I don’t do the lunch box tips posts that appear every August. I’ve never found them particularly helpful. I know what my kids eat so I know what not to put in.
What I am going to do instead is show you our lunchboxes for the week. My children always have a good lunch, however, I have a dreadful habit of starting out great in September giving them a good variety of lunches only to become lazy and start giving sandwiches every day. Now, don’t misunderstand me, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a sandwich every day if that is what they will eat. I know however that the children want variety, they want puff pastry parcels and sausage rolls, pasta with pesto and tasty pittas.
This year all our schools have a nut ban, so I have had to change things up a little with their snacks too as just about everything I baked last year from flapjacks to energy balls had nuts of some variety. It’s imperative that we respect the nut bans as a nut allergy can be fatal.
Back to the lunches, here is what the children had each day last week in theirs.
We’d had a roast chicken dinner Sunday so the had chicken on homemade soda bread. Caoimhe had hers on white, Jack had brown.
Caoimhe also brought a homemade flapjack*, a mandarin and a goyo** Jack brought a banana and a goyo.
My teenager had no school today and my fairy was unwell so she too was at home.
On Monday I made puff pastry parcels with salmon, goats cheese and red pesto.
The teenager had these along with a flapjack, homemade scone and an apple.
Caoimhe had them with a flapjack, scone and a mandarin. Jack didn’t like the parcels (note-he didn’t actually try them, but he ‘just knows’) so he brought homemade soda bread with jam (we use a no added sugar variety), a flapjack, a snack box of raisins and a scone.
Last week I made some chicken goujons so these were cooked and I made chicken pittas for everyone.
The girls had salad, cheese and a sriracha ‘mayo’ (sriracha mixed with greek style natural yogurt) with theirs. Jack just had the chicken goujons and ketchup.
They also brought fruit, flapjacks and oat & chia energy balls.
The girls had tuna mixed with greek style yogurt and seasoned with salt & pepper.
Jack doesn’t like tuna so he had his no added sugar jam in his. They also brought fruit, goyo’s and oat muffins.
Jack in particular was thrilled with Fridays lunch. As it was his birthday I did his favourite, sausage sandwiches. He just had ketchup on his, Caoimhe had hers plain. The teen however was far more adventurous, she had rocket, cheese and hot sauce ‘mayo. (Franks Hot Sauce mixed with greek style yogurt).
The teen brought an apple and a vanilla greek style yogurt. Caoimhe & Jack brought fruit and goyo’s.
There you have it, the Simply Homemade lunches for a week. Nothing fancy, no broccoli trees, tomato rosettes or sandwiches shaped like animals, just the food that they will eat. All similar but done to suit them. Lunchboxes come home empty and the children are fed and nourished throughout the day. They all bring water to accompany their lunch and to drink throughout the day.
While I hope this post is helpful and inspiring, the biggest piece of advice I would give anyone when it comes to school lunches is this; give your child food you know will be eaten. The school day is a long day, children burn lots of energy, they need a good lunch but they also need a lunch that they will eat.
*The ground almonds in the flapjack recipe were substituted with plain flour in accordance with the school’s nut ban.
**Goyo’s from Glenisk contain no refined sugar, they are sweetened with agave syrup. The sugar content is just over 4g per serving however this includes naturally occurring milk & fruit sugars.
This is not a sponsored post, I was not asked to mention Glenisk in this post, I bought my own products, it is the only yogurt I buy for the children.
Laura over at Dairy Free Kids has just published a great post on School Lunches & Allergies. If you write a blog and would like to share your thoughts on the subject please link up with Laura, if you don’t write a blog but would like to share your lunch ideas you will find Laura’s email at the bottom of the post, just drop her a line.