Back to School Lunchtime Inspiration
As school’s prepare to reopen for the autumn term, parents across the country are starting to think about the packed lunch routine once again.
The last year has been filled with all sorts of challenges for our children, and whether they’re going back to their previous school or starting a new one, lunchtimes with tasty and fun creations that comfort and nourish them are even more important.
We’ve pulled together a range of easy-to-craft lunchbox recipes along with ideas on how to make meal-prep easier and your child’s lunchtime a little more memorable.
Mix it up
Trying to find something that your little one will enjoy at lunchtime can be a tricky task, and while it might be easy to opt for a simple ham sandwich, after five days of eating that classic much-loved duo, it could become tedious.Instead, opt for some alternative fillings or sauces that broaden your child’s tastebuds and don’t be afraid to move away from breads that may make little ones feel sluggish throughout the day. Try this flavoursome chicken pesto wrap, containing shredded chicken, creamy mayonnaise, basil pesto and plenty of crunchy red pepper.
There are plenty of alternatives to the classic sandwich, including these delicious mini quiches filled with warm sausages, cheese and tomatoes, or get creative with the toppings for these miniature pizza bites and load them up with meat, veggies and plenty of cheese. For some added fun, why not invite them to join you in the kitchen?
If you’re not wanting to make multiple lunches for the rest of the family, or simply want to plan ahead, batch cooking could be your new best friend. Not only is this a great way to utilise leftovers from the night before, it’s a good method of getting plenty of veg or meat into your child’s weekly diet through substantial yet tasty meals.
Lunches like curry or rice and mixed veg can prove to be a hearty meal for lunch, warming up tummies and providing them with a balanced meal each day, each of which can be enjoyed hot or cold.
These might include pasta salads which can be extremely versatile with the likes of cold ragu, red pesto or soft avocado and even these mini beef tacos could be constructed using leftovers from the night before.
Choosing the meal prep route might mean dedicating one or two evenings per week to cooking in the kitchen, but if it means the remainder of the week can be spent playing games, watching films or just catching up with family or friends, then we think it’s worth a shot.
Send them a reminder
After a long summer holiday at home, your little ones might be feeling apprehensive about going back to school – perhaps even starting a new school.
Remind them that home isn’t too far away by including a surprise in their lunch box - whether an encouraging note or sticker of the day, joke or a homemade sweet treat to keep them going throughout the school day. It’s even been reported that small gestures like these can improve your child’s school performance and it might just keep them smiling no matter the challenges they may face!
Disguising the good stuff
Trying to encourage your child to eat plenty of fruit and veg can sometimes be difficult and daily task.
To ensure they get their five-a-day, tips like disguising fruit and veg can really help. These choco-dipped tangerine bites can be prepared the previous evening and will provide a sweet, but healthy treat to finish off their lunch – and they’re packed with Vitamin C. Also, these frozen banana yoghurt bites are a refreshing yet healthy treat for your child to snack on throughout lunch or even as a mid-morning snack.
There’s also plenty of snacks out there that include real fruit and fruit juices. Yoghurts, homemade fruit and nut bars, and freshly made strawberry jelly are just a few ways you can sneak vital nutrition into their lunchbox.