Despite a beautiful hot Summer this year (for once!) by now many Mums are ready to send their children back to school. This time of year is fraught with sorting new uniforms and shoes, getting new school bags and other essentials ready and then there’s the whole lunch box thing to think about.
What should you be making that’s healthy but will actually get eaten? Trying to come up with new ideas each day or even week is hard work.
So here are 10 ideas to get you started which could even find their way into some adult lunch boxes too!
1. Veg sticks is always an easy one – carrots, cucumber, celery, peppers, cherry tomatoes or whatever your child likes. Make them more interesting by pairing them with a dip such as hummus, cream cheese or nut butter.
2. Fruit – vary the type each week. Get your child involved in picking what they fancy and help them to wash and chop it themselves.
3. Make some little pick and mix tubs up (and no I don’t mean full of sugary sweets!) Grated cheese, raisins, carrots, fruit, whatever takes their fancy – let them pick it and add to a little tub that’s their own.
4. Dried fruit is also a nice one – raisins, apricots, unsweetened cranberries, dried apple all make easy and readily available choices.
5. Edamame beans with slices of turkey.
6. What about using skewers (for older kids) again to make things more fun. You could either skewer fruit, small bits of sandwiches, tomatoes, pineapples & cheese (think 1980’s!) or cooked chicken and vegetables and put them in their lunchbox.
7. Muffin pizzas – use wholemeal English muffins to make some mini pizzas for a change from sandwiches.
8. Wraps – why not use wraps as an alternative to traditional sandwiches – there are even some tasty gluten-free ones available in most supermarkets these days. Try pesto & chicken, egg, tuna and salad, hummus, cheese & grated courgette…..
9. Frittata – try making up a large frittata one day in the week and cut it into a number of lunchtime sized portions served cold. Fill it with your choice of meat and lots of hidden vegetables.
10. Cold rice, quinoa or pasta stir fry – again either make a large batch up for the week or use leftovers from dinner as a tasty lunch. It’s a great way to get lots of vegetables in them!
In short, try and get your child involved in choosing what goes in their lunch box. Let them choose a new fruit or vegetable of their choice when you do the shopping each week. Encourage them to get creative by mixing together their own pot of a few ingredients you have chosen for them.
I’d love to hear what healthy lunch box ideas you have too?