A leading dietitian has revealed what the perfect school lunchbox looks like, and the baked oats recipe she packs for her kids to go to school that they enjoy as their morning break.
Jaime Rose Chambers, from Sydney, shares daily pictures on Instagram of what she makes for her children, and says it doesn’t matter if things can feel a bit ‘same-ish’ with their lunchbox as lunch is only one meal of the day and there are plenty of other meals and snacks.
‘It’s easy for lunchbox items to feel a bit same-ish because I find there are only certain foods that travel well for several hours in a lunchbox and that the kids will eat,’ Jaime wrote.
‘But while it can feel like a narrow list, I remind myself that this is only a snapshot of one eating event in their day – of course there is breakfast, dinner and lord knows how many snacks!’
A dietitian revealed what the perfect school lunchbox looks like, and the baked oats recipe she packs for her kids that they enjoy as their morning break (the lunchbox pictured)
Jaime Rose Chambers (pictured), from Sydney, shares daily pictures on Instagram of what she makes for her children, and says it doesn’t matter if things can feel a bit ‘same-ish’
The dietitian explained with her primary-school-aged kids, she tries to keep their lunch food ‘familiar’, but adds ‘minor adjustments’ which help to widen their palette (lunchbox pictured)
The dietitian explained that with her primary-school-aged kids, she tries to keep their lunch food ‘familiar’, but adds ‘minor adjustments’ which help to widen their palette and provides a broad range of nutrients.
‘Always try to give fruit and veg and other foods that don’t travel well in a lunchbox at other food times,’ she explained.
On this particular occasion, Jaime packed sliced-up cold and hardened baked oats for her kids’ morning break, cheese, strawberries, pasta swirls, cheese, grapes and sliced carrot.
With things like the grapes and carrot, she always slices or quarters them in order to prevent a choking risk.
She also often packs sandwiches – ham and cheese on wholegrain bread and jam sandwiches are favourites with her children.
How to make the dietitian’s baked oats muesli slice
Jaime shared her simple recipe for baked oats (pictured) online
Four cups (or 380 grams) of rolled oats
1/2 cup (or 35 grams) of shredded coconut
One heaped teaspoon of baking powder
One cup (270 grams) of stewed apple or unsweetened apple sauce
One and 1/2 cups (275mL) of unsweetened milk of your choice
1/2 a cup of maple syrup, plus extra for serving
One cup (125 grams) of frozen mixed berries for flavouring
Two teaspoons of ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (60 grams) of roughly ground walnuts (only if not using for lunchbox)
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease a 30 centimetre diameter square baking dish.
2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, coconut and baking powder, and set aside. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, apple, milk and maple syrup until combined.
3. Pour the wet ingredients into the oat mixture and stir to combine. Spoon the mixture into the baking tray and combine with the below flavouring. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Serve with the yoghurt of your choice.
FLAVOURING: Mix together one cup (125 grams) of frozen mixed berries, 1/2 cup (60 grams) of roughly crushed walnut halves and two teaspoons of ground cinnamon. Scatter the berry mixture over the oats before baking.
4. Let the baked oats harden in the fridge overnight if wanting to slice them into a muesli slice for your children.
Source: Jaime Rose Chambers
When it comes to Jaime’s tried-and-tested baked oats recipe, the dietitian said you can easily sub out nuts if you’re giving it to the kids to take to school (the recipe pictured)
Other foods that work well for a morning snack include yoghurt pouches, which are a good source of dairy, and homemade pear, oat and honey mini muffins (lunchbox pictured)
When it comes to Jaime’s tried-and-tested baked oats recipe – which works just as well soft for breakfast as it does hardened as a snack – the dietitian said you can easily sub out nuts if you’re giving the slice to children to take to school.
To make it, you’ll need rolled oats, shredded coconut, baking powder, stewed apple, unsweetened milk of your choice, maple syrup and eggs, along with berries and cinnamon for topping.
You’ll also need around 40 minutes to spare, plus overnight for it to set if making it as a snack.
‘I sliced up the hardened baked oats and packed it for the kids today – they loved it!’ Jaime said.
Other foods that work well for a morning snack include yoghurt pouches, which are a good source of dairy, and homemade pear, oat and honey mini muffins.
A typical lunchbox for Jaime’s primary school age son includes Vegemite sandwiches on wholegrain bread, dried apricots, cubes of cheese, carrot sticks and raspberries (pictured)
Jaime explained the main rules with school lunchboxes are that you include a diverse range of colours and flavours (lunchbox pictured)
A typical lunchbox for Jaime’s primary school age son includes Vegemite sandwiches on wholegrain bread, dried apricots, cubes of cheese, carrot sticks and raspberries.
Jaime will also include a snack that he will enjoy, like a healthy chip or pinto and pea sticks.
She said things like chocolate bliss balls both provide protein to keep the kids full, as well as being a tasty treat for her kids.
What are Jaime’s rules for the perfect school lunchbox?
* Include a diverse range of colours and flavours in the box in order to make sure they are getting nutrients from all different areas.
Jaime shared her rules for the perfect school lunchbox (pictured)
* Include one new riskier thing each day, like raw mushrooms or green beans. When they’re in a different environment, they might eat it.
* Peel down banana skins to include bananas in lunchboxes without them going bad. This means little fingers can open them.
* Don’t worry if they want the same sandwich filling every day; you can be more adventurous with their foods elsewhere.
* Avoid nuts by looking for packaged snacks that include things like vegetables and seeds like pepitas.
Source: Jaime Rose Chambers
Jaime (pictured with one of her kids) makes sure to pack a variety of different fruits and vegetables, including more risky items like mushrooms
Jaime explained the main rules with school lunchboxes are that you include a diverse range of colours and flavours.
She makes sure to pack a variety of different fruits and vegetables, including more risky options like raw mushrooms – which they may or may not eat – and bananas with their skin peeled down, so her kids can easily peel them when it comes to morning break.
‘I love the Jalna Yoghurt No Added Sugar pouches for lunchboxes, even though they’re not the best environmental option,’ Jaime wrote.
‘The lactase enzyme in the ingredients list means it’s also lactose free.’
Other snacks the mum likes to invest in include the Fine Fettel Foods Carrot and Pepita flats, which boast no nuts and so are good for lunchboxes.
She also likes St Dalfour all fruit strawberry jam and Mainland New Zealand spreadable butter for sandwiches.
To follow Jaime Rose Chambers’ lunchbox page on Instagram, please click here.