Healthy lunchboxes for tricky kids: our ideas

November 27, 2017 6:44 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Getting sick of the school merry-go-round? Tired of smelly, unappealing lunchboxes and same-old, same-old packed lunches? It doesn’t have to be this way! At Naturally Good Food, we’re simply bursting with ideas for healthy, nutritious and child-friendly lunchboxes. These ideas are also great for family picnics, incidentally, once summer comes round again – because Mums and Dads get thoroughly fed up with boring, unhealthy options too!

School packed lunches are very hard to get right. Schools have (rightly) tightened up their rules about what’s acceptable in lunchboxes – but getting kids on board isn’t always easy. In the frenzy of the school dining room, how can you be sure that your child is actually getting a proper, balanced lunch that will set them up for a productive afternoon? How do you produce a different lunch, day after day, throughout the year? And what if you’ve got one of those particularly tricky kids, who really is hard to please?

Our ideas for healthy lunchboxes 

No smoke and mirrors here. We’re not about to claim that ready-made, heavily processed food ticks the right boxes, even if other people call it ‘healthy’. The holidays are over and it’s time to pull our socks up and get some proper nutrition into our kids!

Fresh fruit and vegetables

With the recommended daily portions of fruit and veg rising from five to ten a day, it’s important to base much of your lunchbox around these. Small pots of carrots, tomatoes and other salad items are popular. Or think a little out of the (lunch)box – shredded raw cabbage? Raw mushrooms? Frozen peas that defrost nicely just in time for lunch?

Fresh fruit is generally a crowd-pleaser – but don’t fall into the trap of watching the same apple travel forlornly backwards and forwards to school each day. A potful of berries rings the changes, or a selection of fruit on a (blunt) skewer.

Our dates make a great addition to healthy lunchboxes.

How about a handful of dates for pudding?

We don’t stock fresh fruit and vegetables at Naturally Good Food, but our dried fruit is a good option for desserts and snacks. We’d particularly recommend our toffee-like dates, our rich organic apricots, and our mixed currants, sultanas and raisins. More exotically, we’ve got dried mango and banana chips. Some schools will allow a handful of seeds – although most have banned nuts of any kind.

Same old sandwiches?

There’s nothing wrong with sandwiches if you use proper wholemeal bread. If they’re seeming a bit stale (not literally, of course), try cutting them into entertaining shapes, or ‘deconstructing’ them, and sticking alternate pieces of bread and filling on a blunt skewer, like a kebab.

We have white and wholemeal pitta breads.

Pitta breads are a good alternative to ‘same old’ sandwiches.

We’d also recommend using pitta bread for a change, or sticking in some crackers, crispbreads or breadsticks. Little homemade quiches are also often a hit in place of sandwiches, while homemade cheese scones are delicious. You can avoid processed meat by putting in strips of cold, proper meat – and can even make your own ‘nuggets’ the night before, serving these cold in the lunchbox.

A tiny pot of homemade fresh ‘salsa’ – even if it’s nothing more than tinned tomatoes with the tiniest hint of spice – makes a great dip for nuggets and crackers too.

What’s for pud?

We all know that children are eating far too much sugar nowadays, so even the smallest of ‘treats’ in a lunchbox is often frowned upon. The dried fruit we mentioned above is great for a ‘pudding’ – perhaps with a square of good-quality chocolate, if permitted. Our fruit compote pots are also popular with children.

If you’re allowed to push the boat out now and then, home baking is almost always better than shop-bought, nutritionally. Our porridge oats, for example, make great sticky flapjacks for energetic kids.

It’s almost a New Year – a great time for new beginnings, and the ideal time to start ingraining some lifelong good eating habits into our kids!

 

 

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This post was written by Yzanne

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