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Leftovers for the Lunch Box

Dinner leftovers are a great and convenient option when you need that instant lunch for hungry little ones.

Ideas for Cold Leftovers

If your toddler is in daycare or attending pre-school or kindy, foods that are still tasty when served cold are ideal to ensure your they are eating foods they enjoy.

  • Zucchini slice and frittatas are just as delicious served cold and are perfect for morning tea
  • Leftover pizzas are tasty when thinly sliced and served with extra salad for a filling lunch
  • Blend leftover vegetables; roasted sweet potato, capsicum and spinach, with fat-reduced ricotta for a healthy dip. Pair with whole grain crackers, vegetable sticks or use as a healthy sandwich spread. Leftover roasted beetroot works well for a vibrant dip packed with antioxidants
  • Chop and serve leftover potatoes with cooked frozen peas, green beans, diced lean ham and a little wholegrain mustard and mayonnaise. Or top with baked beans for a delicious and speedy lunch.

Tips for Storing and Packing Leftovers

Here are a few tips to make sure your leftovers can be stored and eaten safely after you’ve cooked them.

  • Most leftovers can be safely stored in the fridge for around two to three days depending on the food. If you know you aren’t going to consume the food within this time, it’s safer to freeze it on the day you cook it
  • Using a permanent pen, write the date that the food was frozen on the packaging to help keep track.
    NOTE: If you can’t remember how long the food has been in the fridge or freezer, it’s better to throw it out as food poisoning can occur without the food being visibly spoiled
  • When sending leftovers to daycare, kindy or pre-school, keeps the food cold using an ice pack or a frozen water bottle – just like you would with your own lunch.
    Place the bottle next to the foods that need to be kept chilled, plus when it thaws, it’s a great way to get kids into the habit of drinking water throughout the day!

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