In this week’s episode of The Whole Circle Podcast we are talking all things back to school.

We want to focus on helping you get organised for back to school so that you can head into term 1 feeling like you are on top of everything instead of in chaos.  We all know that feeling and it sucks!

Having said that though, this episode is really great for anyone who is wanting to stock their freezer with food regardless of the reason why.

EASY LUNCHBOX OPTIONS

First, let’s first look at the super easy ideas that you can put into lunchboxes:

  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Preservative free cooked sausages
  • Leftover meat
  • Heated up leftovers taken to school in a thermal container.

All of those are really a no-brainer as they are quick, natural, healthy and additive-free.

INGREDIENTS TO LOOK OUT FOR WHEN BUYING PROCESSED/PACKAGED FOOD

Yeast Extract and Hydrolysed Vegetable Protein

These are a form of glutamate which have similar side-effects as MSG such as:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Brain fog
  • Restlessness

You want to make sure that you avoid these so that your kids aren’t affected by this at school and can learn to the best of their abilities.

Sulphur Dioxide (preservative 202) 

This is commonly found in dried fruit and wine (sorry, don’t shoot the messenger 😉).  It is heavily linked to respiratory issues.  So, if you have anyone in your family who suffers from asthma or has respiratory issues then they will want to avoid sulphites.

Headaches and migraines are also linked to sulphites too so if you are a sufferer of that, then you may want to look into whether sulphites are a contributing factor.

Nitrate (preservative 250-251)

This is commonly found in smoked and processed meats such as ham, bacon, salami, chicken etc.  Nitrates are not encouraged to be ingested and in fact, it’s banned in some areas to give to infants.

Anti-caking Agent

This is the powder that you find on packaged grated cheese.  It’s an ingredient that our bodies don’t recognise as food.  It’s a processed synthetic powder that they spread all over grated cheese to stop it from clumping together and going mouldy.

You can easily avoid this by buying block cheese and grating it yourself.  Plus, it’s cheaper to buy block cheese too. Yay!

MEALS MADE EASY

Each month in our meal planning program, Meals Made Easy, which is also an additive-free meal planning program, week 4 is snack week and this month we have focused on the snacks being suitable for school lunchboxes.

In general, Meals Made Easy is a meal planning program whereby you get 4 weeks’ worth of recipes.  Weeks 1 to 3 are main meal-based recipes whereby some you can double batch cook so that you can stock your freezer.  The majority of recipes are made in 30 minutes or under and in the fourth week you will hopefully have a freezer full of options for dinner or that week can be your week to cook your ole’ faithful recipes that your family must have each month.  Then you can also batch cook the snacks from week 4 as well.

So, for example, the recipes in this month’s snack week are:

Lemon Bliss Balls

These freeze really well.  You can double or even triple batch make this recipe, so you have plenty on hand in the freezer.

Hot Tip

If you don’t want to stand there and roll them all into balls, then just press the mixture into a slice tin and then slice it up into little squares.

Nut Free Muesli Bar Slice

This is a great lunchbox slice that is simple to make and easy to double or triple and freeze.

Pizza Scrolls

Make sure are sourcing nitrate free bacon for this recipe.  Supermarkets are now stocking nitrate free bacon and ham which is great.  Once again you can double batch cook this recipe and freeze the leftovers for another time.  You can boost the nutritional value and flavour of these by adding:

  • Chia seeds
  • Extra veggies
  • Make your own pizza sauce with lots of veg in it
  • Vital Veggie Powder
  • Capsicum
  • Baby spinach
  • Feta cheese

Double Chocolate Fudge Slice

This is a brand-new recipe and with all new recipes, they get released to Meals Made Easy first.  This is so drool worthy!  Slightly dangerous because of how yummy it is … haha

It’s even better warmed up with a dollop of cream on top, just sayin’ 😉

Look out for some organic chocolate at the supermarket.  We love it with dark chocolate and if you wanted to increase the health factor then use 90% dark chocolate as this will make the chocolate almost sugar free.

Aunty Betty Plain Biscuits

Confession: we don’t even have an Aunty Betty! Haha

This was a recipe that Tracey got from a previous work friend of hers and her Aunty was Betty and she used to bring these biscuits into work.  They are just divine, easy to make and the recipe makes a lot of biscuits, seriously heaps!

You know those classic old school recipes?  Well this is one of those and we love it.

This recipe is also really versatile to change up.  You could:

  • Add some choc chips to make choc chip biscuits
  • Put a dent in the middle of them and fill with jam to make jam drops
  • Leave them plain, ice them on top and then dip them in additive-free Hoppers 100s & 1000s or Sprinkles
  • Turn them into kiss biscuits by making two biscuits sandwiched between jam and then iced on top

There are so many ideas you can do with this biscuit recipe or simply leave them plain as they are just as yummy like that too.

Warning

Don’t try and double make this recipe in your thermomix as it will be too much for it to handle.  You will need to essentially make the recipe twice if you want a double batch.

Chicken Sausage Rolls

This is another brand-new recipe being released to Meals Made Easy first, it is also our bonus recipe for the week (every week has a bonus recipe).

Our kids love taking cold sausages rolls in their lunchboxes to school.  Yep, it’s a bit out of the ordinary but a good possibility.

If your kids won’t eat them cold, then they are a great recipe to make whilst the kids are still on school holidays as they are definitely a good tummy filler!

For those of you who aren’t in Meals Made Easy, we have a heap of testimonials about the benefits of the program right throughout our social media platforms.

SAVE MONEY WITH MEALS MADE EASY

We know ourselves, when we use Meals Made Easy, we save a heap of money at the supermarket.  Our supermarket bill is roughly around $300 – $400 a fortnight.  Bear in mind that this includes everything we need for the week, even personal care items.

We also save money by buying our meat in bulk and as some of you may know, we don’t go down the cleaning aisle at the supermarket anymore because we get all our cleaning items from doTERRA.  We have done plenty of podcasts previously about this so go check them out via your podcast app.

We know that in this day and age, especially with rising costs of things, we would not be able to spend so little at the supermarket if we were not living by the Meals Made Easy meal plan.

We’ve had people write into us saying they easily spend $500 a week on their supermarket bills.  We know that this program saves money and it gets you the ability to buy better food options such as organic without breaking the bank.

Buying convenience items in packets costs a lot more because you are paying for that ‘convenience’, although the detriment to our health because of dodgy ingredients in packet food, certainly isn’t convenient.

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT MEALS MADE EASY? 

It is a subscription service which costs $9.95 per month.  There is no lock-in contracts, and you can opt out at any time.

Simply head on over to https://mealsmadeeasy.recipes/ for all the information and to subscribe.

At the very least, keeping yourself organised by bulk batch cooking and keeping your freezer stocked will help you manage the back to school chaos without having to resort to buying packaged items from the supermarket with not so good ingredients.

Links and Resources