Food & Wine

Back-to-school lunchbox tips and recipes – the healthier way

Back-to-school lunchbox tips and recipes – the healthier way

With all the challenges and excitement that a new school year brings, coming up with creative solutions to pack a nutritious and tasty lunchbox can be overwhelming and it may seem easier to hand out money for the tuck shop. However, most tuck shops may sell food that is heavily laden with sugars and salt; and these snacks often do not contain even an inkling of the vitamins, minerals, and proteins that your child needs.

Parents know how important it is to foster good eating habits as proper nutrition plays a vital role in helping children perform well at school – be it in maintaining sustainable energy levels or optimising cognitive thinking. The truth is that healthy eating habits start at home because children mimic the dietary habits of adults. Therefore, it’s important for you to try fresh approaches – show your children how the meals are prepared and involve them in making their very own nutritious meals that they’ll love.

“With the rise in awareness around healthy eating, parents are opting for nutritional food options for their children both at home and on the go.  The new choices, not only reflects this trend, but also speaks to children’s preferences,” says Grant Cullingworth, Executive Chef at Westin Cape Town.

This awareness has inspired the culinary team at The Westin Cape Town to collaborate with expert SuperChefs to develop their incredible SuperFoods menu, made from powerhouse ingredients rich in nutrients and antioxidants so your children can feel recharged. Although broadening the horizons of your child’s taste buds is definitely challenging; the options for creating a healthy yet tasty lunchbox for your child are endless. And in using a combination of high-fibre whole grains, fresh fruits, vegetables, lean protein, while keeping an eye on the nutrient count of sugar and salt included, you can achieve this in no time.

Here are three quick, easy and simply delicious recipes to try:

  • Buzz Lightyear: Waffle or buttermilk flap jacks with Nutella yogurt cheese, strawberries, banana and black cherries, dark chocolate shavings and toasted almonds.
  • Humpty Dumpty: (Egg + Soldiers) Soft boiled egg served with bacon and mushroom whole-wheat pancake dippers, broccoli and cauliflower.
  • Cookie Monster: Almond macaroon with frozen blueberry yogurt, oat and chocolate chip cookies and coconut ‘fur’.

 

Buzz Light Year [Makes 15 portions]

Ingredients

Almond Waffle Mix

  1. Almond flour – 500 g
  2. Salt – 2 g
  3. Baking Soda – 2 tsp
  4. Eggs – 8 each
  5. Honey – 100 ml
  6. Vanilla pod – 1 ea

Yoghurt Cheese

  1. Nutella – ½ Jar
  2. Low fat plain yogurt – 400 g

Fruit:

  1. Strawberry (quartered) – 500 g
  2. Banana (sliced) – 3 ea
  3. Black cherries – 2 tins
  4. Dark chocolate shavings – 30 g
  5. Toasted almond flakes – 30 g

Method of preparation

Almond Waffles

  1. Mix all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, the almond flour, salt, baking soda, and vanilla pod.
  2. Add the eggs and honey.
  3. Mix ingredients together until it forms a smooth paste.
  4. Set aside until ready to use.
  5. Pre-heat the waffle machine, spoon the mix onto the waffle machine and cook accordingly.

Yoghurt Cheese

  1. Place yogurt in muslin overnight to drain off excess water and firm up yogurt.
  2. Fold the yoghurt and the Nutella in a mixing bowl.

Serving suggestion

Layer warm waffles (3ea) with the Nutella yogurt and sliced banana. Spoon the strawberries and cherries over the waffle, then garnish with toasted almonds and chocolate shavings.

 Buzz Light Year-hr (Medium)  

Humpty Dumpty: [Makes 10 portions]

 

Ingredients

  1. Wheat flour – 250 g
  2. Brown sugar – 20 g
  3. Baking powder – 3g
  4. Baking soda – 2g
  5. Salt
  6. Buttermilk – 100ml
  7. Eggs – 1ea
  8. Oil – 10 ml
  9. Bacon – 10 slices
  10. Portobello mushrooms (skin removed and sliced) – 2ea
  11. 5-minute soft boiled egg – 10ea
  12. Cauliflower florets – 2ea
  13. Broccoli florets – 2ea

Method of preparation

  1. Pancake: place all the dry ingredients in a bowl, then add all the liquids and mix to a batter, place it in piping bag, and let it rest.
  2. Sear the turkey, bacon, and mushroom slices, leave it to cool.
  3. Pipe the batter onto a non-stick pan, cook slightly until it starts setting. Layer the bacon and mushroom onto the pancake. Pipe another layer of batter over the bacon and mushroom, and seal.
  4. Turn the dipper over to cook the other side then remove it from the pan when golden brown.
  5. Grill the turkey and bacon for one minute on both sides.
  6. Sauté the mushrooms in butter until cooked then add seasoning.
  7. Place the cooked turkey, bacon and mushrooms in the middle of the pancake and wrap.
  8. Blanche the cauliflower and broccoli florets in boiling water, toss with a little salt and olive oil.

Serving suggestion

Arrange the bacon and mushroom pancake dippers with the florets alongside the soft boiled egg.

 Humpty Dumpty-hr (Medium)

Cookie Monster: [Makes 6 portions]

Ingredients

Macaroon:

  1. Egg whites – 100g
  2. Castor sugar – 100g
  3. Ground almonds – 12 g
  4. Icing sugar – 125g

Blueberry Frozen Yogurt:

  1. Frozen blueberries (defrosted) – 1 cup
  2. Low fat plain yogurt – 1 cup
  3. Honey – ½ cup

Oat Biscuit:

  1. Whole wheat flour – 200g
  2. Oats – 200g
  3. Butter – 200g
  4. Sugar – 100g
  5. Baking powder – 10ml
  6. Milk – 15ml
  7. Salt

 

Method of preparation

Macaroon:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 140 degrees.
  2. Whisk egg whites and castor sugar into a stiff peak.
  3. Add ground almonds and icing sugar then fold in until evenly mixed.
  4. Pipe 5cm circles onto greaseproof paper or silicone mats and knock down to even out.
  5. Allow to stand for 30min and bake for 15-18min.

Blueberry Frozen Yogurt:

  1. Add the blueberries and honey to a pot and simmer, then blend to smooth and allow to cool.
  2. Fold into yogurt with whole blueberries to form a blueberry yogurt swirl and freeze into discs

Oat Biscuit:

  1. Pre-heat oven at 160 degrees.
  2. Put all dry ingredients into a mixing bowl.
  3. Add butter and crumb together.
  4. Add the milk and mix until dough comes together.
  5. Continue binding by hand.
  6. Roll, cut, and bake for 15-18min until golden brown.

Serving suggestion

Arrange some blueberry coulis on plate as desired. Sandwich the frozen blueberry yogurt between the two cookie monster macaroons and place on plate and arrange oat biscuits.

Cookie Monster-hr (Medium)

 

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