Making delicious food to entice and appease the family every single day is a constant challenge for many busy parents.

Something lifestyle blogger Rebecca Pope is all too familiar with. A passionate home cook and recipe developer, Rebecca has created more than 50 recipes to help make meal times and lunch box preparation easier and more enjoyable for the entire family in her new book, Fuss Free Family Food.

We’re lucky enough to be able to share our very favourite lunch box recipes below …

With these recipes the kids will never bring them back uneaten again!

Raspberry and white chocolate muffins

Prep + cook time 25 minutes
Makes 12

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup caster sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup plain yoghurt
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1 cup white chocolate buttons
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries

Method:

  1. Preheat a fan-forced oven to 160C and grease or line a 12-hole (½ cup/125ml) muffin pan with paper cases.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, milk, yoghurt, vegetable oil and vanilla extract until well combined.
  3. Sift the flour over the wet ingredients then stir through until combined. Stir in the chocolate, then gently fold through the raspberries.
  4. Spoon mixture into the paper cases, filling each three-quarters full. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until muffins are lightly golden and cooked through.

Tip You could swap the chocolate buttons for choc chips or roughly chopped chocolate.

Pizza Scrolls

Prep + cook time 30 minutes
Makes 24

Ingredients:

  • 3 sheets puff pastry, thawed
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 12 slices of ham
  • 2 cups grated cheese (I use half cheddar and half mozzarella)
  • 1 egg, whisked

Method:

  1. Preheat a fan-forced oven to 200C and line two large baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Place pastry sheets onto a chopping board or clean bench. Evenly spread the tomato paste onto each sheet. Lay four slices of ham onto each pastry sheet then sprinkle with grated cheese.
  3. Gently roll up each pastry sheet into a log then lightly brush with the egg.
  4. Cut each log into eight even pieces.
  5. Place the scrolls cut-side up onto the baking trays.
  6. Bake scrolls for 16-18 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the pastry is golden.

Blueberry Mini Muffins

Prep + cook time 25 minutes
Makes 24

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Method:

  1. Preheat a fan-forced oven to 160C and grease or line a 24-hole (1½-tablespoon/ 30ml) mini muffin pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugars, milk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract until well combined.
  3. Sift the flour and cinnamon over the wet ingredients then stir through until combined. Gently fold through the blueberries.
  4. Spoon mixture into the muffin holes, filling each three-quarters full. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until muffins are lightly golden and cooked through.

Cheese and Vegemite Scrolls

Prep + cook time 30 minutes
Makes 24

Ingredients:

  • 3 sheets puff pastry, thawed
  • ½ cup vegemite
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg, whisked

Method:

  • Preheat a fan-forced oven to 200C and line two large baking trays with baking paper.
  • Place pastry sheets onto a chopping board or clean bench. Evenly spread the vegemite over the pastry sheets then top with grated cheese.
  • Gently roll up each pastry sheet into a log then lightly brush with the egg. Cut each log into eight even pieces. Place the scrolls cut-side up onto the baking trays.
  • Bake scrolls for 16-18 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the pastry is golden.

Tip These scrolls freeze and defrost really well. Just pop them into a ziplock bag and place them into the freezer until needed.

No-bake Muesli Bars

Prep + cook time 10 minutes
(+ refrigeration) Makes 8

  • 1½ cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup sultanas
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup pepitas (pumpkin seed kernels)
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
  • 60g butter
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate chips, extra, melted

Method:

  1. Line a 3cm deep, 28cm x 18cm slice pan with baking paper, allowing the sides to overhang slightly.
  2. In a large bowl, place the oats, coconut, cinnamon, sultanas, cranberries, pepitas, chocolate chips and sesame seeds then stir until combined.
  3. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the honey and gently simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat then stir in the vanilla extract.
  4. Pour the butter mixture into the dry ingredients then stir until well combined.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and using the back of a spoon, press down firmly until the mixture is even and flat.
  6. Drizzle the extra melted chocolate over the top and place in the fridge for 4 hours or until firm. Cut into 8 bars.

Tip Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Banana Bread

Prep + cook time 1 hour
Serves 10

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup golden syrup
  • 130g butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup plain yoghurt
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Method:

  1. Preheat a fan-forced oven to 180C and grease or line a 25cm x 13cm loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, brown sugar, golden syrup, melted butter, vanilla extract, yoghurt, milk and mashed banana.
  3. Sift the flour and cinnamon over the wet ingredients and stir well to combine.
  4. Pour the mixture into the loaf pan.
  5. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for minutes before removing from the pan and slicing.

Choc Date Bliss Balls

Prep + cook time 20 minutes (+ refrigeration)
Makes about 14

Ingredients:

  • 1¼ cups desiccated coconut
  • 15 pitted dates
  • 1½ cups boiling water
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice malt syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Reserve ½ cup of desiccated coconut on a small plate and set aside.
  2. Place the dates and boiling water in a bowl for 10 minutes to soften. Drain well.
  3. Place the drained dates in a food processor with the remaining ingredients and blend for 30 seconds or until the mixture is finely chopped and sticky in consistency.
  4. Scoop up tablespoon-sized amounts of mixture and roll into balls (you should get about 14), then coat each in the reserved coconut.
  5. Place the balls in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 hours to set.

Tip To avoid the mixture sticking to your fingers, lightly wet your hands before scooping out the mixture and rolling into balls.

Mini Cheese and Bacon Quiches

Prep + cook time 25 minutes
Makes 12

Ingredients:

  • 5 eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 rashers bacon, finely diced
  • 2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
  • 2/3 cup grated cheddar cheese

Method:

  1. Preheat a fan-forced oven to 180C and grease a 12-hole (⅓ cup/80ml) muffin pan.
  2. Place the eggs, milk and salt in a blender and mix until well combined.
  3. Cook the diced bacon in a frying pan for 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  4. Using a 7-8cm circle cookie cutter, cut out 12 rounds from the pastry, then gently press into the muffin holes.
  5. Top each pastry round with some bacon and grated cheese, then pour the egg mixture over each until they are 90% full.
  6. Bake quiches for 12-15 minutes or until the egg mixture has set and the pastry is lightly golden.

Coconut and Oat Cookies

Prep + cook time 25 minutes
Makes 16

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • ½ cup plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 120g butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Preheat a fan-forced oven to 160C and grease or line two medium baking trays with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, desiccated coconut, flour and baking powder. Make a well in the centre.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the egg, brown sugar, melted butter and vanilla extract.
  4. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until well combined.
  5. Scoop up tablespoon-sized amounts of mixture and roll into balls (you should get about 16). Place them on the baking trays then flatten them slightly.
  6. Bake cookies for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.