After years of school dinners, both of my boys have requested to have packed lunches this term and I’ve finally relented. You can’t blame them for getting fed up waiting ages in a long queue for a hot meal. The thing is it means old muggins here will have to spend quite a lot of time filling lunchboxes with tasty and nutritious morsels that they’ll actually want to eat.
So I’ve decided to embrace this culinary challenge and make it a new feature on my blog. If we can help each other out with a little lunch inspiration, then that’s what makes the parenting world go around, right?! So watch out for regular posts on this well worn topic.
This also coincides nicely with a challenge set by Iceland’s #PowerofFrozen campaign to come up with a fun and healthy lunchbox idea using their products. Quick and easy they said. Well let’s hope they like my ideas.
The last thing you’ll be wanting to do on a Sunday night is whipping up a batch of much at all, but you want your kids to have a decent meal so I’ve taken a few Iceland products that will do the work for you.
For the protein part of the meal, I’ve grilled up an Iceland Pork Sausage Wheel (£1.50 for a pack of 4) which I brushed with sweet chilli sauce to make them lovely and sticky. Once cooled I stuffed it in an Iceland Luxury Seeded Flatbread (£1.00 for a pack of 6) with a little squirt of BBQ sauce. Obviously you’ll need to take the wooden skewer out so the kids aren’t tempted to start jabbing people with them at school and you get hauled into see the Head about being an irresponsible parent!
On the side are carrot and cucumber batons with a little pot of hummus for dipping. That’s the vegetables covered.
To get the dairy product in, we’ve got a little pot of Greek yoghurt topped with frozen raspberries (£1.50 for 350g) that will have defrosted by lunchtime, kept the yoghurt chilled and also ticks the fruit box – nice!
And to dip in said yoghurt are a trio of mini doughnuts from Iceland’s Dessert Platter. I love these teeny tiny treats that will just defrost and be ready to eat. You get 85 in a pack that costs £5, so it’ll last you a good few weeks.
School dinners cost about £2.10 per day, and this works out at just over a quid, plus the veggies, hummus and yogurt, so I think I’m well under budget here. I think the whirly sausage sandwiches and mini doughnuts are super fun and child-friendly, but there’s balance there with the fruit, vegetables and dips. I’ll probably sound defensive here, but I like to give the boys a bit of a treat, but offer healthy things alongside.
It’s fantastically convenient to have ingredients in the freezer that will always give you quick and easy options for the daily grind of producing packed lunches. I’m looking forward to coming up with more ideas and sharing them with you over the next term.
I’m using the brilliant Bentology lunch boxes for the boys which are available at Lakeland for £12.99. I love the removable compartments, three of which are lidded to stop any liquid food from escaping. There’s even a little section for your cutlery. You can stick it all in the dishwasher too. I think these Bento style boxes are a great idea and as well as being really practical make the food look more fun too.
What do you think of my packed lunch idea? What are your kids favourites? What’s the item that never gets eaten?! Do you have any nifty lunchbox hacks? I’d love to hear all about it, so do leave a comment below.
Check out Iceland’s website Power of Frozen for facts and ideas about frozen food. You can follow the conversation on social media with #PowerOfFrozen
More packed lunch ideas:
Cheesy Sweetcorn Muffins – Foodie Quine
Disclosure: I have developed this packed lunch idea for Iceland. All opinions, images and ideas are my own. With thanks to Lakeland for providing me with samples of the Bentology boxes