The new School term has arrived! I am sure we are all wanting those quick, easy, but healthy and nutritious lunch box items for our children. I have decided to put together some of my 5 quick and easy Lunch Box ideas that I use every day as a nanny.
It is good to vary their lunches day today and meet nutritional needs – This helps to keep it a bit different for the children! The following ideas are great for busy parents to put in their children’s lunches, not too time consuming, but knowing they are eating a good, well-balanced diet.
Wraps or Pita Breads
Wraps and Pita Breads are one of my favourite lunchbox ideas for the children that are not too time-consuming.
TIP: You could add shredded carrot, cucumber, sliced tomato to your wraps to ensure children are getting part of their five a day. Chicken could be a good source of protein or tuna for omega 3. Vegetarian options could include tofu slices, chickpeas, or falafel! You can get as creative as you want to be – it’s also a great way to get the children involved by getting them to pick their own fillings!
Check out this great blog by Kids Eat by Shanai on Top 5 Kid–approved wraps!
Crackers and Cheese Animal Faces
Most children enjoy cheese and it can be a great way of getting that extra calcium into their diets. You could use plain cheddar or try your child’s favourite cheese if they have one. Often the milder cheddars for little ones are best as the flavour is not too strong for them.
I like to choose an animal face to create, using sliced fruits/vegetables. I find this is a very fun and creative way to get children to eat their 5 a day. This is another way I like to get children involved with cooking.
TOP TIP:For ears/noses of animals, you could use either sliced carrot, cucumber, radish, tomato, sliced grapes, and strawberries. Or lettuce/ grated carrot for hair.
REMEMBER! SAFETY CAUTION: Always remember to slice children’s grapes into small quarters, as well as any larger fruits and vegetables to ensure they are not a choking hazard
Check out this great blog by Trisha Sprouse on how to create fun animal-shaped fruit snacks!
Open Sandwiches and dips
I love a ‘picnic lunch’ as I call it, and often children do to. Having a selection of healthy colours to choose from and finger foods can be a good choice. They could make their own open sandwiches.
Why not include either a slice of wholemeal bread, a pita, or an open wrap. In their lunch box, add the topping, such a sliced meat, fish, houmous etc. They can add this to the bread and enjoy making it themselves. It is a good way of promoting independence too, instead of pre-making it for them, they can have a go.
You could also include a dip, with slices peppers, carrots, or cucumber, promoting more fresh vegetables.
Check out this fantastic blog on rainbow sandwiches by intheplayroom
My Favourite Homemade Recipies
Healthy Home-made Crisps
I love to make my own crisps. They are so tasty and easy to make – they also make great healthy lunch box ideas!
I have chosen to use sweet potato here as it is a personal favourite of mine. However, you could use white baking potatoes, parsnips, or even fresh beetroot. However, beetroot may be enjoyed more by adults. I would recommend the potato or parsnip flavours for young children.
Using a mandoline slicer, finely chop the potato into thin slices and spread onto a baking tray, evenly so they are not on top of one another. Spray with some sunflower oil or drizzle with a little oil of your choosing. Season with pepper and then cook in the oven for about 20 minutes, before taking out to turn over and cook for about 20 minutes. 40 minutes works well in my oven, but every oven has a different power, and crisps can burn easily if left too long! So, I recommend regularly checking on them whilst cooking. They should be nicely crisp on the edges but not over-cooked
Homemade oat honey and banana biscuits
I have made these oat biscuits on a few occasions with children, and not only do they enjoy baking them, but also eating them after! They are so easy to make and are great to put in lunch boxes, take on picnics or as a ‘go-to snack’ for your bag when you’re out and about on the go, and know you will have hungry children during the day!
Simply use one cup of porridge oats, a tablespoon of honey, and a sliced banana. You could vary the fruit used – but I find banana goes well and is a good consistency to combine the oats together. Mix all together in a bowl, make into small circles on a baking tray to create biscuit shapes with the mixture, and then cook at 180 degrees for about 15 minutes until slightly crisp/lightly golden – Yummy!
Some of you might know Caroline from working at Capture as a digital learning journey expert! Caroline has since moved on from Capture to get a degree. Caroline has also written a children’s book which you can check out here – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Williams-World-First-Day-School/dp/0244668809