Currently both my children have school dinners but this hasn’t always been the case. In Nursery the children only have the option of home packed lunches.
They always enjoyed these but I really didn’t like them one bit, from having to remember to make them each morning to trying to make them varied so they didn’t get bored with them and then there was the worry of the lunchbox police.
The school had a long list of things the children aren’t allowed in their lunchboxes including bottles of drink – (even if it contained water), they had to have a juice box or would be provided with water at school, chocolate wasn’t allowed, nor were squeezy yogurts, Babybels had to be unwrapped completely and snacks kept to a minimum and nuts are not allowed in any form including Nutella spread and bars.
If these things were placed into the kids lunches then without fail a letter would return home in that lunchbox telling us that xyz was not permitted in school.
As you can imagine making up lunches every day came a little boring and I struggled a little to make them different while still sticking to those rules. Emmy keeps asking to change from school dinners to home packed lunches but I am holding off on this for a long as possible and have told her that she can change in the summer when she is able to eat outside.
Recently Fruit Shoot sent the children some of their new Fruit Bars to try out and they were instant hits with them both. These bars have over 99% fruit, are high in fibre, free from added sugar, artificial flavours, colours or sweeteners and they also count as one of your ‘five a day’.
These are small bars which are a perfect size to add to lunchboxes, to pop into my handbag or to have on the way home from school as a quick snack which won’t spoil the kids appetites for dinner.
The bars are available in a rainbow of five fruity flavours; Apple, Apple & Blackcurrant, Summer Fruits, Peach & Mango and Tropical Fruit. With a wide range of flavours available the children could happily have a different flavour each day with their lunches and not get bored.
Each flavour comes in a pack of five and the good news for parents is that Fruit Shoot Fruit bars have all been certified by Sugar Wise and every bar counts as a serving of fruit. The Fruit Shoot Fruit bars are suitable for vegetarians, vegans and those on a gluten-free diet and will be available in Tesco stores and online from Amazon (RRP: 5 x 25g for £2.29).
To make packed lunches more varied here are a few ideas to mix them up a little:
- sandwiches or wraps, filling ideas include: ham, cheese, cream cheese, tuna & sweetcorn, egg mayonnaise, chicken and sandwich paste
- pasta (I cook extra at dinner times and save for lunches) – add tomatoes, chunks of cheese and cucucumber, or even add pesta and cheese chunks
- Bread sticks and dip
- Cheese and crackers
- Vegetable sticks with dip
As well as a ‘main’ I include a few snacks, a few ideas include:
- Vegetable sticks
- Mini tomatoes
- Mini Cheddars
- Fruit Shoot Fruit Bar
- Yogurt with a spoon
- Fruit salad pots
- Fruit – apple, banana, strawberries, raspberries, blue berries or grapes (I always slice the blueberries and grapes as children can be easily distracted and they can get stuck in their throats)
How do you mix up lunches for your children? What are their favourite snacks?