Score top marks at lunchtime with these clever ideas and tasty tricks
From old-school classics and new favorites to making it the easy way and packing smart, our five tried-and-tested ideas will send your littles off to school with a deliciously healthy lunch in their bag.
The grazing lunch
Genius bit of kit: Bento Boxes
Not only do bento boxes look super cool, they’re a fantastic way to add color and variety to your child’s diet and also provide a nifty solution for using up the odds and ends in your fridge. For a balanced lunch, aim to fill the boxes with a mix of protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats, fruit and veggies – think hummus with cucumber dippers, grilled salmon and pasta shapes, mashed avocado with crackers, mini chicken patties and mango salsa, curry, rice and raita, plus mixed berries with yogurt and fruit bread.
Build your own lunch
Genius bit of kit: Food-Safe Sandwich Bags
A deconstructed sandwich might sound too fancy for a packed lunch, but we’ll let you into a little secret – they’re actually quicker for you to put together than a traditional sarnie, and they give kids a great sense of freedom. Simply provide the ingredients in separate sealed, reusable packages (our sandwich bags with secure lock seals are ideal) and encourage your child to build their own come lunchtime. If you’re stuck for inspiration, try brown bread with labneh, radishes and cucumber; sourdough with sliced cheddar, tomatoes and a little pot of chutney, and tortilla wraps with cream cheese and roasted vegetables.
Layered salad jars
Genius bit of kit: screw top jars
So much more appealing to children than a traditional salad, layered salad jars are all the rage right now. For best results, use our screw top jars and put the dressing at the bottom and salad leaves at the top, with veggies, carbs and protein in the middle. You can get as creative as you like, but some of our favorite ideas include yogurt-mayo, tuna, sliced egg and iceberg lettuce; labneh dressing with shredded chicken, chickpeas and parsley and pesto with sliced mozzarella, crispy croutons and halved cherry tomatoes.
Portable mini ‘quiches’
Genius bit of kit: muffin pans
Healthy homemade muffins make a great lunchbox treat, but if you want to take your kid’s midday meal to the top of the class, try using our non-stick muffin pans to make pastry-less ‘quiches’ or mini frittatas too. The best thing about this is once you’ve whipped up a batch, you can store them in the freezer and simply defrost overnight as and when you need them.
Soup of the day
Genius bit of kit: soup flasks
Sometimes a sandwich just doesn’t cut it. When your little one is bored of bread, send them off to school with a vacuum-insulated flask filled with their favorite soup and they’ll be guaranteed to smile come lunchtime. These clever carriers are also fantastic for keeping leftovers warm too – fill them with small portions of leftover curry, stew, dal, chilli con carne and more.
Find all these back-to-school lunchtime products (and many more) online and in store.