Packed lunches can be a pain in the proverbial, from finding the time to make them in the first place, let alone trying to fill them with varied, healthy and fun food.
Do your kids even finish what you give them? Our boys are so keen to get out to play with their friends that they want to hoover up their lunch as quickly as possible, so you can forget anything fiddly!
Does keeping it junk-free and healthy mean it’s harder to make it appealing? Does your school have tricky guidelines to navigate?
Let me know how you tackle your kids’ lunch boxes in the comments box below.
But in the meantime, as the new school year begins, I thought i’d ask my friends in Northfields Cook Book Club how they keep their kids’ lunch boxes interesting and junk-free to give you a round-up of inspiration…
Sarah does a spot of batch cooking at the weekend… baking and freezing cake slices or muffins and cooking up chipolatas ready for dipping into mini pots of hummus.
Ellinor uses leftovers from suppers, tomato cucumber mozzarella kebabs, mini quiches or lasagnes cooked in batches at the weekend.
Vinita cooks up chicken with different sauces each day and then puts them in wheat wraps with salad… her little boy says they are easier to eat quickly so he can have more play time.
And Mille found her eldest daughter loved it when she got her a thermos flask to take to school, and now serves her up with soup, pasta, noodles or any leftover dish – easy! I like the look of these junior ones from Thermos for £18.95
What about foodie bloggers? I asked them what they put in their kids’ lunch boxes…
Helen from The Crazy Kitchen makes grape heart skewers, slicing a grape on the diagonal, twist it around so it resembles a heart and put it on a cocktail stick. She also batch cooks these supercute cheese and tomato muffins.
Elizabeth’s Kitchen loves the YumBox pictured at the top of this post. In the image below you’ll see how simple it is to use it to ensure you’re giving your child a totally balanced lunch. They’re a bit pricy at £24.99, but I reckon they’d help veer away from the daily monotony with the challenge of filling the little compartments with different tasty morsels to match the food groups. Check out their website here
Home made sausage rolls and mini empanadas from Nazima at Franglais Kitchen are just perfect for little hands and properly tasty treats that’ll keep kids energised. The sausage rolls contain chicken breast so are much healthier than your bog standard pork version – I’m definitely going to try them out on my boys this term.
Sally from My Custard Pie has these delicious looking lamb keftedes on her blog… I imagine they’re rather amazing stuffed into mini pittas with a little yogurt and mint dressing. Meat-loving Arlo would go crazy for them!
There’s plenty of supremely sensible packed lunch wisdom from the queen of family food on a budget Michelle at Utterly Scrummy… I especially love the sound of these wholemeal savoury swirls which conceal a tasty portion of leftover bolognese in the middle!
Ren’s got this beautiful looking Miniature Potato Salad with eye-catching pomegranate and salmon, along with some great tips and tricks for packed lunches.
Other junk-free finger food ideas on my blog…
- Lemon, honey and mustard chicken drumsticks – perfect fast protein fix
- Sticky lime, soy and honey chicken – great with a little egg fried rice
- Super quick coronation chicken to fill mini pitta breads or wraps with salad
- Packed lunch mini quiches – batch cook and fill the freezer
- Carrot and pineapple muffins – again great for batch cooking and full of goodies
If you’re into Pinterest you can also check out my special Packed Lunches Board which i’ve just created…
The Organix No Junk Campaign
This is the second in a series of posts i’m writing in association with Organix for their No Junk campaign to encourage everyone to eat more healthily and cut down on processed food full of weird and wonderful ingredients. I hope you’ve found plenty of inspiration here to try out on your kids in their lunch boxes!
Join the No Junk Challenge
We know it can be difficult to eat food with no junk so join us to say no to junk and yes to healthy, real food for our families. Sign up to get involved.
Disclosure: I have been commissioned by Organix to write this blog post to promote their No Junk Challenge campaign. All views are my own. Thanks to Northfields Cook Book Club and my amazing foodie blogging friends for supplying me with such fabulous tips, tricks and accompanying images.