Having been the family packed lunch maker for the past 11 years, it's all started to get a bit tedious of late, I mean, how many cheese and ham sandwiches can one mum make before she goes totally and utterly insane?
So, as Britmums has teamed up with Hartley's for the #HartleysYourLunchbox Challenge, I decided to get my thinking cap on and share my tips for making back to school lunchboxes* for this coming term.
As I was taking part in the challenge, Hartley's very kindly sent us over a nice new lunchbox complete with stickers, and some samples of their No Added Sugar Jelly Pots to try to make the task a bit easier for me.
Hartley's are also offering consumers a chance to claim their own lunchbox and sticker set by collecting 12 special edition green lids from pots of No Added Sugar Jelly (115g). Once all 12 have been collected all you have to do is head to their website www.hartleysfruit.co.uk to claim. They are such cute lunchboxes and very reminiscent of the one I had when I started school (so retro, not old) and would make the perfect first school lunchbox.
Twin girl set to work with the stickers and lunchbox straight away and did a stirling job personalising the box ready to take to school.
The twins are currently entitled to free school meals still as they are only in Year 2 this year, but having had them for the past two years now they are really looking forward to a packed lunch or two, so I have decided this year that I'll let them take an occasional one every now and again.
This will mean making 5 packed lunches some mornings and so my tips for lunchbox making largely revolve around speed and ease of putting them all together, while trying to keep a healthy balance.
Wraps are much easier to make than sandwiches I find. Not only can I put their favourite ham/cheese fillings inside but I can sneak a bit of salad in too and then wrap it up so that nobody really notices it - good for fussy children who rarely eat veg.
For the non sandwich eaters I include a tub of crackers/breadsticks and houmous and some carrot and cucumber for dipping.
I always include one portion of fruit in the kids' lunch. Bananas and apples are easy, but for the children who won't eat those I do wedges of melon (you can slice, wrap and store in the fridge overnight), grapes, or if there is nothing fresh in the house, my cupboard standby of raisin boxes.
I allow one sweet thing in their lunches every day. This can be a prepacked biscuit or cereal bar, a piece of homemade cake/flapjack or a yogurt. I do worry about the sugar content, which is why I was so pleased that the kids gave the Hartleys No Added Sugar Jelly Pots a big thumbs up when they tried them. Those are now going on my shopping list for September too!
Lastly, I try to include something savoury. This could sometimes be crisps or even a small bag of cheese crackers. These often get eaten at break time when they are running around outside, so it has to be something that is pre-packed which limits my choices somewhat.
Aside from that, they all have a refillable water bottle which they can fill up at school during the day if they need more.
That's it really. Easy for those of us that are too
This post is an entry for Britmums #HartleysYourLunchbox Linky Challenge sponsored by Hartley's Jelly http://www.hartleysfruit.co.uk/
* my teenagers would like me to note that they in no way shape or form have a lunchbox of any kind, because that is not dank/on fleek/swag or whatever. The lunch just goes in your schoolbag OK? (but they are quite partial to jelly also)