Eggs make a great addition to packed lunches because they are a good source of protein and are quite versatile.
They are also affordable since an egg costs less than pre-packaged cheese portion.
Eggs are a great meat alternative thanks to their nutrition. They offer up to 6g of protein, and are a natural source of Vitamin D. They also contain other nutrients such as choline, the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, selenium, vitamin B12, phosphorus and riboflavin. This vegetarian and gluten-free food makes a great addition to packed lunches and here is some inspiration on how to do this:
1. Egg cups / egg muffins
Egg cups or egg muffins are basically whisked eggs with additions of your choice. Having the shape of a muffin they are easy to pack into the lunchbox and the flavour can be varied depending on what you add into it. Here is a good place to start for ideas.
Another variation of this the Frittata, where instead of using muffin cups, the mixture is cooked in a dish or baking tray and then a sliced into rectangles / triangles to fit into the lunchbox. Check out this zucchini slice recipe for example
2. Hard Boiled
Hard boiled eggs (cook for 12 minutes and then peel outer shell) can be added directly to a lunchbox as they are, or in a salad, or crumbled in a sandwich, in a closed pizza, etc
This is also quite simple. Just whisk the egg/s and fry in a flat pan. The omelette could be just cut in pieces and put in the lunchbox, or it can be filled with ingredients and rolled up into an "egg wrap" Try these for example
A breakfast burrito is easy to prepare: scramble an egg, put it in a wrap, and add desired ingredients. For example: spinach / rocket leaves, freshly grated cheddar, bacon or ham slices, mashed avocado, bell peppers, red kidney beans or other beans, sweet corn, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, sausage, rice, salsa…..the list is endless
5. Added as an ingredient
Muffins, meatballs, quiche, pancakes, banana bread are all examples of foods that contain egg and although to a lesser extent, can contribute some protein value. These items are usually small and lunchbox friendly.
Safety rules when packing eggs
The important thing to remember is to keep it cold. An egg salad sandwich, for example, should be refrigerated at all times, so always pack a lunch in a cooler or insulated lunch bag with a freezer pack or sealed bag of ice. You might consider freezing a sandwich the night before you pack the lunch. If you are using a b.box lunchbox, it's a good idea to use the ice pack section for the egg. Also, tell the kids to store the lunch container out of the sun and away from a heat source.
Leftovers from the lunch should not be kept as an after-school snack. If you’re unsure how long the food has been at room temperature, it’s best to throw it away.