Lunch Break: 3 Easy Lunch Box Ideas for Kids
Like many parents we're always up for trying anything that can make day-to-day family life more manageable. Something simple yet effective is to make a weekly meal plan. This goes for lunches too, as there's nothing worse than having hungry kids wailing as you stare desperately into the fridge. When we’ve got a day out planned it's handy to prep lunches the night before so it's one less thing to think about when trying to leave the house in the morning - these also make great ideas for a packed lunch to take to school, too.
When it comes to lunches it's all too easy to get stuck in a sandwich rut, especially if picky eaters are involved. However, don't let it stop you from offering new foods to try, as you never know what might become a new hit. The easiest way to come up with different combinations is to break meals into 4 key categories, for example: vegetables, fruit, carbs and protein. It's simple to remember and a guaranteed way to serve up a healthy balanced meal every time.
You can save money by making use of leftovers from dinner the night before, for example pasta or cold meats. Having a stash of some grab and go snacks to alternate between are great for padding lunches out, such as Organix finger foods, cheese oatcakes, chickpea crisps or Graze snacks. Let the kids give their input, as they're more likely to eat what they chose themselves. Plus kids love feeling included! All this planning will pay off as you're less likely to be tempted by unhealthy alternatives throughout the day.
If you're looking for a little inspiration, below we've pulled together 3 tasty packed lunch ideas for kids that are quick and easy to prepare and can easily be adapted to suit your personal family needs. Enjoy!
Leftover Meatballs & PastaFor this lunch we used some left over extra lean beef meatballs with coriander. Instead of serving the pasta with a messy tomato sauce, we turned it into a pasta salad with some cherry tomatoes and cucumber. A hard boiled egg is usually a winner (and add an extra punch of protein). Finally to finish, some tangerine and blueberries.
Pinwheel Wraps & Leftover Coconut PuddingAnother straightforward lunch idea is pinwheel wraps. We tend to use tortillas, with a small coating of light mayo, thin turkey slices, rocket and sliced cheese. Serve with some cheese oatcakes and kale crackers. Next up some good old apple and peanut butter, this is always a favourite and a sneaky way to make sure all the apple gets eaten. We had some left over quinoa porridge (more like a pudding), which we brought along in case anyone was still hungry.
Veggie Burger & VeggiesWhen time's short having some veggie burgers/sausages in the freezer are perfect for throwing into a lunchbox. It's another handy way of including some veggies into your kids' diet. Cook them in the oven, cut them into small pieces and serve with some carrot sticks, mini gherkins, chickpea crisps and hummus. Finally, throw in a good old Babybell and some sliced strawberries!
Like what you see? Give it a go, and why not share your toddler's favourite lunch below? Or, for more food and recipe ideas to try with kids, check out our blog!