In this blog, we are hoping to convince you that a plain, boring sandwich isn’t the only packed lunch option you can give your child. Our aim is to inspire you with lunch ideas that are easy and quick to make, healthy and best of all - scrumdiddlyumptious!
There is no doubt that planning lunches every day can be a daily challenge, especially if you’re trying to give your child something healthy rather than giving in to the crisps and chocolate demands. But before we get into our tips and exciting lunch ideas, what exactly should we be giving our children in a balanced lunchbox? Ideally, each lunch should contain:
Top Tips For Packed Lunches
Leftover Dinner makes perfect lunches – The first tip we have in order to make your life a lot easier is to always make extra! You are already cooking dinner, so why not make a little extra that can be used the next day for your child’s lunch. It will 100% save you time and is also delicious. Of course, not every dinner dish will be suitable for the lunch box, but if you’re roasting chicken breasts, roast one extra, or if cooking a pasta dish, cook that little bit more. Just remember your child won’t need the same dinner size portion for lunch, but making extra can save so much time and effort.
Check ingredients of any prepared food – It’s not always practical to make fresh lunches from scratch every day, but if you are buying prepared food a tip from us would be to always make sure you’re checking the labels. There’s nothing at all wrong with buying prepared food such as hummus, coleslaw, fruit etc., there are lots of prepared food that are perfect for lunches, but just take the time to look at the label to make sure there are no questionable, unhealthy ingredients.
Fruit & Vegetables in every lunchbox – Always pack some fruit and vegetables in your child’s lunchbox. A child’s palate is constantly developing and introducing them to fruit and vegetables consistently trains them to eat them and actually like them.
Variety – Variety is the spice of life. Changing up your child’s lunch can make a huge difference. If they open their lunchbox to the same thing every day, there’s no doubt they’ll be looking to trade with their friends and be jealous of what others are eating. Try some of the ideas below and they’ll be the ones everyone in the class will want to trade with!
So now that you know what your child’s lunch should ideally be made up of and some of our top tips for healthy convenient lunches, we now want to share with you some different lunch options to include in your child’s lunch box, you may not have thought about before.
Sandwiches with a twist
Omelette Rolls – An Omelette roll combines two lunchtime classics. It’s essentially exactly what it says on the tin – an omelette in a roll. Fill the omelette with healthy delicious ingredients such as tomatoes, crumbled feta, spinach or whatever nutritious ingredients your child enjoys to give a healthy and substantial filling to their roll. Try adding some extra salad even to get in some extra greens!
Red Pesto & Cream Cheese Sandwiches – This one is completely different, but absolutely delicious and so easy to make. Mix some red pesto with cream cheese and spread onto your bread. Close the sandwich and chill in the fridge overnight for the perfect lunchbox favourite. You could even try cutting into shapes for the little ones and use the cut offs to make breadcrumbs.
Cheesy Apple Slaw Wholemeal Sandwich – Another sandwich with a difference is a cheesy apple slaw wholemeal sandwich. Mix grated cheese with some shredded apple, spring onion, a dash of lemon and a little mayonnaise. This filling goes perfectly with wholemeal bread.
Delightful lunchbox snacks
Fruit Sundae – Mix some yoghurt with mashed strawberries or your choice of berries for the perfect sweet and fruity treat.
Chocolate Drizzled Fruit – We all know how challenging it can be to get our children to eat fruit, but this might be something to help. Drizzle or dip melted dark chocolate over fruit and leave set in the fridge overnight or for 1 hour at least. Strawberries and even tangerines are particularly appetizing with drizzled chocolate.
Chocolate Drizzled Popcorn – Sometimes our kids just need that sweet fix, but chocolate drizzled popcorn is a great alternative to a chocolate bar as a Friday treat. Similar to the fruit above just drizzle melted dark chocolate over the popcorn for a delicious lunchtime snack.
Apple & Celery with Hummus – A dollop of hummus can transform your child’s lunchbox to something all their friends will want to try. When used as a dip, it’s also perfect to get some healthy snacks into your child’s lunchbox such as apple and celery.
Crunchy Melon Pots - This healthy pot with the winning combination of yoghurt, fruit and seeds can be a great breakfast, but can also be the perfect lunchbox snack. Just top melon and whatever fruit you desire with yoghurt before sprinkling over some cereal mixed with seeds. Can even add some honey for that extra little sweetness.
These are just some healthy and exciting packed lunch options, but if you’ve got any ideas on what to pack in your child’s lunchbox, we’d love to hear them! Also, if you try any of these sandwiches or snacks make sure to let us know how they were.