School Lunch Boxes: Packing them with inspiration
Posted by Stephanie Forrester | 01/09/2018 | Category: Food
September has come around again. Whether the long school holidays whizzed by or dragged on, it’s finally time to go back to school. You’ve got the kids’ new uniform, shiny new shoes, bags and stationery. The only thing left to do is to provide a variety of healthy, interesting packed lunches five days a week!
Don’t fret! Central England Co-operative is on hand to help with ideas and to make sure your kids eat some healthy things along with the odd lunchtime treat. Read on for our ideas to inspire great lunchtime grub that will end up in their tummies rather than the bin.
A great lunch, whichever way you slice it
The sandwich is the perfect lunchtime staple, but most of us get bored with the same thing every day. Explore our bakery section for a great range of loaves, rolls, bagels, thins, pitta breads and wraps and try different breads including wholemeal and seeded varieties for extra flavour.
The bread needs to be fresh, but with a range of tinned fish (e.g. tuna, salmon) or meats (e.g. ham, corned beef), you’re covered. Peanut butter and other spreads containing nuts may be a favourite, but check with the school if they allow nut products as some pupils may have nut allergies.
Storing and serving
Lunch has to make it through the morning in one piece, so pop in store and invest in some lidded plastic boxes of various sizes, sealable food bags and a drinks bottle.
Alternatives to the good old sandwich…
Pasta is a great option as it comes in a range of shapes and colours. Try our recipe for delicious lunchbox pasta. If your child doesn’t like spice, just leave out the chilli. https://www.centralengland.coop/food/recipes/mains/chilli-sweetcorn-and-tuna-lunchbox-pasta
Rice dishes make a welcome and filling change too and colourful options such as a tasty pilaf can be easily adapted using different vegetables. https://www.centralengland.coop/food/recipes/mains/quick-pilaf
Eggs are satisfying and packed with vitamins and minerals. This frittata is just one way to get some good stuff into lunchtime: https://www.centralengland.coop/food/recipes/sides/tuna-and-pepper-frittata.
Use up leftovers
The lunchbox is the perfect destination for leftovers. Roasted meat left from a Sunday roast can be used in Monday’s sandwiches. The pasta and rice dishes above can be cooked as a main meal and any leftovers used the next day. Leftover boiled potatoes can quickly be turned into a potato salad. To be safe, chill leftovers quickly and store them wrapped in the fridge until you need them.
Add a variety of fruit and veg
Go beyond the standard apple or banana and include more bite-sized fruits presented in different ways. Try strawberries, blueberries and raspberries, peeled and sliced kiwi, cubed melon or pineapple. Even when fresh fruits aren’t available, tinned and fr0ozen versions are just as nutritious. For added veggie goodness, try sticks of cucumber, carrot, pepper or baby sweetcorn with hummus.
A sweet treat
Everyone loves the occasional cake or chocolate bar, but to make sure you have some healthier options in your repertoire. Try making this tasty Carrot Cake: https://www.centralengland.coop/food/recipes/desserts/carrot-cake or pop in some homemade popcorn.
And when you’re having one of those mornings…
… our Food To Go range is there to help you get to school on time. Pop in store on the way and choose from sandwiches, wraps, salads, fruit and veg pots.
Have a happy and healthy new school year!
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