This post is brought to you by Steggles who are Stegglers for Quality Time!
If you have kids, then you will know it is often hard to get a good conversation happening.
My 8 year old son is especially hard to get to open up….
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This is such a great recipe to make with kids – especially if you/they are on a gluten free diet.
Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius and line a muffin tin with muffin cases.
Mash the bananas and then mix in the eggs, honey, cinnamon and vanilla. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into the wet mixture and fully combine. Coconut flour is very absorbent so leave the mixture in the fridge for 10 mins before pouring it into your muffin cases. Bake for 30 minutes or until firm in the centre and slightly golden on top.
The texture is very soft and packed full of the banana flavour with a very mild coconut taste making them a big hit with both my kids.
I hope you enjoy making this easy recipe with your kids. You might also enjoy these great recipes.
This post is sponsored by Nissan Australia.
We are super excited to introduce you to the new Fun Mum Automobile! Nissan have kindly lent us this beautiful Nissan X-TRAIL to transport us on some FUN adventures and we’re not sure who’s more excited by it, us or the kids?! In fact all of our children are already asking (daily) if we can can keep him, yes we’ve nicknamed him Bear (short for Bear Grylls), because what family doesn’t want an agile, tough, and adaptive adventurer like Bear in their lives?
The kids have been on school holidays the past few weeks which has given us lots of time to explore and spend quality time with our family and friends. We’ve travelled to the city, the beach, high in the beautiful hinterlands and just about everywhere else around town testing just how well built this car is for families.
Our Nissan X-TRAIL has been a delight to drive, ‘Bear’ has the most fluid power steering we’ve ever come across and the sunroof has given our children the opportunity to gaze at rainforest canopies, blue skies and star light nights, adding more excitement and entertainment to our travels. We’ve honestly found ourselves planning excursions to faraway places just to give us more driving time. Which brings us to the topic of… picnics!
We’ve become picnic packing pros after all the adventuring we’ve been enjoying and we’ve been so surprised by how much stuff we can fit in the back of our Nissan X-TRAIL. The unique Divide-N-Hide™ cargo system is GENIUS for families, seriously every car needs this! You can configure it 18 different ways and the washable luggage board makes it super easy to clean any mess from the picnic rug. Watch their clever demonstration below. And yes, my daughter has opened and closed the sensor activated boot just like the little girl in this video…about 1 million times, she calls it her new magic trick.
Here is one of our beautiful picnics loaded into the roomy boot, everything is easily accessible so we didn’t need to pull everything out in order to find the kids hats or toys when we arrived at our favourite picnic spots. We still had loads of extra space and could’ve quite literally taken the kitchen sink. We look forward to sharing more details about this Family Proof car in the coming weeks…watch this space!
Would you like to know how we plan the Ultimate Picnic? Of course you do!
PLANNING THE ULTIMATE PICNIC
We love nothing more than spending time exploring in nature and that often involves us travelling off the beaten track to find some truly amazing picnic destinations like the one pictured below. It takes a little planning and preparation to ensure you have a hassle free and enjoyable day trip. Today we would like to share some of our top tips, recipes and ideas!
CHOOSING THE RIGHT DESTINATION
Most of the best picnic places we’ve been to have been ones referred to us by friends in the area, we suggest asking your friends or locals where their favourite picnic places are, better still, plan a day out with your friends so they can lead the way. We also recommend checking the road conditions, if it’s a national park it may only be accessible by a 4 wheel drive, pets are also not allowed in National Parks so it’s well worth researching the area to find these things out ahead of time.
If you’re planning on doing some hiking, swimming or walking be sure to pack good footwear, sun protection and insect repellent! There is nothing worse than trying to enjoy a picnic whilst being attacked by mosquitoes. Also make sure to pack plenty of water to stay hydrated whilst you’re exploring.
Obviously a reliable form of transport is important, we’ve loved taking our Nissan X-TRAIL on some dirt roads and were really impressed how it handled the bumpy tracks. Some areas have daily tour buses that can take you to some lovely picnic destinations if you choose not to self-drive.
A good picnic hamper and esky is also a must to keep your food cool and safe to eat, something comfortable to sit on. We always try to pack finger food that is easy to store or wrap without spilling. Another important tip is to bring a good quality rubbish bag, you always want to ensure the only thing you take with you are memories and the only thing you leave behind are your footprints. Don’t forget to pack your fully charged camera too!
