Back to school


Get the kids back to school with these cute and tasty recipes for the lunchbox or after-school snacks.

Animal grain cakes

Makes: 6 cakes

Active prep: 10 mins

Start to finish: 10 mins

  • 3 tsp smooth nut butter
  • 6 plain puffed grain cakes (rice, corn, buckwheat, amaranth, quinoa)
  • 1 avocado, stone removed and flesh finely mashed with a little lemon juice stirred through
  • 2 small lettuce leaves
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 apple, sliced
  • 12 blueberries
  • 4 strawberries, 2 halved and 2 sliced
  • 5 raisins
  • 2 thin slices of celery stalk

To make the rabbit, monkey and bear, spread the nut butter on half of the puffed grain cakes. To make the cat, dog and owl, spread mashed avocado on the remaining cakes.

Then arrange fruit, berries and vegetables as pictured. Or, follow your imagination and create new animals. Eat them straight away.

If you’re storing these in a lunchbox, you probably want to squeeze over a little lemon juice to prevent the fruit from turning brown, and expect the grain cakes to go a little softer instead of crisp, but kids usually don’t mind.

A helping hand: If you prep the ingredients, the kids can create and decorate faces on the cakes themselves.

Sweet potato and spinach muffins

Makes: 12 muffins

Active prep: 20 mins

Start to finish: 45 mins

  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 160g (1¼ cups) buckwheat flour, sifted
  • 100g (1 cup) oat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 handfuls (50g) baby spinach
  • 2 soft dates, pitted
  • 180ml (¾ cup) plain unsweetened yoghurt
  • 125ml (½ cup) olive oil
  • 2 tsp lemon zest


  • 75g (½ cup) pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 2 tsp runny honey or maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp sea salt

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Grease a 12-hole muffin tin and line it with baking parchment or paper muffin cases. Alternatively, use a silicone muffin tin.

Put the sweet potato in a large bowl along with the rest of the dry ingredients. Stir together, make a well in the middle and set aside. Crack the eggs into a food processor, add the spinach along with the rest of the wet ingredients and blend until completely smooth. Pour the wet mixture into the well of the dry ingredients, gently fold together and set aside, making sure not to overmix, as the muffins will turn out tough otherwise.

To prepare the topping, put all of the ingredients in a small bowl, stir together and set aside.

Spoon the muffin batter into the prepared tin and top each muffin with a couple of teaspoons of the topping. Bake for 25 minutes, until golden and springy or until a skewer inserted in the middle of one of the muffins comes out clean. Remember to turn the tin around halfway through the cooking time to ensure that the muffins bake evenly. Once cooked, remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly in the tin, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely or devouring while still warm!

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

A helping hand: The kids can spoon the batter into the tin and dollop each muffin with the topping ingredients.

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