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Needing lunchbox inspiration? Here’s 9 ideas to try with fruit, according to an Instagram lunchbox expert.

Missile Apples
Thanks to our brand partner, Missile Apples

It's been drilled into us since we were kids, so most of us already know that daily fruit intake is important in sustaining a healthy lifestyle. But like a lot of things, sometimes, it's easier said than done. 

As busy parents, the convenience of grabbing the same seven items from the grocery store usually wins... before your kids give you 'feedback'.

Allow me to be your lunchbox coach, the voice of encouragement when your kids have returned a full lunchbox one too many times. 

From one parent to another, here's my top (and basically foolproof) tips on levelling up your lunchbox game while adding some serious nutrition to yours and your child's daily routine.

1. Make it fun.

I love to use fruit and veggie cutters to make it fun. What kid could resist their apples or strawberries cut into a cute heart or flower shape? Its fun, creative and will help your child’s fruit stand out in their lunchbox.

Apples especially are a great fruit for cutting into cool shapes. I love to use the Missile Apples as they are Australian-grown (let’s support Aussie farmers!) and are naturally sweet. Plus, they contain the perfect level of crunch we all love in an apple.

2. Hide it.

Skip the pre-packaged muffin and try making your own. 

You can use any muffin recipe, and just add finely chopped or shredded apple pieces. 

Apples are perfect for this, as they are naturally sweet and juicy, so they add flavour and texture to your muffin recipe. If you chop the apple fine enough, your child may not even notice the hidden ingredient. 

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3. Serve it whole.

If you’re short in time, pop a whole apple in your child’s lunchbox or your handbag before work. Apples are pocket size, so they are perfect to serve as the travel-friendly snack. Missile Apples also have tiny cores which are perfect for fussy kids who stubbornly avoid getting close to the apple's centre. 

Other ready-to-eat fruit include bananas, pears or strawberries. No prep or cutting required — just perfectly ready-to-go natural sweetness. 

Image: Supplied.

4. Make it mini.

If your child prefers to eat their fruit sliced or chopped (and you have the time), then try making it mini. Even I sometimes prefer to eat my apple sliced, so ask your child what they'd prefer. 

It can make it easier for them to grab, hold and bite into while they’re navigating the school playground. Plus, it can save the headache of throwing away that half uneaten apple at the end of the day. 

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To avoid chopped apples and pears going brown, try soaking them in lemon water while you’re packing the rest of the lunchbox. (Bonus tip: Missile Apples have the tendency not to brown when cut which is music to my daughter's ears.) For bananas, leave them in the skin and cut in half so they fit easily in the lunch box. 

5. Decorate it!

Lunchbox packing can be fun and creative.

Try using your fruit pieces as decorations in your lunchbox. There’s so many ways you can lay out the contents and help your child engage with their food. 

Sometimes I leave cute and inspiring notes in their lunchboxes just to add an extra layer of fun for them.

6. Serve with yoghurt.

Fruit and yoghurt are a match made in heaven. This combo makes the perfect easy breakfast for the busy mum. And if your child hasn’t tried it, give it a go. They may quickly fall in love with the combo.

Plus, it’s the added bonus of a meal with protein and dairy, all in one! Don’t be afraid to try this in the school lunchbox too. Just make sure you use a leak-proof lunchbox or container.

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7. Cook them.

Not only does fruit go so well in baking, like apple muffins, but they also make a great after-dinner treat when cooked. 

Try poaching or stewing your fruit and serve with a bit of ice cream. You and your child will think you have the perfect dessert. 

8. Have a system.

Encourage your child to eat left to right in their lunchbox. Pack fruit and veggies on the left, protein, dairy and main course in the middle, and snacks on the right. 

This helps teach them the importance of eating certain foods before others. Role model this behaviour by doing this yourself by eating your fruit and veggies first.

Image: Supplied.

9. Plan ahead. 

One of the biggest traps is not planning ahead or being prepared. 

Meal plan before you go to the shops. Prep when you get home so packing chopped fruit and veggies is easier when packing your work lunch or your child's lunchbox. 

And always stock up on your favourite fruit and veggies when at the supermarket. You can’t use them if you don’t have them, so it’s all about planning ahead.

Missile Apples are Australian grown and naturally sweet. Grab them on your weekly grocery shop at your independent grocer.

Alison is an Instagram food blogger and lunchbox expert. In 2021, Alison designed her own range of bento lunchboxes, Mum Made Yumwhich are leak proof, air-light and can be personalised with your child’s name.

Feature Image: Supplied/Mamamia.

Missile Apples
Meet the 🍎Missile® Apple - Australia's best fresh fruit snack, grown to perfect crunch, juiciness and handy pocket size to fit in on-the-go and help power up busy days. ⁠The pocket power of 🍎 Missile® Apple is waiting for you to discover right now at all good independently-minded grocers around Australia - but hurry - only while current season stocks last. 🍎The Missile® Apple. Little apples, explosive crunch. 🍎 🍎 🍎