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Recipes: healthy lunch box ideas

Strawberry and Lime Chia Puddings

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Strawberry and Lime Chia Puddings

I love using chia seeds in my children's diet because they are so versatile and pack a huge nutritional punch. They are loaded with plant based omega 3s (important for brain and heart health), high in protein and calcium (although this may be poorly absorbed) and have a whopping 4g of fibre per tablespoon (a great way to top up your child's fibre intake if you have a fussy eater).

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Oat Pancakes with Banana & Cinnamon or Raspberry & Vanilla

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Oat Pancakes with Banana & Cinnamon or Raspberry & Vanilla

For many years I've made the smaller version (pikelets) for my kid's lunch boxes and they've always been popular. Traditional pancakes (or pikelets) made with refined white flour, sugar and and egg are fairly low on nutrition though, especially fibre. 

I developed this recipe a few years ago to boost the nutrition in the humble pancake and still provide a tasty option for the kid's lunch boxes (or breakfast!).

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Apricot and Coconut Cookies

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Apricot and Coconut Cookies
These soft morish cookies well have you asking for well....more! These cookies are a great source of fibre and not too sweet making them a happy lunchbox addition. 

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Cornflake & Chia Lunch Box Cookies

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Cornflake & Chia Lunch Box Cookies
Most kids love a classic cornflake cookie! I've taken this classic recipe and given it a boost in nutrition. These cookies are a great source of fibre, iron, B vitamins and have a nice little hit of Omega 3 fatty acids thanks to the chia seeds and they still taste like the classic cornflake cookie we all love!

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Pumpkin Gingerbread Stars

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Pumpkin Gingerbread Stars
These gingerbread stars make a great Christmas addition to your child's lunch box, but in reality I like to pack them all year round! They're not too sweet, loaded with fibre and have a great gingerly taste with plenty of crunch. This recipe makes a huge batch which you can freeze and it will get you through weeks of lunch box packing.

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Apple Cinnamon Crumble Muffins with Zucchini

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Apple Cinnamon Crumble Muffins with Zucchini
These moorishly fluffy apple crumble muffins with zucchini will disappear so fast you'll wish you made a double batch! Home made baked goods are a great way to boost your child's intake of fruit, veggies and fibre. If your child is a little averse to "green bits" then I'd suggest peeling both the apple and the zucchini in this recipe. If they're happy with "bits" in their muffins, then leave the skin on for an extra boost in fibre and nutrition.

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The Perfect Lunch Box Choc-Chip Cookie

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The Perfect Lunch Box Choc-Chip Cookie
I don't like to "healthily" all my lunch box baking for the kids, as sometimes you just want something tastes delicious. That said I've added wholemeal flour and oats to bump up the fibre (particularly soluble fibre) content of these cookies. In my work as paediatric dietitian I see a lot of kids that don't get enough fibre in their diets. A big culprit is the over reliance on a lot of starchy pre-packaged snacks for kids that are low in fibre, combined with insufficient fruits and vegetables in their diet. 

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Lunch Box Pizza Scrolls

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Lunch Box Pizza Scrolls

These are an absolute favourite with my kids. If you can get yourself organised ahead of time and have a batch of these ready to go in the freezer it will seriously speed up your lunchbox packing. 

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