It’s time to dump that soggy sandwich and get set for a summer of lunchbox love. Make this season’s romance fresh and exciting with a bounty of nutritional colour that looks amazing and makes your lunchboxes the envy of all your friends.
What’s hot in the Summer Lunchbox? – Well hopefully nothing, but seasonal fruits and vegetables are the best pick all year round and the summer selection is glorious. Think peaches, plums, apricots, mangos, lychees, melons, zucchini, corn, avocado, cucumber, lettuce, tomatoes, capsicum and celery. Buying seasonal fruits and vegetables ensures you are getting fresh produce and gives you the biggest nutritional bang for your buck.
Keep in mind summer fruits can get a little messy in the lunchbox so wrap them in some paper towel to prevent bruising whilst also providing a convenient wipe for all those juicy dribbles.
Combine this seasons fruits with crisp salads to lighten up and liven up the summer lunchbox. Try adding wedges of peach to a salad of lettuce and cucumber and serve with mint (get recipe), or add the benefits of whole grains to the lunchbox with a Summer Quinoa salad with mango and avocado (get recipe). This Waldorf salad is such to be a lunchbox winner too (get recipe).
Get creative with summer fruits and vegetables by making colourful arrangements on skewers or ice cream sticks. Try a Hawaiian skewer with ham, cheese, pineapple and cherry tomatoes and serve with whole grain crackers and avocado, or make a colourful fruit salad skewer and serve with a yoghurt dip for a fun morning tea.
Dips are also a great way to make simple vegetable sticks enticing. Try sticks of carrot, cucumber and celery with a creamy corn dip (get recipe) or sundried tomato hummus (get recipe)
As cool as ice: An ice cold lunch is the ultimate refreshment during a hot summer day so be sure to always use cooler bags and ice packs to keep those salads crisp and to prevent food from spoiling. Specialty containers with insulation and chilled components are also a great investment to help keep lunchboxes cool.
Milks, yoghurts and homemade smoothies can be frozen to make for a cool treat whilst also helping to keep the lunchbox cool. Summer fruits like grapes, pineapple, mangos and melons love to be frozen too, but be sure to pack them in a leak proof container.
Keeping well hydrated during the summer months is extremely important but sometimes the old water bottle can seem pretty drab. Avoid sugary drinks like juice and cordial which are poor hydrators and can lead to tooth decay and make water more exciting with funky drink bottle designs or by adding wedges of lemon, lime, orange or pineapple. Try creating a lunchbox punch with frozen berries, mint, cucumber and lime or experiment with a coconut water mocktail (get recipe).
Still need more lunchbox ideas?? Check out the Healthy Lunchbox Guide ebook
At The Kids Menu, Nikki is our resident Blogger. She is a mum of 3, a Nutritionist, Adult Educator and a Personal Trainer.
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