life by design · lunch box challenge · parental daily ramblings

The verdict is in for the courgette muffin…. ?/10

dun dun duuuuuuun!!!!! 
Could’ve been worse!!

It’s a no … To anything but muffins in muffin case

It’s a maybe …. To eating it like bread once we get over that it was in muffin case!

Saving grace?!!

My daughter had no probs …. Ate the  bread muffin for lunch and enjoyed it!

This is great because remember she doesn’t like brown bread in sandwiches so it will be terrific for me to add the wholemeal flour, seed  bread/muffin to her lunch 🙂

A happy accident

Scored me a five

…. Not bad ……. Worth the effort

My slashed muffin .... Into mini bread slices. Who on earth did I think I was?
My slashed muffin …. Into mini bread slices. Who on earth did I think I was?

….. All in a day of a Mum on a mission!

Next week: learn what to do with those crusts …. And voting time for kids on lunch stuff so far, the best and the worst …

I can take it!!!

…… Because I know I’ll have a bar of dark choc hid for after you ve all gone to bed 🙂

X Christine

Ps: this post is the sequel to courgette muffin post in case your scratching your head

life by design · lunch box challenge · parental daily ramblings

Nervous mum! 

So ….. I went for the big one on my lunchbox challenge!!

….. The courgette savoury muffin

….. Except i went hardcore no white flour, baking powder, just goodness!

….. But will it be a line crossed?

… Will the kids come home and tell me there was kids gathered around their table shouting ewwwww!

I’m expecting the worse …. and hoping for the best!!!

I’m up for tweaking the recipe so it doesn’t look so much like a raw food vegan health market purchase ( heehee it wouldn’t qualify of course with the eggs)

I know it’s tasty by the look of it, but I served it in bun cases so I’m afraid there may be confusion …..

….. that it’s a healthy bread pretending to be a cup cake lol!!!

…. I should’ve just made it in a loaf tin !!!!!

Ah well,

Too late now!!!

It’s gone to the unjust biased audience of kids that show no mercy with their opinions!!!

I can’t wait for the feedback!

……as I nervously bite the tops of knuckles ……

Wish me luck!!!

Christine x

Ps: vegan health markets are actually my idea of a slice of heaven

life by design · lunch box challenge · wholefood family health

no bake flap jacks

Heres what you need

2 cups oats

60g butter

1 tblsp honey

1 tblsp good peanut butter …. or make your own

mixed seeds chia and linseed mix

4 squares of dark choc ( 75% cocoa)

Heres what to do

line a baking tray with parchment / baking paper

melt the butter in the saucepan

add the oats, peanut butter, honey and mix through until mixture come together in the saucepan. (adjust ingredients if necessary ….add a little extra butter, or honey if mixture seems very dry.

break in the dark chocolate and stir through

Pour the mixture onto the baking paper, and pat down forming a square

pop into the fridge … or freezer for quicker setting time

when set, cut your flapjack mixture into small squares and store them in a airtight container in the fridge for use.


sharing is caring !!!

I’m doing the lunchbox challenge as a task from my role as food ambassador  for Jamie Oliver food revolution, a role I’m passionate about.

I’d love if you could share this post to inspire other families to get on board 🙂

Thanks a bunch

Christine x

***** you can tweak this recipe to taste. you can add coconut oil instead of butter, or half and half. You can leave out the choc chips, or replace with dried fruit!!

have a go !! …. with a good quality nut butter, and seed mix, its an ideal lunch box snack high in nutritional value and low glycemic load, giving a slower release of energy throughout the day 🙂

life by design · lunch box challenge · recipes that saved the day · wholefood family health

Lunchbox challenge!!

lunch boxes are coming on!!!

Notes on this week

Variety is key.. mixed with the right dose of nutrition and taking into account my children’s own tastes seems to do the trick!

I’m enjoying the conversations about the food when the kids come home,

…. and I think it’s encouraging them to eat more at school … they enjoy that we are trying out new things and trying to improve lunches!

I’ve learned 2 lessons this week

1. The right equipment helps a lot!! Having lots of different size tubs and flask,  thermal lunch boxes, helps me be able to prepare a  keep a variety of food that will keep fresh or hot, whatever the case. I find baking paper best thing for wrapping foodstuffs.

2. I have 2 types of eaters in my house …. My eldest who is up for challenges on the taste buds … I tried him with lentil Dahl over the weekend and he said he’d love it for lunch.
I find it’s too easy to get monotonous with lunches … I’m going to make sure to meet his taste buds and make the most of his adventurous palette.

