Friday 27 January 2012

Pre School/Kinder Lunches

With my little man about to start Kinder and considering he is still a sandwich resister, I have had to start thinking about lunches.  I love cooking up a large batch of kid friendly food and storing portions in the freezer - makes the day to day food selections a lot easier for me!!!  There is a LOT of zucchini and carrot featured here, so I must try some new combinations!  It's partly because we have so many zucchinis in the garden and partly because the boys love these two veggies, so I know they will be eaten. Along with these savoury items, I will also fill the lunch boxes with lots of fresh fruit. Luckily Mr 3 is a big fruit eater so I won't need to make anything fancy to encourage him to eat those!

Mini Quinoa Patties/Burgers
I first saw these on Pinterest and you can see the recipe here.  I didn't use the green onions, sugar or the cottage cheese, but put in 1 mini tub of cream cheese. I also used 4 egg whites instead of 3 whole eggs. Simply because I had made ice cream on the same day and wanted to utilize the egg whites!  I made mini versions for the boys and larger ones for the adults. I LOVED them and so did my 3 year old, but the baby wasn't a huge fan. Not sure why, he usually loves quinoa. Anyway, these will hopefully please the kinder boy and nourish him through his busy day!

Zucchini Pancakes

These are very plain and not very tasty for the mums and dads, but I sometimes do half a batch with feta and mint and lemon zest and salt and pepper for us!  Here is the small kids version.

-1 mug/cup of flour (I use about 3/4 wholemeal and 1/4 white, but you can do all white)
-2 tsp baking powder (or just use self raising flour above)
-1-2 eggs depending on the size of your cup (for a large mug I would use 2 eggs)
-1 mug/cup full cream milk (use the same cup/mug you use for the flour.)
-2 zucchinis grated and all the juice squeezed out of them
-1/3 cup grated tasty cheese (optional)
-sprinkle of dried or fresh herbs of your choice (optional)

-grate the zucchini and squeeze and drain all liquid out
- put flour, eggs and milk in a bowl and whisk or stir with a wooden spoon until it comes together
-fold through the other ingredients
-heat a large non stick frypan to med-high heat and add a small amount of good quality olive oil
-once oil is hot, spoon in large dollops of mixture (maybe 1-2 tablespoon size??)
-when the pancakes are bubbling on top and golden on the bottom, flip them over and continue to cook until they are cooked through

I freeze these as well and just pull a few out of the freezer in the morning ready for lunch on the go!  I sometimes add grated carrot too.  I change the size of the batch by changing the size of the cup I use. So long as you keep it consistent for the milk and the flour they work fine. 

Zucchini, Carrot & Corn Slice
I used a combination of Retro Mummy & Liss from Frills in the Hills Zucchini Slice/Cake recipes. You can find those here and here.  I didn't use onion or bacon but added in grated carrot and frozen corn kernels.  It was very yummy and a winner with both of my boys.

Zucchini, Spinach & Ricotta Rolls
Not following an actual recipe, I threw together some grated zucchini (juice squeezed out), a huge bag of baby spinach and sauteed them together for a couple of minutes with lemon zest and garlic. I drained the extra liquid out and allowed it to cool and then added 300 grams of fresh ricotta, 2 eggs and some finely chopped mint. I cut 3 sheets puff pastry in half and spread the filling along the middle and brought the edges of the pastry in to create two long sausage rolls per sheet. I then cut those into 4 pieces, brushed with egg yolk and sprinkled with sesame seeds and cooked at 210 degrees until puffed, cooked and brown.  Served with tomato and capsicum relish for the adults and as is for the little boys.  Both of my boys were happy to eat these cold so this was a lunchbox success!!! 

Vegetable Muffins
I've made another big batch of vegetable muffins - recipe found here on my previous post.  

Celery Boats
Just a little attempt for something interesting for the lunch box. Mr 3 happily ate the peanut butter, cranberries and pepitas and chucked the celery! Oh well! His friend who was over for a play the day I made these loved them though!

To get Mr 3 ready for Kinder, I've been packing his gorgeous little lunchboxes that I purchased from Lark  filled with yummy food each day to make sure he can manage the boxes and that he actually likes and eats the fillings!

If you have little ones starting preschool or school this year, I wish you and them happy days ahead!

Love Amy xoxo


  1. Amy!

    I have literally just fallen in love with you!


    1. Oh Cherie, you are so sweet! Thank you and right back at you!xoxo

  2. I have a secret ... I'm a terrible lunch (& breakfast!) eater myself and I am going to make sure I start eating better and you gave inspired me greatly my lovely! Totally making all of this! Xxx

    1. Oh yay lovely Cat! So glad you've seen some things that you and Bebito might like to try! I LOVE your style of cooking and you are regularly inspiring me to make yummy dishes so it's nice to return the favour a little!xoxo

  3. wow you have been busy!!!!!!!!!!!! they all look delicious:)


    1. Thanks Corrie, yes I've been cooking up a storm the last few weeks getting organised! Thank you for the inspiration with the zucchini slice!xo

  4. What great ideas, thank you for sharing. Your photo of the quinoa patties are making me drool!

    1. Thanks so much Christie! Thrilled that you dropped by.xoxo

  5. I am so going to make these Amy .
    Love Alisha xxxx

    1. Oh yay!!! Hope your gorgeous kids love them!xoxo

  6. I'll be making note of these recipes for prep next year. Sadly we ave a fairly strict snack policy at our kinder: fresh fruit and veg only plus a sandwich but no eggs, yoghurt, nuts (obviously) or kiwi fruit due to allergies. It's tough coming up with something new and interesting every day, especially when my daughter doesnt like singers much either. :-)

  7. My mom packed my lunch till late high school. True story.

  8. Sounds amazing, such lovely recipes for our little avenger is an amazing ideas. Zucchini, Spinach & Ricotta Rolls is the best idea for weekends.