Monday, 23 September 2013

Making Lunches Fun

School lunches have been in the news a lot lately.  Home packed lunches are to become a thing of the past, with all school children now being provided with a hot meal at lunchtimes.

Spiderboy and Doodles do already have a hot meal at school & nursery but we often take a packed lunch along for a picnic on a nice day or for an easy tea after swim lessons.  I'm not a huge fan of sandwiches (too many dry, tasteless offerings from my childhood) so with that in mind, I try to mix things up a bit and make packed "lunches" more exciting.  

I posted a recipe for these ham, cheese & onion muffins a while back, and they were a huge hit with my kids.  If I do make sandwiches, I cut them into fun shapes - something I discovered when Spiderboy was very little and I couldn't get him to eat sandwiches - how much more fun is it to eat a train or a little animal?!

What do you mean you can't tell they are a crocodile, a lion and an elephant?!
Adding some individually packaged foods is very handy - it cuts down on the mess and makes it fun for the kids. We were sent some of the new flavoured Cheestrings to try out, which would be ideal for lunchboxes or snacks on the go.  Spiderboy was put off by the strong smell of the Cheese & Onion and Cheese & Tomato flavour when they were opened but Doodles on the other hand happily wolfed down a whole packet, followed by some of the Cheestrings Spaghetti!

I have to admit I was quite surprised when I read the Cheestrings website section about how they are made and of what...they contain no artificial colours, preservatives or flavours and provide one quarter of the recommended daily amount of calcium and vitamin D!

It only takes a little bit of imagination to make food more fun - if you have a lunchbox with compartments, you can offer different tasty treats, like putting some fruit into a cupcake case.

You could also personalise lunch containers without a huge expense - just use some stickers - or leave them a little handwritten note or joke inside.

If you're in the mood for more fun with food, check out Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons for some great ideas. 

I shall leave you with the memory of my mother discovering with horror the stash of mouldy sandwiches under my bed one day...can't recall why I didn't just throw them away in the bin at school but then I never was very bright!  Strangely enough, I didn't get anything tastier offered as an alternative after that...

Disclosure: I was sent a Cheestrings gift pack for the purpose of this review.


Anonymous said...

I stashed my sandwiches under my bed too! It was because my mum insisted I must have peanut butter ones like my brother. Peanut butter on toast = yum. Peanut butter not melty, all gloopy, cold, and sticking to your teeth = urgh.

The reason I stashed them under my bed was because the dinner ladies at school got wise to me throwing them in the playground bins. So they patrolled the bins like prison guards, so basically terrified me into it. Nothing to do with me being an odd child at all...

ThreeCounties Mum said...

Oh that's funny - I'm glad I wasn't the only one! I think you might be right about the dinner ladies - they were really fierce at my school!