My other is less adventurous but likes hot food stuffs and smoothies and great for raw veg….. so I’m getting to know individual tastes a lot more, and am learning how to cater for all tastes whilst not making a work load for myself!!!


I’m trying dips for veg sticks to see how they go … Yogurt with cumin was a goer … Will try salsa and a hummus next week.


Doing non-bake flapjacks tomorrow so stay tuned!!

…. And Friday will try savoury pancake and custard for treat day 🙂

… Thanks to everyone for sharing, and again all ideas welcome!!!

Here’s a summary so far:

hot french tost


cheesy bites went down a treat

had to work on getting smoothie right

hot pasta with pesto

X Christine

life by design · lunch box challenge · recipes that saved the day · wholefood family health

Bored with sandwiches? Try these …

Sick of sanwiches?

Try these savoury swirls!!

All you need is pre-made roll of puff pastry and leftover pasta sauce and cheese if you wish!

Here’s how to make <=
 ….. And how they look in the lunchbox!

Kids love them hot or cold

Great way to use leftover pasta sauce!!

The lunchbox challenge is keeping us creative with ideas!!

I’ve been repeating the same lunchbox box for 2 days in s row so Monday to Friday I just need 3 ideas!!

I’d love some more inspiration!!

Tell me what works for you!

….. And don’t forget

Sharing is caring!! Please share via social media with friends if you found it valuable 🙂


Christine x

life by design · lunch box challenge · parental daily ramblings · recipes that saved the day · wholefood family health

shopping list for school lunches

foodAfter a week of trial and errors, week 2 will be ….. probably the same lol!

variety …. the spice of life?! kids are real creatures of habit, start with what they do like and work from there!!

no … itll be a bit easier really. I’m learning …..

notes on my findings so far  ……have you checked out my 8 tips for healthy lunchbox?

I’m definately sending a hot option one day ( get your thermal lunch box in heatons)

…my eldest could probably do with a flask too as he loves soup!

I will stick to what worked last week … and experiment with a few options to add the week after! ( savoury muffins and crepes)

My lunchboxes are to the taste of my individual children … but like all kids, would gladly eat processed lunch snacks if they got them.

They are genuinely enjoying the fresh lunches, and give their opinions on what they liked/disliked.

My youngest still isnt eating a lot, but he’s only in school for a short while and finnishes his lunch box when he comes home!

If you fancy making changes, and following my guidelines, I’ve made a list of the foodstuffs to get in over the weekend to enable you to follow the week with me 🙂

Feedback from the kids is key …. its not for show, its for them to eat!!!

Small changes are beneficial…. they may be more willing to compromise on somethings and not others!!

… for example, my daughter doesnt like wholemeal bread…. the only way she ll eat it if its made into french toast!

…so I made her that for breakfast, and she took another slice in her lunchbox!….she loves when i put vanilla extract into the egg mix, and a tiny sprinkle of brown sugar on top!

I’m genuinely enjoying this …. inspired by my commitment to my role as food ambassador for Jamie Oliver alongside blogger oneyummymummy

I just truly believe offering kids a great relationship with food is goldust for life!!

I can see that prevention is better, simpler, easier on the pocket than consequences of not addressing how we feed ourselves, and habits are born young!!!! …..  best of luck to us all for next week!

Christine x

Shopping List

Bread wholemeal

For flapjacks

  • Oats
  • Honey
  • dark chocolate


For cheesy bites

  • cheese
  • sesame seeds

fruit …. apples, oranges, melon, berries

pasta wholemeal

good quality pesto ( we ll make our own another week!)



puff pastry roll ….( very easy snack … I’ll demonstrate next week)



tortilla wraps ( we ll have a go at homemade for next week)


Greek yogurt


carrots, peppers, celery, cucumber, baby tomatoes


orange juice, just to add to smoothie

grease proof paper for baking, and wrapping lunch stuff

**** note: I will be using leftovers for a cooked chicken (dinner from one night) … pasta sauce leftover …

Budget cost per child per day to send these lunches for school = .60c each per day

life by design · lunch box challenge · recipes that saved the day · wholefood family health

Back 2 school …. Day 1

Menu plan for dinners ….   Check!

Menu plan for lunchbox ….  Check!

Here we go ….

Lunchbox mania

What’s easy?

What will they eat?

What’s fresh and will help them grow that they will eat … Hmmm

Here’s the first day !

lettuce wraps with chicken and hummus … pepper and cucumber and melon and strawberries
rye crackers with peanut butter
greek yogurt with a little maple syrup and vanilla extract

I added homemade protein bars

Feedback from kids?

