Readers often ask me what I put in my children’s lunchboxes. To be honest, there is nothing fancy at all – I include basic, healthy snacks to keep my little ones nourished, happy and full of energy.
Since having my children, I have learnt that it is necessary to have plenty of wholesome, nutritious snacks on hand and ready to go, not only for school lunches, but for weekend picnics and after-school snacks too.
I hope you enjoy trying out a few of my kids’ favourite recipes below, which are also gluten and dairy free and naturally sweetened with fruit.
Seed and date truffles
- 1 1/4 cup seeds and/or nuts of your choice (I like to use almonds)
- 10 pitted medjool dates (or 1 cup regular dates*)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup dessicated coconut, for decorating
(*If using regular dates, soak at least 6 hours, or overnight, then drain well.)
Step 1 Place seeds and/or nuts in a food processer. Blend for a minute or so until a dense flour-like consistency is achieved. Add dates and water and pulse a couple of times until ingredients begin to stick together, almost like a dough.
Step 2 Use your hands to form small balls. Roll balls in desiccated coconut. Makes around 30 balls, and will keep for 4-5 days in the fridge.
Nut butter sandwich bread
- 1 cup almond, cashew or peanut butter
- 2 ripe bananas, sliced in pieces
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- handful of seeds, for decorating (optional)
Step 1 Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a loaf tin with baking paper.
Step 2 In a large bowl, add nut butter, banana, eggs, baking soda and vinegar. Using a potato masher, mash all ingredients well and mix together until mixture resembles a smooth paste (you can also do this in a food processor).
Step 3 Spoon batter into loaf tin and spread out until even on top. If decorating with seeds, scatter them evenly on top. Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in tin before inverting onto a cooling rack.
Eleanor Ozich is a mother of two, writer of well-known blog, Petite Kitchen, and co-founder of Mondays wholefoods store and café in Kingsland, Auckland. As a child, she lived above her parents' Auckland restaurant and has always been a passionate foodie. She is a self-taught cook, food photographer and food writer, and focuses on simple, natural and wholesome food.
Eleanor created the Petite Kitchen blog as a personal diary, tracking her 'road to simple eating', adopted as a means of trying (successfully) to cure her daughters’ health issues. She has recently released her first cookbook, My Petite Kitchen Cookbook, available in bookstores nationwide.
Follow Eleanor on Instagram @petitekitchen, or on Facebook.