My children will be having school dinners this year – they’re free until they go in to Year 3 at our school, so I figure they might as well have a cooked meal!
We did have a brief spell of taking a packed lunch last year though, so I have no idea how long the enthusiasm for school dinners will last – it was always a challenge.
Thinking of things to put in lunch boxes can be a nightmare! Keeping it interesting, is it healthy enough…?
Maria from Poole Mumbler, has put together some inspiration and I thought I would share it with fellow Doncaster Mumblers who are wondering how to get through the next term of packed lunches!
There are lots of ideas, some of which I hadn’t thought of, so I hope they come in handy!
Healthy contents ideas:
The most obvious choice when it comes to packed lunches. The options are endless! Ham, Cheese or Jam seem to be the sandwich filling of choice in our house. I think we need to get more creative! I’m loving the idea of hummus in a sandwich!
Ham, egg mayo, tuna and sweetcorn, salmon and cream cheese, chicken salad, plain hummus, hummus and tomato, cheese and pickle, mozzarella and pesto, apple & cheese, jam, mashed avocado, peanut butter and apple, tahini paste and roasted veg, coronation chicken or prawn cocktail.
You could also use taco shells if you fancy a change.
Other Food ideas:
Quiche, mini-quiche (you can make these in cupcake baking trays), chicken bites, hummus and breadsticks, scotch eggs, cocktail sausages, boiled eggs (try filled with hummus or tuna mayo), cream cheese and cucumber sticks, olives, savoury muffins (you can add any veg you have, even frozen veg), vegetable sticks, baked beans, pasta with pesto, pasta with grated cheese (add cooked beans for extra protein), couscous, popcorn (can work out cheaper to make your own), nachos (tortilla chops topped with grated cheese), noodles, rice salad, mini burgers, quinoa, bean salad rice cakes, cooked prawns, pretzels, mozzarella balls, leftovers (any leftovers from the night before can make the perfect bite for lunch the day after. Just make sure things like rice, fish and chicken are kept cool in the lunch box).
Oat bars, fruit, greek yoghurt topped with fruit, yoghurt topped with granola, yoghurt, dried fruit, jelly, pancakes, cheese and grapes, cheese and crackers, scones.
(Personally I know that pancakes are always a real hit in our house, but I hadn’t thought of them for packed lunch! We sometimes make these gluten free banana pancakes which are amazing. I’ll definitely be thinking of pancakes as a lunch option too in the future, as they can be eaten cold)
Bento style boxes
You an get these in any supermarket or order online. It’s a great space saver because the entire lunch goes in one box and the kids love the little compartments.
These are great for keeping leftover bits and pieces, which you can then use in your lunches. Toddlers in particular love to discover what’s in the box and are more likely to try a bit.
Nowadays you also find a box for every purpose. Look around your local supermarket and you’ll find boxes for dips, with a long compartment for veg or bread sticks and another one for the dip. I love the tiny tubs for salad dressing. No more soggy salad for me!
I discovered these last year and I loved them! You can get them from any supermarket and they seal at the top, but are easy enough for little hands to open. They’re just big enough to put a portion of carrot sticks, or strawberries etc in.
Providing you have an insulated bag and an ice pack you can carry pretty much anything. However I wouldn’t keep things like fish or chicken for any longer than 3-4 hours.
If you are using leftover food from the night before, cool at room temperature as quickly as possible and refrigerate immediately.
If your child has a yogurt or something that requires it, remember the cutlery.
Also, if you have something that might leak, a bit of clingfilm before you screw the top is a good way of avoiding leakages.
Thanks so much to our guest blogger Maria. The Poole Mumbler website will be launching soon, so if you have any family, friends who live in that area please let them know about the new Poole Mumbler Chat Group or if you’re going on holiday in that neck of the woods, remember to take a look for ideas of what to do whilst you’re there.