This post is an entry for the #FloraLunchbox Linky Challenge, sponsored by Flora. Check out their lunch planner and recipe ideas here.
Like many parents, I sometimes struggle to pack a well-balanced lunch box for my son to enjoy at school. I have to balance what he will eat, with being healthy, and sometimes I do struggle to get it right! While I don’t pack his lunch box full of sweet things, I’m fairly sure I don’t pack in enough fruit and vegetables! In fact, a study commissioned by Flora showed that only 1.6% of children in England receive a nutritionally balanced packed lunch, with only 17% containing ANY vegetables or salad. Those figures were quite astonishing, and made me wonder whether I could improve our lunch boxes.
Flora have produced a handy lunch box helper gives you a simple chart to follow, just follow the “what to add” and you can easily create a healthy well-balanced lunch box! There are also lots of recipe ideas on their site, and the recipes are straight forward to follow. I hadn’t really thought about adding pasta to a lunch box, but I made a super simple pasta dish which proved very popular, and was a super way to easily add vegetables into my sons lunch box.
I’ve discovered dips are very popular, I guess they are “cool”, and are really easy to make, we’ve just about worked out how to make houmous, it’s actually quite easy but the first attempt didn’t go well..too much garlic! I need to experiment with home-made salsa too, as that may make a nice change.
Snacks, we have swapped cakes and biscuits for date and oat bars, these are made with (yes you guessed it…) dates, oats and honey and are proving very popular, and I’m planning to bake another loaf of banana bread next week too – if the children don’t eat all the bananas before they’re ripe enough for baking!
The simplest lunchbox we’ve made is the one I’m showing you below, and it really made me realise that healthy lunch boxes don’t have to be complicated or take hours to make. My 8-year-old was delighted that the orange is pre-peeled..I know that sounds awful, but they get limited time to actually eat lunch, and I’d noticed he wasn’t eating the fruit, I asked why and the reply was..”It takes to long to peel..” So, I dug out a tiny pot left over from a party ice-cream, and peeled the satsuma before popping it into the lunchbox, it keeps fine until Lunch and my son gets a good portion of fruit. The bread roll is sliced and I’ve spread it with flora, then there’s a boiled egg and cheese so he can put the bits he wants into the roll, or eat it all separately. He also has a bottle of water and flapjacks with this lunchbox which I forgot to photograph!
What I’ve learnt from the Flora Lunch Box challenge is, it’s actually really easy to make quite a nutritional lunch box, I don’t need to spend a fortune, the variety of lunch box fillings I’ve started to put in (I am getting braver!) means my son is eating it all and therefore doesn’t come home ravenous – Win!