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Written by Fiona Greig on February 8th, 2018

WHO SAID DINNER CAN'T GO IN A LUNCHBOX?

Hurrah, the kids are back at school and we have our routine back in full swing. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve loved the holidays, but it does reach a point where the day-to-day schedule is craved for, by the kids and I alike.

The routine needn’t be dull though, and there are a number of ways when it comes to the meal prep, that can make you feel like you are one step ahead of the busy schedule.

This includes bulking up and stretching out your dinner leftovers and using them for lunch the next day, whether you take them to work or include in the kids’ lunchboxes. This means you tick many boxes – saving some lunch prep time and providing a nutritious protein-rich meal in the middle of the day that keeps you going for the afternoon.

So my trial in the first week back to school was the classic meatloaf, something I knew can be enjoyed both hot and cold – the latter meant putting a tweak on the traditional ham and salad sandwich.

Type in meatloaf to our recipes.co.nz search engine and there are 7 options to choose from. I went with this one with the opportunity to include extra grated carrot and courgette along the way.

The verdict from my two sons? Lunchboxes were all clear. Responses on asking if they liked them ranged from “mmmmm” to “can I have peanut butter tomorrow”? One out of two ain’t bad, and that won’t stop me doing more leftover trials in the weeks to come. At least one or two meaty lunches per week will interject some nutrition to their school days.

In this hot weather, it pays to have in mind how to keep the food at its best too, given its at least 3 hours out of the fridge. Small chilly pads and/or lunch boxes that are designed to keep food cool are a good option. Having their frozen drink bottle of water next to the food can also work.

Think about it, kids have hundreds of school lunches ahead of them – how can you add some variety to their week through their mid-day meals?

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