It's that time of year when parents often face another daily chore of making lunchboxes. It doesn't have to be with some inventive ways to make lunchbox foods nutritious and fun. In many cases lunchboxes can come back half eaten so It is especially important to spend a little time planning what to put in. Here are five simple things to try.
1. Use a kid friendly lunchbox and possibly with compartments to separate stuff out, otherwise paper cases, plastic pots or coloured napkins make it look more appealing. Or you could even try adding a note to make it special.
2. Cut foods up into small pieces, particularly fruit and veg. For example my son and i cut up some peppers and cucumber on cocktail sticks to make traffic lights. Food that is easy to eat will also mean they are more likely to get through it all, as i know they will want to rush off with their friends to play!
3. Offer variety. Foods in season will offer variety and often be cheaper (particularly fruit and veg). Leftovers from dinner or making a bigger batch of say a pasta dish could also be another solution to variety.
4. Get kids involved. My children are very inquisitive about what goes in their packs up. Why not get them to make their sandwiches or choose from a few options you give them. Although making sure they aren't getting the same things every day because you know they will eat them. Even a trip to the shops to look together at what they may like as long as it is healthy.
5. Balanced lunchbox - this should consist of five groups;
1) Carbohydrate (e.g bread, pasta, potatoes),
2) Protein (e.g meat, fish, cheese or egg),
3) Fruit and vegetable x2 (e.g one piece of fruit and one veg),
4) Calcium (e.g yoghurt, rice pud)
5) Hydration (e.g water bottle)
The lunchbox in the picture is an example of my sons and it contains all of the above.
Please get in touch if you can offer some more ideas (e:firstname.lastname@example.org) or share your lunchbox pictures on Facebook www.facebook.com/littlebitescookeryschool