Packed Lunch with a Twist
September is on the horizon, and we know what that means, school’s back! While that may not be such great news for the kids, after a few months of having the little ones at home, parents won’t be blamed for breathing a sigh of relief. School dinners are off the menu in some schools thanks to the Coronavirus, so it’s all about the packed lunch this term.
While sandwiches are a simple and affordable option, it’s good to switch it up after a while. So, we thought we’d put together a few ideas on how to get creative with those packed lunches.
Packed Lunch Staples
So, we all know that sandwiches are a cheap and reliable packed lunch staple. Whether it’s a simple ham sandwich, or you like something packed with veggies, there’s a lot of choice too. And while ham and cheese sarnies are delicious from time to time, it’s good to shake up the formula and give the kids something tasty, and healthy.
You can mix up the sandwiches a little, whether that means changing up the bread for something heartier, or loading it with some delicious vegetables, it’s a great way to get the kids eating their 5-a-day. Not to mention, it’s perfect for using leftovers. Whether you’ve had a roast and have some chicken to use, or you’ve got some salad scraps left in the fridge.
Of course, for a little balance in the little one’s diet, you may want to throw in a couple of extra goodies. Whether it’s fruit, a side salad, a drink or maybe a tasty treat for special occasions, keep it varied and they won’t be disappointed. It also goes without saying that you have a lot more control over what the kids are eating, so you can be sure they’re not overloading on sugar!
Graze have a huge selection of delicious and healthy snacks that are perfect for a packed lunch.
Add a Little Twist to the Kids Meals
For a change from the usual sandwiches, it’s good to mix up the meals and keep the ingredients varied. A great way to get creative and make sure you’re using the tastiest foods is to check out what’s in season. At this time of year, we’re talking strawberries, blackberries, new potatoes, radishes and more. You can throw it together and see what comes out, or find recipes with these ingredients in.
A great way to send the kids off to school with a tasty lunch, with less of the hassle, is to use leftovers. By cooking bigger batches of tasty weeknight meals, you can put some aside and send it off to school with the kids. Make sure the food you put in their packed lunch won’t spoil!
You can get the kids involved in the cooking too. It’s a great way to help them out with a valuable life skill, and it’s a fun way to spend time with them in the evenings. You can let them do the measuring, the slicing, or you get them kneading some dough, there’s a bunch of valuable skills to learn outside of what school offers.
You can even go a step further and grow your own fruit and vegetables. With the gardening kick that some of us experienced after a few months in lockdown, it’s a great hobby for you and the little ones. Not to mention it’s sustainable and a great use of that outdoor space.
Treat Them Once in a While
While getting that 5-a-day is important, treating them is important too. You could make fast food favourites at home, which is perfect for letting them get their fill of the foods they crave while knowing what exactly is going into the food. You could even send them off to school with a range of tasty picnic treats for something a little more fun at dinner time.
Another option is getting a little adventurous with what goes into their packed lunch. With world foods you can take their taste buds on a trip, and it’s a cracking way to satisfy their curiosity. From incredible Italian pasta dishes, to delicious Chinese-inspired rice dishes, there’s a lot of wonderful food from around the world to choose from.
Mindful Chef is perfect for those looking to live a little more sustainably and offer a ton of delicious and nutritious meals.
Gardening Direct have got all the gardening essentials, so you can take those delicious ingredients from the ground to the table.
A Packed Lunch for Every Diet
Diets can be a little complicated, and if a menu doesn’t cater for a need, it’s disappointing. But when you’re making those foods at home, you can send them off to school with the right stuff.
Whether you want them eating healthier, they have allergies, or they have a vegan or vegetarian diet, it’s not a problem when you’re making the meals. With so many options for every diet, from gluten-free favourites to dairy-free delights, and not every menu caters for every diet.
A great place for healthier lunch ideas and swap out sugar-packed foods for healthy alternatives, is to check out the NHS Change for Life website. And it’s always important to read the label, a “low-sugar” options can be packed with other undesirable ingredients.
Hello Fresh can help you cut down on waste and meet the dietary requirements with their recipe kits.
The Vegan Kind have a range of delicious vegan foods, so you won’t have to wander the supermarket for the right ingredients.
Get Creative with the Packed Lunch
So, grab the kids a funky new lunchbox, and pack it with terrific, tasty treats. It might seem like another thing to sort before bed, you can make it simple, fun and exciting for the kids this season. Switch it up, keep it fresh and balanced, and get them involved in the kitchen.