FOOD & DRINKS
It’s essential that we pack plenty of food and refreshments that the whole family will enjoy, but why stick to boring sandwiches when their are so many easily prepared and delicious picnic foods like these –
1.Peachy Lemonade! This perfectly peachy lemonade is simply delicious and super refreshing! Click here to view, download or print the easy recipe!
2. Banana and Oat Smoothie – this healthy smoothie is guaranteed to keep everyone energised on your picnic. We often take it in the car in travel safe cups for a breakfast on the road. Find the yummy recipe here.
3. Hawaiian Green Smoothie – Another smoothie recipe that makes a great breakfast on the go or tropical picnic refreshment! Find the yummy recipe here.
4. Healthy Mac & Cheese Muffins – Kids love Mac & Cheese? Well they will devour this healthy version! Substituting most of the cheese for creamy roasted Butternut Pumpkin is the key! Click here to see the easy recipe!
5. Zucchini Bites – This simple recipe uses cream cheese which makes them super creamy and delicious. It is one of our go-to ‘bring a plate’ recipes. Find it here.
6. Roast Pumpkin, Spinach, Ricotta and Caramelised Onion Pie – This is by far my favourite ‘egg’ pie recipe! The sweet Roast Pumpkin and Caramelised Onion make it so tasty and my kids love it too! Click here to view, download or print the easy recipe!
7. Individual Picnic Loaves – I grabbed some fresh sour dough rolls at our local bakery, removed the inside (reserved for breadcrumbs in another dish), spread the inside with cream cheese then stuffed with layers of grilled eggplant, capsicum, Pastrami and baby spinach. These would be perfect for a family picnic if some family members like different fillings.
8. Pizza Puffs – Simple pizza flavours wrapped inside their own crispy shell! Perfect finger food for a picnic! Find the easy recipe here.
9. Easy Chickpea’sy Hummus – Make your own hummus dip, serve with sliced veggies and rice crackers. Find the simple recipe here.
10. Zucchini Fritters – We’ve enjoyed these Zucchini fritters on many a picnic! They freeze really well which makes them a great bake-ahead of time recipe! Find all the details here.
11. Savoury Muffins – This simple recipe is so simple, perfect to prepare with the kids for their own special picnic menu. Find it here.
12. Savoury Waffle Sticks – These make a great finger food by using a waffle maker to cook this fluffy and tasty recipe. Find it here.
13. Salad in a Jar! These Salad in a jar recipes are PERFECT for picnics! Find all three recipes here.
14. Quinoa and Chickpea Salad – this recipe is a super simple salad filled with fresh and vibrant flavour, find it here.
15. Rosemary, Potato & Blue Cheese Frittata – This frittata is another great recipe to prepare the day before your picnic and serve cold. Find the yummy recipe here.
16. Ham & Salad Rolls – A clever way to cater to a large group is making some simple ham and salad rolls using a long bread-stick. Simple cut lengthways and fill with your ingredients before slicing into individual serves. Find it here.
17. Chickpea & Mango Chicken Balls – These are tasty served warm or chilled making them a great addition to this picnic recipe round up. Find the easy and yummy recipe here.
18. Healthy Chicken Sausage Rolls – Inspired by the recipe above we made these yummy sausage rolls. Find the recipe here.
19. Yogurt and berry cups – These yogurt and berry cups make a wonderful & healthy desert option on a picnic! Simple top your favourite yogurt with some fresh berries inside individual sealed cups. Easy to transport. serve and enjoy!
20. Banana and Sultana Muffins – The perfect muffin to accompany a yummy picnic! Find the healthy recipe here.
21. Watermelon Salad Bowl! This is such a FUN way to serve a healthy fruit salad! Simply cut your melon in half and scoop the flesh out to create the bowl, fill with your favourite seasonal fruits and serve. You can also freeze your bowl overnight before filling to keep your salad nice and chilled. You can use your leftover watermelon to make this yummy sorbet.
22. Healthy Chocolate Brownies – These healthy chocolate brownies are AMAZING! Find the delicious recipe here.
23. Nutella Brownies – Love Nutella? We don’t blame you! You’ll love this easy three ingredient recipe! Find it here.
24. Nutella and Banana Sushi – it doesn’t get much easier than this! Find the video tutorial here.
25. Mini Nutella Cheesecakes – Serving food in baby jars is a GREAT picnic trick. Easy to transport and the perfect serving size for something sweet! Find this easy recipe here.
