Make the morning rush a little easier with healthy lunch box recipes that all kids will love. Plums, peaches and nectarines, known collectively as stone fruit, pack a nutritious punch offering generous helpings of vitamins and other essential nutrients to keep budding learners sharp throughout the day.

Make sure your children get their share of nature’s juicy summer bounty by including stone fruit as a snack in their lunch boxes or turn them into delicious, nourishing meals and treats.

We all know how fussy children can be when it comes to balancing their daily food intake, so here are some nifty ideas to get nutritious stone fruit into their lunch boxes.

Celebrity chef, Jenny Morris, has created two moreish lunch box salads that tick all the right boxes. Her peach and bulgar wheat salad is a super easy and satisfying meal that can be prepared the night before. It is an absolutely yummy and filling alternative to regular school sandwiches, guaranteed to keep hunger pangs at bay.

Jenny’s nectarine and smoked chicken salad is another substantial lunch box meal your children will tuck into with glee. Bursting with colour and flavour, it is quick and easy to whip up.

For something sweet when energy stores start running low, Jenny’s plum jelly treats are the perfect lunchbox filler. These homemade treats are great for on the go snacking.

Karen Hart’s peachy whole wheat muffins are a super nutritious lunch box filler. They are easy to make ahead of time and are sure to stay fresh and go the distance.

Plums, peaches and nectarines are naturally sweet super fruit with a low glycaemic index (GI). They are high in fibre and abound in health-giving potassium and vitamins A, C and E, all-powerful antioxidants that protect against disease and help to build healthy minds and bodies.

To keep children’s lunches fresh all day, Addis, the original and trusted food storage container brand, has the perfect solution. Addis Clip ‘n Seal lunch boxes come in various  sizes and great colours with a high quality, clip closing design that guarantees an airtight and leakproof seal. They are made in South Africa and are BPA free. Visit www.addis.co.za for more information.

Feel inspired by following @juicydelicioussa on Instagram or visit www.juicydelicious.co.za for more tempting stone fruit recipes.


Peach and Bulgar Wheat Salad    

By Jenny Morris

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

 2 cups cooked bulgar wheat

 1/2 red onion finely diced

 2 spring onions with tops finely chopped

 1/2 cup chopped mint

 2 large cling peaches washed, stoned and finely diced

 1/2 medium cucumber finely diced

 1/2 cup finely diced red pepper

 2 red chillies chopped (optional)

 Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Toss all the ingredients together and add the dressing 30 minutes before serving.

Dressing:

 1/2 cup orange juice

 1/4 cup lemon juice

 1 Tbsp honey

 3/4 tsp salt

 Pepper to taste

 2 cloves finely grated garlic

 1 tsp mustard of your choice

 1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil

Method:

Stir together all the ingredients except the oil, taste and adjust the seasoning, then whisk in the oil.


Nectarine and Smoked Chicken Lunch Box

By Jenny Morris

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 cup cooked bulgar wheat

Zest of 1 yellow lemon

2 Tbsp chopped mint

1 cup cucumber, chopped or thinly sliced

2 large firm nectarines stone removed and chopped

300g chopped smoked chicken breast

30g toasted almonds chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Dressing:

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp lemon juice

Stir together and season to taste.

Method:

Place all the ingredients together in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and lightly toss together, add the dressing and stir together gently.

Divide into 4 portions and pack into lunch boxes.


Plum Jelly Treats

By Jenny Morris

Makes: 24 – 30 (depending on the size of the mould)

Ingredients:

15 plums, halved and stoned

1/2 cup water 

1/2 cup caster sugar

6 Tbsp gelatin powder

Silicone mould of your choice

Non-stick cooking spray

Method:

Place the plums in a small saucepan with the water and simmer until soft. 

Place in a blender and process until smooth. 

Strain the liquid through a sieve and return to the pot (alternatively, if you have a juicer, simply juice the fruit and place in the saucepan).

Add the caster sugar and dissolve over low heat. 

Sponge the gelatin in a little water, according to the package instructions. 

Once, sponged, place the gelatin in the warm plum liquid and stir to dissolve.

Lightly spray your mould with the non-stick spray and place on a baking tray. 

Carefully pour the liquid into the mould – using a jug – and place in the fridge for an hour and a half, or until set. Pop out and enjoy!


Whole Wheat Peach Muffins

By Karen Hart

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup cake flour

11/2 cup oats 

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

11/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp nutmeg

½ tsp cinnamon

11/2 cups peeled and diced fresh peaches or nectarines (2 peaches/nectarines)

1/3 cup buttermilk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup honey

1/3 cup sunflower or canola oil

1 egg

Extra oats to sprinkle on top (optional)

Method:

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, oats, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Stir in the peaches. In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, vanilla, honey, oil and egg. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until it is just mixed. Spoon the batter into a 12-hole muffin tin, lined with paper liners. Sprinkle a little oats over each muffin (optional). Bake in a preheated oven of 180ºC for 18 – 20 minutes or until cooked through and golden brown. Cool on a wire rack before serving.