Back to school lunch box ideas

Vegetable muffins

With Autumn weather well and truly here, I thought it might be nice to share some filling lunch box ideas for the kids.

For many Australia families, tomorrow is back to school day after a period of home learning due to the coronavirus (covid-19). How has everyone coped?

For me it was both rewarding and challenging. Having a prep student and a toddler at home, 3 weeks of home learning felt like an eternity. However, I have had more time to spend in the kitchen, which makes me happy.

Autumn Lunch Box Ideas

Spinach, Sweet Potato & Sun-dried Tomato Muffins



100g baby spinach leaves
1 1/2 cups plain flour (can also use wholemeal flour to boost fibre)
3 teaspoons baking powder
150g sweet potato, grated
1/2 cup 97% fat-free sun-dried tomatoes, drained, chopped
1/3 cup finely grated parmesan
2 eggs
2/3 cup skim milk
2 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Grease and line a 12-hole muffin tray. Preheat oven to 180ºC. Place spinach in a large heatproof bowl. Cover with boiling water for 10 seconds, then refresh under cold running water. Drain well. Squeeze out excess water from spinach, then finely chop.
  2. Sift flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Add spinach, sweet potato, sun-dried tomato and cheese. Place eggs, milk and oil in a large jug and whisk to combine. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined (do not overmix).
  3. Divide mixture between prepared muffin holes. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until muffins are golden and cooked through. Remove muffins from tray, transfer to a wire rack and set aside to cool. Serve.

Banana & Bran Muffins



125g butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 bananas, mashed
1/4 cup (65ml) milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups (185g) plain flour
1/2 cup (60g) wheat bran
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees C. Grease a muffin tray or line with patty papers.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and brown sugar together until fluffy. Add bananas, milk, vanilla and eggs; mix well. Stir in flour, bran, baking powder, bicarb soda and salt; blend just until moistened. Stir in walnuts. Pour batter into prepared muffin cups.
  3. Bake at 190 degrees C for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean. Cool in the cups for 5 minutes, then remove muffins and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

Vegetable Muffins



1 red capsicum 300 g
2 tomatoes 240 g
1 bunch basil leaves, chopped 16 g
1 bunch spring onions, green tops only 16 g
10 eggs 580 g
½ cup grated hard cheese (e.g. cheddar) 50 g
½ tsp salt 1g


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/356°F. 
  2. Rinse outer shell of eggs, crack into a large bowl and whisk. Chop the capsicum, tomatoes, basil and spring onion and mix into the whisked eggs. Add salt.
  3. Grate cheese and set aside.
  4. Spray muffin pans with non-stick spray. Pour mixture into the muffin tray.
  5. Sprinkle muffins with cheese.
  6. Place tray in the oven for 25-30 minutes.  


  • Muffins can be frozen to be enjoyed as an on-the-go breakfast for a couple of weeks. To defrost, place muffins in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • You can swap the vegetables in this recipe for your favourite low FODMAP vegetables. Check the Monash University Low FODMAP Diet app for low FODMAP serving sizes. 

This post was written by Madeleine Baumgart on the 24th May, 2020 and first appeared on That Healthy Girl blog


About The Author

Madeleine Baumgart

Accredited Nutritionist (AN)
Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD)
Credentialed Eating Disorder Clinician (CEDC)

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