Food

Go-to Packed Lunchbox options

5-a-day packed lunchbox

With back to school on the horizon the thing the children seem most excited about is their packed lunchbox. I think I accidentally achieved this focus by buying new lunchboxes in the sale in July. They saw them, got overly excited, and then bad mummy refused to let them use them until they were in a new school year.

So, as the start of the new school year creeps up on us, I thought I’d write about our easiest way to get three children with three sort of nutritious packed lunchboxes to school.

First things first, there are choices of convenience. There are times when I’m working away for a few days and the last thing on Mr J’s mind is to sort lunchboxes on top of after-school activities (we do make packed lunches the night before as one less stress in the morning routine). These are some of the staples you’ll find in our kitchen:Go-to options for school lunchboxGrandma will generally keep us well stocked in cartons of juice or Capri-Suns due to her helpful membership of Costco. Additionally we are well stocked with ‘drinking yoghurt’, usually whatever’s on offer- currently that’s Actimel.

Sandwich thins are another favourite, for ease we use marmite, sometimes jam. 

For add-ons we are usually stocked on Barny Bears, Cheese strings, and yoghurt tubes. The children would definitely love jelly in their packed lunchboxes and the no added sugar jelly pots make this a reality.

Hartley’s also have a Hartley’s Lunchbox Collector Scheme at the moment, where you can collect 12 special edition green lids from across the No Added Sugar Jelly Pots (115g), to claim a free Hartley’s lunchbox and stickers.

As I said, these are our convenient stocks, but I do like to balance as much nutrition as possible and to do this I love the little add-ons to make packed lunchboxes fun.5-a-day packed lunchboxSilicone cupcake cases are perfect for added extras in the lunchbox. As well as standard cases you can get from supermarkets, it’s also working out checking out ebay and stores such as Eats Amazing for fun cases- such as my butterfly and frog. 

Favourite fruits in our home which work well with these are strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and grapes. I tend to pack bananas and apples in tact. Favourite vegetables include carrots- baby carrots are a complete hit but batons are just as well eaten, cucumber, baby sweetcorn and cherry tomatoes.  Making a packed lunch funI can’t wait to use these bottles from Smiggle in the new school term. Cartons are a convenience and I much prefer the children to have bottles of water- but they lose them and break them. I’m hoping these ones will make the difference.

My other ‘treat’ is rather than yogurt tubes to just buy a big pot of yoghurt and add a few spoonfuls to a pot. The mini-blancmange pot in the photo is a bit large, I love the Sistema pots you can pick up in supermarkets. Adding cake sprinkles to the top is a real hit with mine.

I also like to use picks to make the contents of their lunchbox a little more fun – have I mentioned ebay or Eats Amazing?

And the other cause of excitement is shaped sandwiches. Again, shops like Eats Amazing will stock perfect ones for sandwiches- we have jigsaw pieces (shown), hearts and dinosaurs. But I also find cake cutters work well- these are sandwich shaped so incur a bit more waste, but for a little treat they are perfect.

Sandwich fillings can include ham, chicken and cheese. I’d love to try more but I must admit sandwiches definitely are a stumbling block in our home. Sometimes just using a tortilla wrap and cream cheese to create swirls is the best I can manage.Sandwich cutter lunchboxI’d love to hear any tips you have for making school packed lunchboxes healthy, nutritious and fun. 

Disclosure: This post is an entry for Britmums #HartleysYourLunchbox Linky Challenge, sponsored by Hartley’s Jelly.

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Kate Holmes
    August 29, 2016 at 16:20

    Wonderful tip on the cupcake holders. Commenting for myself and on behalf of BritMums and thanking you for taking part.

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