26. Mini Lemon Cheesecakes – This easy no-bake recipe is perfect for picnics! Read all about it here.
27. Cranberry Nut Clusters – Simple, sweet and perfect for your next picnic! Find the recipe here.
Our kids love to sit down to yummy food but they’re often finished eating WAY before we are. We like to pack some FUN games to keep them occupied whilst we finish our meal. Some great picnic games are croquet, badminton, ring toss, cards, tic tac toe or even tug of war! You could also pack a kite if it’s a windy day! Our children also love a good Nature Scavenger hunt!
We really hope these ideas and recipes help you plan an incredible picnic with your family and friends! If you’re in the market for a new family SUV be sure to take a Nissan X-TRAIL for a test drive, you can learn more about the full range of Nissan SUVs here on their website and be sure to pop back as we share more details of our upcoming adventures.
Jen & Lou x
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This healthy Mac & Cheese recipe is so yummy! My whole family LOVES it. I got the inspiration from one of our favourite food blogging websites – Super Healthy Kids, if you aren’t already following them on Facebook you should jump on and do that here! You can find their recipe here as well as HEAPS of wonderful meal ideas and planners!
I was multitasking this past weekend and batch cooked several pumpkin and ricotta recipes for my freezer (watch this space for all the other recipes). So I decided to make a healthy Roasted Pumpkin Mac & Cheese AND also some Healthy Mac & Cheese Muffins too…best idea EVER! These muffins make the perfect lunchbox filler and they freeze really well too – winning!
Let’s start with my version of Healthy Mac & Cheese –
Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Placed pumpkin on a lined baking tray with a light coating of oil and roast until tender (aprox 15 mins). While the pumpkin is roasting cook your macaroni pasta per the packet directions. Saute your onion until translucent and soft, I sautéed my onion in a pan with some olive oil but you could simply add it to the pumpkin in the oven (as I mentioned I was multitasking so I needed sautéed onion for some other recipes). Place your roasted pumpkin and onion & ricotta into a food processor and whiz it up to make a creamy puree.
Combine your cooked pasta with the puree and grated cheese. Place the mixture into individual ramekins and bake for just a few minutes, to form a light crust on top. I made four ramekins but could have made 6 with this mixture (I kept the remaining mixture to make the muffins below).
Healthy Mac & Cheese Muffins!
These muffins are such a clever way to use up extra Mac & Cheese, especially the healthy version above! They are delicious served warm or cold, making them ideal for picnics and lunch boxes.
Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until fully combined then spoon mixture into muffin liners. Bake for 15 mins or until lightly golden on top. If you like a crisp crust on top, sprinkle with some extra breadcrumbs before baking. This made 9 muffins, next time I will make a double batch of the above recipe to make more!
I freeze these in individual freezer bags so i can quickly grab them easily for my children’s lunchbox.
I hope you and your family enjoy this recipe as much as mine do! You might also enjoy some of the family meal ideas found here.
This recipe is one that my own Mum used to cook! My brother and I loved these ‘Fish Fingers’!! We had no idea how healthy they were – all we knew was how great they tasted! The best part is they are EASY and FUN for little hands to help make – a great way to involve children in the cooking process.
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Steam and mash the sweet potatoes and set aside to cool completely (this is important if you wish to freeze an easy meal for the future!). Once the sweet potato has cooled mix in ALL other ingredients except the bread crumbs. Using wet hands, mould the mixture into finger bite sized pieces and then roll in the breadcrumbs to coat (my kids love helping with this part!). Place the rolled pieces in the refrigerator for 5 mins to properly ‘set’ (this will help them keep their shape whilst cooking).
You may wish to freeze some of the mixture now to make future meals (we like to make some fish ‘burger’ patties and then freeze in zip lock bags – you then defrost and fry them in a pan!).
Evenly space the fingers onto some baking paper and generously spray with olive oil.
Bake until golden all over (you may need to turn them a couple of times to even their crispy outside). Serve with some garden salad and mayonnaise dipping sauce (mayonnaise and tomato sauce).
These are also great served cold in the school lunch box…IF you have any leftover from dinner!
We hope you enjoyed this EASY family meal! It is fantastic served cold in the kid’s lunch boxes! Click here to find loads of other great family meal ideas!
This post is sponsored by Woolworths
If you’re like me, then you are always struggling with new & healthy ideas to fill the kids lunchboxes. I have no problem with sandwich fillings, wraps and rolls, but often it can be difficult to give the kids variety with snacks – it’s so easy to start giving them the the same snacks day in and day out. My kids (like most kids) love to open their lunch boxes and see variety, so I have decided to put together a list of healthy snack ideas to inspire me – and you, on busy school mornings. I have also created a FREE printable that you can print, laminate and place on your fridge to plan your weekly lunch box snacks!