Empty lunch boxes yay! My daughter told me to wrap the lettuce  better her chicken fell out!

Not bad!!

See ya for day 2!

Ps: check out my 8 tips for healthy lunch boxes here

X Christine

lunch box challenge · parental daily ramblings · recipes that saved the day · wholefood family health

8 tips for healthy lunch boxes!!

Coming to the last term of school for the kids,

Its a struggle to say the least to fill the lunch boxes with food that

  • they will eat

  • is non-processed

  • supply them with energy to get through the day

I’ve put together 8 tips for school lunches

but first ….lets think about why we need them?

School lunches are important to get right in my opinion as ….

  • Making the most of the controlled environment of school, they don’t have fall back on snacks that might be in the cupboards at home, so if they are hungry they MAY eat whats in the lunch box….. provided its to their taste, it can get them into a super eating routine!
  • expectations in schools are high! Having to sit still for long periods at a time, focus and concentrate, throw in added social stresses of school environment, kids need to feed their bodies accordingly to keep them up to speed!!
  • Education for life!…. getting the kids to negotiate between their own taste, and nutrition benefits of different foods, filling lunchboxes can be a real opportunity for children to learn how to make decisions that will will benefit them. This kind of skill can become a valuable one they will have for life!!

 8 General rules for healthy lunch boxes

  1. Make sure it’s not all white carbs and protein ( white bread sandwich, cheese, yogurt, biscuits ) choose one of these not all of them

  2. Include choice. When preparing fruit or veg, ask your child to choose between two, this  way independance is promoted….freedom to choose food does wonders for their appetite!

  3. encourage your child to have water as a drink option.  This may take a while to get, but is worth it. If hey have juice make sure it’s fresh not from concentrate, which usually means not from a small carton, but filled into a drinks bottle. Diluting the juice as much as you get away with can help them get the water in!

  4.  Make sure to understand the reasons if they are not eating their food in school. Their may be a time issue, if they are slower at eating or social complication (someone commneting on the contents of the lunch box, or general distraction) If you understand the reasons it makes it easier to help your child to adapt, and help solve the issues.

  5. Don’t give up!! If there are big changes to be made, they wont happen overnight. Perhaps you need to make one change at a time, and offer rewards and encouragment and praise for even small efforts and improvements!

  6. Stick with it….give it 3 months of trying, not just 1 or 2 attempts. Small changes are still worth it!!!….so if you introduce any small change long term, pat yourself on the back because that is a very worthwhile change to make for your childs health!

  7. Plan in advance. On shopping day, make sure the provisions are bought to be able to follow through with a new plan. Time is precious in the mornings, so keep it convenient to limit stress!

  8. Home baked treats. If you have time, and have done some baking with the kids, try put aside a bun, or cake slice, cookie for a treat day. Something that they made themselves will give them confidence and bring back a nice memory of cooking in the kitchen. Good feelings = good appetite!!

Last important point!

Give yourself a break! I used to get stressed about getting the right foods into the kids, and in a way it has motivated me to make changes that I am proud of in my family….

……but there are plenty of times that I just sigh and shrug, and move on

….like when my youngest came in to me early morning with a big cheese and onion flavoured kiss, and realised he had got up and helped himself to crisps for breakfast!

…. or the week that I bought everyone ice cream everyday after school for a full week because I didnt have the mental will power to stand up against the constant begging for treats!

here are my good day lunch boxes that I try and keep going with much success!

lunch box11010969_1046162728889521_2393250695528851711_n11205015_1047096688796125_4518409725485875008_n

as you can see, they are simple, less processed and a bit of variety. These are going with my kids tastes aswell. We sometimes add a greek yogurt.

I often admire blogs that display sandwiches shaped into dragons and smiley faces on cookies etc, and kids love that ….

but being realistic I don’t have time to keep that up! The closest we usually get is our novelty shaped cookies, or stamping the first letter of the childs name on them.


I think these below are very cute however …. the idea was used to promote healthier snacks at a juiceplus+ wholefood nutrition event in Australia….I thought they were very effective!


My kids benefit from concentrated wholefood   supplement juiceplus+ ….  find out how families are benefitting from the childrens health study

lunch boxes

keep smiling!! heres my daughter …. a picky eater as a toddler has come on in spades!!

Kids haven’t started lunch box stage yet? Check out top tips for fussy eaters by oneyummymummy

thanks for reading,