Stuck for lunch ideas for your toddler's daycare or preschool lunch? Baby and lunchbox cookbook author Anna Bordignon of Munch Cupboard has some ideas to help.
Q: Can you give some suggestions for easy, daycare-friendly lunches I can pack for my toddler (no eggs or peanut products allowed)?
Packing the perfect daycare or kindy-friendly lunches can be a tricky balancing of needs versus wants. If you aim to give your child a good mixture of carbohydrates, fresh fruits and vegetables, and some protein, you have a recipe for success. Here my top 10 suggestions for each of these key food groups. I have specifically selected products that could be used in an egg and nut free environment, but if in doubt, be sure to read any packaging.
Fruits and Vegetables
Corn chips (low salt and wholemeal are good)
Popcorn (air popped and low salt is best)
Leftover pasta, rice or noodles with a splash of soy sauce
Plain bread rolls or croissants
Crackers and breadsticks
Roti or naan bread
Small handful of cereal (check for nuts, though)
Pita breads or crisps
Wraps cut into small squares or triangles
Bread is a great staple, so fingers or soldiers can be fun
Bunch of grapes
Raw vegetables chopped into "fingers": Carrot, capsicum, or cucumber
Frozen berries mixed through yoghurt
Dried prunes, raisins, or dates
Leftover cooked vegetables: Broccoli, corn on the cob, potatoes, kumara, carrots (especially roasted veg)
Skewered fruit and vegetable kebabs
Frozen berries (package with dried fruit as these will absorb the juices as they defrost)
Grated, sliced, or cubed cheese
A small slice of ham wrapped around a vegetable stick
Slices of salami
Pots of yoghurt
Cold slices of meatloaf
Cold cooked kranskys or sausages, sliced
Tinned baked beans
Dried pulses like chickpeas
Leftover pizza chopped into "fingers"
Don’t forget to include a good reusable water bottle, clean it daily, and fill it with fresh water. If you are packing something messy, include a teaspoon or other utensil that your child can use to eat their foods with. If you are buying snack foods for lunchboxes, be sure to keep an eye on the sodium levels.