Bite-sized vegetables, small fruits and rainbow-coloured foods are the key ingredients to the perfect lunchbox according to George Georgievski.
And he should know, seeing as the Instagram famous father has made a living out of whipping up eye-popping and tasty school meals.
Speaking to FEMAIL ahead of the launch of his new book Lunchbox Express, George, 45, from Melbourne, revealed exactly what the perfect lunchbox should look like – and the items he would never include when making a packed lunch for his two daughters.
Bite-sized vegetables, small fruits and rainbow-coloured foods are the key ingredients to the perfect lunchbox according to George Georgievski (pictured: one of his lunchboxes)
The Instagram-famous dad (pictured with his daughters) has made a living out of making tasty and eye-popping lunches – he has nearly 70,000 followers on Instagram
So how can you make your daily lunches more exciting for your children?
‘Bright colours in the form of fresh produce [are key], use the rainbow as a form of inspiration,’ George told Daily Mail Australia.
The father of two also recommends making your sandwiches less boring by putting twists on them.
George regularly makes a ‘ravwich’, which is his take on the Italian ravioli, or the ‘spring-wich’, which is his take on a Chinese spring roll – for his two girls, and he said both make a fun alternative to a regular sandwich.
‘A bento box is also a cool and easier way to pack school lunches,’ he said.
‘There is no cross contamination – which is often an issue for kids – and it’s also leak proof, which means the food looks good.’
When it comes to tips, George said: ‘Bright colours in the form of fresh produce, use the rainbow as a form of inspiration’
What are the best foods for lunchboxes?
* Mini cucumbers
* Mini carrots
* Mini tomatoes
* Any twist on a regular sandwich – whether it’s a croissant, ‘ravwich’ or ‘springwich’
* Rainbow-coloured foods
* Red capsicums, used as a cup
While you might think that preparing a lunchbox that is as good looking as George’s takes hours, the 45-year-old said that in fact, it only takes him between five and ten minutes.
‘I’m usually prepared, which helps,’ he said.
‘I spend one afternoon peeling, cutting and washing all the fruit and veggies. Then I can just keep them in airtight containers in the fridge ready to go.’
Typically his lunches are stuffed full of ‘bite-sized vegetables’.
Mini cucumbers, mini tomatoes and mini carrots are big hits in his household, while using a red capsicum as a cup for other food has also proven popular.
‘Anything bite-sized is less daunting for children,’ he said.
‘They’re more likely to pick it up and try it. Smaller pieces of fruit are fun to use for their bright colours also. Strawberries and grapes are my favourites.’
While you might think that preparing a lunchbox that is as good looking as George’s takes hours, the 45-year-old said that in fact, it only takes him between five and ten minutes
What foods does George steer clear of?
* Watery fruits
* Tomatoes in sandwiches
* Veggies that wilt quickly
* Anything too big – children like smaller, bite-sized portions
When it comes to what you should be steering clear of, George said watery fruits are a big no no, as they could leak and ruin the aesthetic of your lunchbox.
‘Veggies that tend to wilt quickly like leafy greens are also a no go,’ he said.
The creative dad said that while he loves tomatoes, he tends to steer clear from both them and other watery vegetables within sandwiches.
‘They make the bread go soggy and that neither looks nor tastes good,’ he said.
When it comes to what you should be steering clear of, George said watery fruits are a big no no, as they could leak and ruin the aesthetic of your lunchbox – grapes work well; he also likes to use red capiscums as cups
If you’ve only got five minutes to whip together a school lunchbox for the next day, George said it’s all about the croissant.
‘It’s the easiest because it’s already in a pretty shape,’ he said.
All you need to do is cut it in half, add some fillings and pair it with popcorn, three vegetables and two fruits in your other bento sections.
‘The key is to be prepared,’ George said.
‘If you can have things ready to go before you make the lunches, then it will never take you more than five or ten minutes.’
If you’ve only got five minutes to whip together a school lunchbox for the next day, George (pictured with his daughters) said it’s all about the croissant – all you need to do is add fillings
Finally, George shared how he has elevated some of his lunches to the next level over the past couple of years.
‘I recently did a whole year of Heritage and International Fridays,’ he said.
George has recently written his first book, Lunchbox Express (pictured)
‘This was my way of educating my girls about the foods and different cultures of the world.’
Other themed lunches that the dad-of-two has tried are adult bentos, where the lunchboxes contain a little more spice and bigger portion sizes than usual.
‘I also have the Mumma Bento, which is an antipasto themed lunch, and finally my DIY taco kit, which is a huge favourite,’ he said.
George said that lunchboxes are not just about getting something done and making sure your kids have something that is healthy to eat – they are also how you bond with your children.
‘I’m a believer in love and most definitely a hippy in previous life,’ he said.
‘I always come from a place of love, and the lunchboxes I create for my daughters are an expression of my love.’
George said that lunchboxes are not just about getting something done and making sure your kids have something that is healthy to eat – it is also an expression of love
George is now an internet sensation with almost 70,000 followers on his Instagram account, and a loyal fanbase of parents around the world.
His first book, Lunchbox Express, is out this week, and it is full of time-saving hacks, more than 70 low-sugar lunch ideas, shopping lists and his own creative recipes.
Lunchbox Express by George Georgievski it out this week. It is published by Plum, RRP 24.99, Photography by Georgia Gold. For more information, please click here.