Lunchtime is a vital part of a child’s school day as it not only gives them a chance to unwind with friends, but it also allows them to re-energise with delicious food. Getting the nutrients they need from eating a range of tasty food will (hopefully) help them to stay focused during afternoon lessons and the day ahead.
However, making lunches every day can be a chore and finding inspiration is not always easy.
School lunches don’t have to be dull, so below are some ideas to make it fun to make and enticing for kids to eat.
Get the kids involved and plan lunches together
As your child will be eating the food, it’s important to share lunch-making duties with them. Let them plan and choose (to some extent of course) what to eat.
Whether it’s taking them to the supermarket to pick lunch essentials or letting them slice cucumbers, getting the kids involved can build excitement and even pride, which encourages them to eat what’s there.
This can also be a fun bonding experience and will even help children develop key skills such as planning.
Add some creativity
Whether it’s a sandwich or an apple, cut the food in a fun way. The cheese and ham sandwich or melon will more likely be devoured in seconds if it’s cut into the shape of a star or dinosaur.
You can easily find fun cutters online or in the baking aisle at supermarkets. To save money, you can also use a knife to create unique shapes.
Switch it up
Avoid packing the same lunch every day, as it’s likely that the child will become bored of it.
To bring life to the dreaded lunch box, why not pack a fresh pasta salad – one of our favourites is this creamy pesto pasta salad.
This is super simple to make, and you can customise it with ham, prawns, cheese and even tofu if catering for a plant-based diet.
Instead of a sandwich, why not make a salad wrap? These colourful wraps are packed full of veggies and take very little time to prepare.
No matter if you’re a child or an adult, we all love having something to snack on. However, most of us tend to reach for a chocolate bar or a packet of crisps as the go to snack, especially if it’s for a lunch box.
But snacks can be healthy and delicious.
One snack that is guaranteed to keep the kids fuller for longer is a classic hummus dip paired with either pitta, vegetable sticks or even sliced banana.
This is another fun way of getting the kids to eat their veggies. Hummus is also easy to make at home – all you need is a can of chickpeas, one garlic clove, tahini, the juice of a lemon and olive oil.
Another great alternative to a packet of sugary sweets, which will add some excitement to lunch time, is this scrumptious banana and chocolate flapjack.
This flapjack is great as it can be made in one bowl, it’s freezer friendly and it’s low in added sugar. What’s also good about this recipe is that oats and bananas are both slow burning carbs, meaning it will keep the kids feeling energised for longer.
By involving the kids and switching up the contents of the packed lunch, you’ll make lunchtime a joyous occasion and something the little ones will look forward towards. However, as school term begins, remember some children will be feeling nervous, which can cause a loss of appetite. So, if you do discover some leftovers don’t be too disheartened.
How will you be packing lunchboxes this term?