I’ve also supplied you with links to some of the snack idea recipe below. Enjoy!
When it comes to Woolworths Macro Products, they believe it’s what’s inside that counts. That’s why Macro is made with fewer, simple ingredients and is full of nutritional goodness.
These tasty little treats are the perfect snack for the kids lunch box! Packed with goodness, delicious, easy to make AND they freeze well. I’ve used the Woolworths Macro Sultanas & Organic bananas – when it comes to their products, they believe it’s what’s inside that counts. That’s why Macro is made with fewer, simple ingredients and is full of nutritional goodness. Yep Macro is wholesome and simple…so are these muffins!
To make your own you will need:
3 bananas – mashed (we used Woolworths Organic bananas)
1 cup (155g) sultanas – we used the Woolworths Macro Sultanas
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs whisked
2 cups (225g) self raising flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1. Cream the butter and sugar together
2. Add the whisked eggs
3. Add in the mashed banana and stir the mix
4. Sift the flour, baking soda and cinnamon into the bowl
5. Add the sultanas and mix well
6. Spoon the mixture into a 12 case muffin tray and bake for 25 minutes at 180 degrees c
7. Take them out to cool for 5 minutes then place them on a wire rack for a further 10 and they are ready to eat!
We’ve been loving all the Summer fruits these school holidays…Pineapple has definitely stood out as a favourite with my children! The even enjoy playing with their fruit *see ‘Spike’ pictured below! My daughter created him and they spent hours talking and playing with him in the pool…yes, she even took him in our swimming pool! I’m a bit sad to report that ‘Spike’ met the knife after a couple of days…but all is not lost, he was sweet and delicious! Thanks to Spike we now have this yummy and healthy muffin recipe to share!
These muffins are super tasty and very moist on the inside.
Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Place the flour, sugar, egg, oil, yoghurt and vanilla in a bowl and mix until just combined. Wizz the Pineapple pieces in a blender (not for too long – you still want small chunks of pineapple in your muffins). Gently fold through the pineapple and oats (be careful not to over-mix). Divide the mixture between 12 large muffin tins lined with paper cases. Sprinkle with extra oats, sugar and cinnamon, bake for 25–30 minutes or until golden and cooked when tested with a skewer. Allow to cool.
These will keep for three days in an airtight container or they can be frozen for up to three months. Simply place the frozen muffin into your child’s lunch box in the morning and it should be thawed in time for morning tea!
We hope hope you enjoy these yummy muffins next time you have a little leftover Pineapple!
This post is sponsored by Nudie Juice.
20+ Lunchbox Ideas for kids who don’t like Sandwiches – there are always some kiddies who don’t like the ‘standard sandwich’, here are some great ideas to help combat that!
In true nudie style, kids nudie:
Head to the nudie website for more information on their delicious products and find plenty of FUN things for the kids to do such as ‘Create your own nudie Character’, ‘How to grow your own fruit at home’, ‘Fruity Games’ and more! We love that they have provided FUN ways to educate kids on health! You can also check out their fun range via their online pamphlet here.
There is also some FUN Kids colouring in templates here.
My kids had a blast with these!
Our kids just love them and as parents, so do we! We know they are enjoying a ‘treat’ but they are also getting extra fruit and vegetables into their active bodies which makes every parent smile!
These Sandwich Pockets are the way forward for our family! I was getting tired of the ‘old sandwiches’ coming home in the lunchbox so I wanted to try something a little bit FUN to entice them… turns out my little experiment worked!
Why didn’t this come to me sooner! Behold the SANDWICH POCKET! So simple and so effective! I’ll show you how!
Take 2 slices of bread and cut off their crusts. Place them on top of one another.
Take a bread board and make an indentation on 3 of the 4 sides of the sandwich (enough to seal the edges)
Using a knife, cut as near as possible to the indentations and cut off any excess bread to neaten up the sandwich
Push your fingers inside to create your pocket
Fill your sandwich with your desired filling. For this recipe, we used cream cheese, avocado, ham, spinach & grated cheese (yes, the kids actually eat spinach when it’s served to them like this… WIN!)
* I will often store the cut off crusts in a zip lock bag in the freezer & then when I need to make some breadcrumbs, I just get them out!
If you liked this yummy idea, then check out our ‘Cooking with Kids’ section for plenty of other fun recipes!