!
A great and tasty source of protein! Pack with carrot sticks, slices of coloured peppers, or cucumber fingers to dip in!
9. Basil pesto
Keep in mind the NO NUTS policy, which means no store-bought pesto. Instead make your own pesto using locally grown basil. If it’s homegrown, and picked by your kids from your garden even better. Just chuck it in a blender with olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. For a bit of an extra flavour add a teaspoon of local kunserva helwa. Freeze it in your ice-cube tray for child-friendly portions and just add to any kids’ favourite pasta.
10. Freshly squeezed Maltese oranges
This may sound like a chore but make it fun and involve the kids as a Sunday afternoon activity – especially on a grey and wet winter weekend in. Make a large jug and place it in the fridge for the week for your kids to enjoy at school.
Do you have any other healthy lunchbox ideas based on local produce?
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