Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Kids' Lunch

Toasty Egg Pies
Gotta say, making kids' school lunches every day is a drag. I don't mind the actual making bit it's the trying to think of what to make that's doing my head in. My monkeys are creatures of habit. Eldest Monkey Boy will pretty much try anything for dinner but lunch is a different matter. I insist that the monkeys have at least one vegetable with their lunch. Last year Eldest Monkey had hommus and cucumber sandwiches pretty much every day. This year he'll eat a cheese, vegemite and grated carrot sandwich. Every day. Surprisingly, fussy Littlest Monkey has become the best lunch-eater I could imagine since starting school. He's eating everything I give him - so long as it's in a sandwich. A couple of times a week I try to ease my conscience by presenting them with something different - a veggie pancake or noodles or a rice paper roll or mini pizza for lunch. And often these get returned uneaten. So I resort to the same old sandwich.

At the beginning of the school year I fantasized about presenting my kids each day with a wonderful smorgasboard of lunchy tidbits in a brightly coloured bento box with matching insulating sleeve. And I wasted quite a few hours online investigating just where to get the perfect BPA free lunch box without spending a small fortune. I also spent quite a bit of time perusing these wonderful websites Laptop Lunches and Vegetarian Lunchbox and Vegan Lunch Box (I even bought this one's book which is fab). I was pretty sure I was going to be a damned near perfect school-lunch making mother. But I'm not.

I seem to remember that my mother had the same problem when I was a kid. She used to make me freaky weird sandwiches that I'm sure she'd read about in a '70s Women's Weekly. Like walnut and vegemite or jam and sultanas. Which I suppose was better than my best friend Jeanette who had a white bread vegemite sandwich and cheese in a plastic stick every single day of her entire primary school life.

Well tomorrow I'll try again to be perfect mum with these concoctions. I've used silverbeet and chives from the garden and they're all binded together with an egg and cheese mix so there's no way Little Monkey can pick out the green bits without leaving the entire thing. Which he's quite likely to do actually. After taking the snap for this blog post tonight I thought I might have a little nibble on one just to see if it was OK. It was good. So I ate the entire thing. And then I thought seeing as the damage had already been done and now I had an odd number I might eat another one. So I did. Now there are only four left - just enough luckily to fill two monkey lunchboxes. And if they come home untouched I might just help myself to them.

Toasty Egg Pies (makes 6)

6 slices of bread, crusts removed
silverbeet (finely chopped)
chives (chopped)
3 eggs
splash of milk
parmesan cheese, grated

Butter the slices of bread and squash each piece, buttered side down, into a muffin tray to make the cases. In a bowl mix the eggs with a splash of milk. Add the silverbeet and chives (or other veggies of choice). Pour the egg mixture into each bread casing and top each one with the grated parmesan cheese. Bake in a moderate oven until the egg has set.


  1. These look good , any your so right its hard thinking up differnt foods my eldest girl will take sallad raps pretty much every day , our 10 year old like a change all the time lol and well my son who is away at collage just plain winges to his mate about how he misses packed lunches lol yes i was still packing his lunch untill he left high school :-) those rice rolls are great i get my 3 year old to eat raw capsicum carrot onions and all sorts in them with a bit of sweet chilli sause she loves them !

  2. It takes a lot of thought to plan lunches that kids will eat. These toasty eggs pies look pretty good though, hope they are a hit with your two monkeys...


  3. They look so lovely...and creative. I remember having similar inspirations when my kids first started school. I used to spend ages thinking of preparing a different and interesting lunch for them each morning. And it would come home untouched. Day after day my son would be just too busy playing at school to bother eating what I had lovingly prepared. It used to make me so cross. I tried everything possible to get him to eat. In the end I delegated the lunch making to my husband! He makes pretty much the same thing everyday. The kids find it boring and every now and then I will take pity on them and make something interesting. But when he makes the lunch I have nothing emotionally invested in it so can relatively calmly distribute it to the dog or chooks when it comes home untouched. I hope you have more success in this than I do!

  4. Your little Monkeys don't know when they are well off! I wish I had had such yummy things for my lunch when I was their age. Unfortunately I went to boarding school from an early age, and never experienced the joys of the lunchbox lovingly prepared by my Mum :(

  5. Oh - these look good - I wish I had an oven to try them now. My mum and your mum must have read the same books/ mags - the one sandwich which was the height of experimentation was cheese and jam. It was returned untouched.

  6. Yum, never mind the kids enjoy yourself. Mine always had vegemite sandwiches every day and they never came home with them. That's unless they went in the bin, which I only just thought of. (a bit late now)
    On mondays in those days when the bread was stale they bought a pastie and donut from the tuckshop. I never heard them complain until now, when they all get together and tell my grandchildren how hard done by they were, poor soles ha ha

  7. Lunch time in our house is a hot meal(we homeschool) I don't think I have the brain power to think of new &exciting & a healthy lunch box menu everyday.

  8. I was just getting that sunday night dread of the School Lunch Box...thanks for your post! Good to know I'm not the only one struggling for ideas and your toasty egg pies look YUM only the kids aren't allowed to take eggy food to school (kids with egg allergies in class). Sigh. What now?? Resort to the mission wrap with avocado capsicum and cheese...again! The only thing Miss Bok reliably eats. When I was young we had hot school lunches every day. My mum never had to worry about making healthy lunches that kids would atually eat!

  9. Thanks for dropping by - love your blog right back! Very inspiring for this lousy gardener and sick-of-making-school-lunches already mum!

  10. They look delicious. My lil monkey won't eat eggs : (

  11. Thank you for the idea. This fall is my first time growing silverbeet and I have no idea what will I do with them.


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