A little something to nourish busy brains and bodies

Bliss balls are a great edition to school lunches. Photo: Getty Images
Bliss balls are a great edition to school lunches. Photo: Getty Images
As we embark on another school term, do you find yourself struggling for lunch box inspiration?

Growing bodies need a lot of energy and children always seem hungry. Here are some ideas to help to nourish busy brains and bodies.

I have included options with plenty of good fats to feed the brain, support developing hormones and healthy skin; Also, fibre for a healthy gut diversity - the more fibre we can include, the more diverse the strains of bacteria are which lowers infection rates, supports mood and detoxification and reduces autoimmunity risk.

The gut is where we absorb nutrients and is also responsible for detoxification via the liver and bowels. Keeping a varied intake of fresh, minimally processed foods supports these processes well.

Preparing containers with trail mix is quick to do and these can be stored in the glove box of your car for easy snacks between extra-curricular activities. Bliss balls are also quick to make and store well in the freezer.

• Greek or coconut yoghurt with fresh fruit/ defrosted berries.

• Apple slices with nut butter.

• Trail mix - nuts, seeds, dark chocolate, dried fruit (walnuts and pecans are especially great for brain support).

• Bliss balls - home-made or Tasti brand have the best texture.

• Sushi.

• Smoothie with hemp seeds, banana, frozen berries, frozen cauliflower rice, zucchini, nut butter, cacao powder (add protein powder for older children/teenagers).

• Hard boiled eggs - the yolks contain choline, which improves brain function and reduces anxiety. Leave whole or mash with mayonnaise and curry powder to eat with a fork or on crackers.

• Fritters - carrot/courgette, the flavour options are endless.

• Zucchini slice made into mini muffins (silicon muffin trays are great for this).

• Rye Cruskits with Marmite and cheese or cottage cheese.

• Shelled edamame beans (blanch and then allow to cool) and cherry tomatoes.

• Cucumber, carrot, snow peas, capsicum sticks with hummus.

• Nori seaweed snacks.

•  Roast vegetable pizza made on pita breads or seed pizza bases.

• Whole grain or seed crackers (see recipe) and cheese.

• Canned salmon or tuna.

• Dahl, served in a thermos.

• Chicken vegetable soup, served in a thermos.

• Mini meat balls on their own or add to a thermos with a tomato passata sauce.

• Roasted chicken pieces and carrot hummus.

• Coconut water added to the water bottle to support hydration if sweating occurs at sport practices.

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Seed crackers

1½ cups sunflower seeds

½cup pumpkin seeds

1 cup sesame seeds

½ cup whole flaxseeds (also called linseeds)

½ tsp salt

1 tsp dried rosemary

2 Tbsp psyllium husks

2¼ cups water (room temperature)


Place all ingredients in a bowl. Mix well and leave for 20 minutes until it has gone gelatinous.

Heat the oven to 150°C fan bake. Line two large baking trays with baking paper. Spread mixture thinly over the paper and bake for about 60 minutes, until dried out. You may wish to remove from the oven after 50 minutes, turn over and bake the underside to ensure it is completely dry.

Break into shards and store at room temperature in an air tight container for up to 3 weeks.

Great with hummus, cheeses or on their own.