How to Induce Lunchbox Envy | Life Love and Hiccups: How to Induce Lunchbox Envy
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Monday 5 January 2015

How to Induce Lunchbox Envy

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Brought to you by Coles

Yeah I know what you are thinking… is this woman insane? There is still 4 weeks left until the kids go back to school, so why on earth is she harping on about school lunches?

Because I am keen as, alright!

Because despite how much I love my kids, they have done me in already and as awful as it sounds to admit this out loud, I can’t help but daydream about their return to school.

Because I just emptied one of the boy’s school bags and found what I think possibly could once have been a chicken sandwich, but is now nothing more than a barf inducing stink bomb.
And because once upon a time I was a really good parent… and then I went and had kids and that totally wrecked my track record.


Seriously, when the team at Coles suggested I might think about doing a post on school lunches I practically died laughing there and then, because HELLOOOO I have shed tears, REAL tears over the perfectly good food my kids have come home with in their lunch box.

More often than not when it comes to making school lunches, I am tired and cranky and the last thing I feel like doing is putting together a box full of food that I will (more often than not) see again at the end of the day.

Fed up with being beaten by three boys and their lunchboxes I am determined that this year will be the year that MY kids are the cause of lunch box envy in the playground.

There is such a thing as lunch box envy you know?

Trust me, I hear about it ALL the time.

“So and so had a peri peri chicken salad today, why can’t I have peri peri chicken Mum?”
“Such and such had savoury muffins and corn on the cob Mum; can I have something like that tomorrow?”

Sometimes I felt like ringing so and so and such and such’s mums and demanding “Sister…. WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME?” but I don’t … because I am a wuss and deep down inside I think I probably aspire to be like such and such and so and so’s mums with their fancy lunchbox making skills.

When I quizzed the kids about what makes a good lunch box… here’s what they came up with.

“It’s got to have variety, not like vegemite sandwiches every day.”

“I am sick of sandwiches too; I’d like something different… like a finger bun or apple pie.”

“We aren’t allowed to have plastic wrap in our lunch boxes mum, our food has to be nude OK!”

“If it’s alright with you I’ll just have canteen every day thanks mum.”

“Do dominos deliver to school?”

Yep a fat lot of good that lot was. Clearly I was on my own to rise to the challenge and come up with a range of lunchbox goodies that will fill their tums, keep them healthy and most importantly keep them happy!

This morning, after pouring through the January Coles mag for ideas followed by a frantic click frenzy session on the internet for inspiration, I toddled on down to Coles with the kids in tow.

Together we picked out some fancy new lunch boxes (sadly not the cute frozen ones I failed to convince the teenager to go with), threw a few nude food containers into the trolley to appease our little greenie and I grabbed a load of ingredients, fresh fruit and healthy snacks.

This afternoon, I was a woman on a mission… I baked and created and put together three lunchboxes that I hoped would knock the socks of a couple of midgets and their older sibling.
Here’s what I came up with.

Not wanting a boring old sandwich I made some super easy mini quiches for the teenager. These can be made and stored for a few days in the fridge so no skin of my nose... especially if I am making a family size quiche at the same time for dinner.

Add in some tried and true homemade muesli bars, a fruit salad and an extra piece of fruit, some cheese and a frozen smoothie and he scored me an 8/10. Man, I was happy with that given he is SO hard to please.

One of the mighty midgets insisted on a sandwich, but it had to be a sandwich without any plastic wrap. 

And so he got his sandwich - a whole meal cheese and turkey ham sambo along with some cheese, a fruit salad, frozen smoothie and an insanely cool pirate banana (which he totally rolled his eyes at).

With the pirate banana I scored a 6/10.

If we lost the banana then apparently 2 or 3 extra points were mine for the taking.

I’ll call that a win….

Kind of.

OK so I refused to give midget number 2 the number to Dominos because seriously… that kid would find SOME WAY of calling them. 

Instead he had a homemade pizza scroll (you can find the recipe for these on page 34 of the Coles January Magazine), a frozen smoothie, some fruit salad and a yoghurt squeezie…. and yes a pirate banana… that he actually loved.

I think he gave me a perfect score... granted I can’t be sure about that because he had a mouthful of pizza scroll at the time but I’m going with it anyway.

The pirate bananas are super easy to make. Just use a paper napkin for the bandana and a food marker to draw on a face. Cue the embarrassed eye roll and gurrrllll you are on fire!

The pizza scrolls were a total hit and drew moans from the other two about why they didn’t have them in their lunchbox. 

They take like literally 20 minutes to prepare, including the dough and I have to tell you, you totally get one of those smug virtuous Martha moments when you pull these hot babies from the oven.

The new January Coles Magazine has a range of back to school recipes guaranteed to induce lunchbox envy, and if they don’t tickle your fuss pot’s fancy then there is a load more recipes for easy, healthy and super delicious lunchbox snacks on the Coles website here.

Bananas, peaches, nectarines are in season and apples, and mandarins and kiwi fruits taste pretty great too at the moment, so throw them in the lunchbox; they are perfect for fruit break and an extra snack at lunchtime.

I’m telling you - Coles has your back to school needs covered.

Lunchboxes (including Frozen and Disney princess ones for the littlies), Rubbermaid drink bottles, Nude Food containers and lunchbox snacks and fillers. Pens and pencils and all the stationery supplies – yep they’ve got it ALL going on.

And now… just so you don’t bundle me in the same basket as so and so or such and such’s mums – here is the recipe for the super easy lunch box quiches.

Throw in one of these freaky looking mandarin snails (inspired by Pinterest) and watch those lunch box scores go through the roof.

OK maybe not from the teenager.


Put one in their lunchbox for laughs anyway because guaranteed you will be laughing at the thought of your mortified teen pulling it out in front of their school mates.

Are you like so and so and such and such’s mum when it comes to creating lunchbox envy?
What’s your number 1 lunchbox go to?
Ready for them to go back to school yet?