While us mums might experience school-run outfit envy every day, our kids' main source of interest (other than school work of course) is what everyone else is eating for lunch.
Gone are the days when you could get away with swapping food; now the only option they have is to whinge at their parents that everyone else has a more interesting lunch than they do. If you need some lunch box idea inspiration or some help "keeping up with the Joneses", then I have some ideas for you.
However, let me say from the outset these are easy ideas rather than recipes. I don’t know about you, but I struggle enough cooking a healthy dinner that both my boys will enjoy every evening without trying to prepare something from scratch for their school lunch every day!
The Lunch Box
First things first, you need to make sure they have the best lunch box to suit their needs. Bento boxes or compartment lunch boxes are an increasingly popular design as they divide the space into sections making it easy to keep different types of food separate. Other factors to take into account are if they’re easy to open, if they’re dishwasher safe and if they’re BPA free.
So, let’s presume your chosen lunch box has three sections and you’re not going to cook up a three-course dinner!
Tuna, mayonnaise and sweetcorn is a tasty and easy filling and it works just as well in a wrap. A sandwich spread with houmous and topped with grated carrot is nutritious and delicious too. Alternatively, forgo the bread altogether and make some roll-ups! Use a piece of turkey to roll up cream cheese and cucumber and you’ll have something different and delicious to offer your offspring.
Bananas don’t work very well in bento boxes because they’re simply too big! Save these for when they’re starving when they get home. Berries such as strawberries and blueberries are delicious and healthy; cubed watermelon (currently my son’s favourite fruit) also looks and tastes sumptuous. Grapes are another good option, but make sure they’re cut in halves or quarters to be safe.
Sliced cucumber will go down a treat and you can save a couple of slices for your poor tired eyes! Carrot sticks are also popular (especially if they believe they will give them great night vision), as are little celery sticks. Cherry or plum tomatoes will add a pop of red to their lunch but make sure they’re sliced if they’re for a young child.
So, that’s a wrap! Just remember that even if they eat everything you pack, they’ll act like they haven’t been fed in a month the minute they get home…