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Coming up with healthy packed lunches – that are quick to prepare and that kids will eat – can seem like a tall order. With these tweaks and tricks, healthy packed lunches can be a realistic option.
Wrap it up
Update soggy sandwiches to a packed lunch that is something more exciting!. By simply changing the usual sliced white bread for a wholemeal alternative, makes for a much healthier option. (There are now also plenty of wholemeal breads that still look and taste like white bread, for picky eaters.) Other options to try include, making wraps or pittas instead of sandwiches. Most fillings work just as well in a wrap or pitta bread pocket, as they do in a sandwich. Try making these tasty wraps. You will need:
- Soft cheese
- Turkey (or Chicken)
Chop the cucumber into thin slices and mix with the cheese. Place the wrap on some foil or Clingfilm. Layer the turkey and the salad on the wrap and spread the cheese and cucumber on top. Using the foil or Clingfilm to help it keep it together, role the wrap up tightly, and tuck in both ends. Cut in half and you’re good to go.
Omelettes and Frittatas
For something more unusual, try a frittata or an omelette slice for a healthy lunch box alternative. These should be made in advance, but they keep well until lunchtime. A wrapped slice of omelette with a little salad (see below) makes a quick lunch to go. Here is a recipe for a tasty Spanish omelette.
Lettuce is Not the Only Salad
Salad doesn’t have to be leafy and green, which is a good thing as most kids I know wouldn’t touch it. Try a well-sealed box full of a potato, pasta or couscous salad. These are best made the night before. If you are having potatoes, pasta or couscous the evening before, just make extra and keep it to one side. Salad such as these can be made with pretty much anything, but here is an easy recipe for a healthy pasta salad which makes enough for two or three lunches.
- Cooked pasta
- Tinned tuna
- Tinned sweet corn
- A handful of spinach
- Two spoons of light mayonnaise
Drain the sweet corn and wash the spinach. Add these to the pasta. Then mix in the tuna and enough mayonnaise so it holds together. Add a little seasoning, put into Tupperware boxes with a good seal. Refrigerate until ready.
Winter Soups and Summer Smoothies
Soups are a great way to get vegetables into kids. Invest in a good thermos flask to ensure it stays hot until lunchtime. Try this recipe for chicken noodle soup which can be made in a slow cooker. Add a pre buttered crusty role to the lunch box for dipping.
Fruit smoothies can also make a great substitute for a juice box there are plenty of pre-packaged smoothies available to buy, or you can try making your own. You will need:
- 450g Strawberries
- 500ml Geek Yogurt
- 250 ml Crushed Ice
- Two spoonful’s of Honey
- A Blender
The quantities don’t matter too much, just blend until it looks and tastes right. First, puree the strawberries and honey in the blender. Add the yogurt, blend and then add the ice. Blend until smooth and pour into some clean, watertight bottles. If there is no refrigeration available, be sure to use an ice pack to keep it cool.
Who doesn’t love puddings! They don’t have to be unhealthy, full of sugar or carbohydrates. Try swapping the chocolate bars for individual pots of, rice pudding, yogurts, dried fruit treats or even fruity jelly.
A healthy and filling lunch is really important for growing kids. Motivating pupils is a lot easier if they have the energy to do the work they are given. Creating nutritious packed lunched is vital for physical and mental growth, and will give them the energy to get through the day.
About our guest..
Sarah Leyland is a writer who is passionate about creating healthy recipes and meal ideas. She runs her own food orientated blog and loves nothing more than a mooch around the local farmer’s market. She writes for Carrot Rewards.