Ten lunchbox ideas that will revolutionise the kids’ cooler bags
Ensuring all the food groups are covered and taste is high up the agenda every school lunch time is a culinary mental equation that no parent has time for so with this in mind, and in association with Lidl, we do the thinking for you and give you 10 tasty lunchbox ideas to feed your little ones….
Pizza the action
A winner for most children, the crowd pleasing pizza is a lunchbox no brainer and it can be healthy! Make your own the night before for dinner using pitta pockets. Throw on the low-fat mozzarella and top with protein sources like chicken breast, ham, bacon and more. A four-veg secret sauce can inject some vitamins when doubled up as a tomato base while a host of veg will contribute to your little one’s fruit and veg intake.
The go-to lunchbox staple, the sandwich can be jazzed up to include nutritious fillings. We prefer wholemeal options for the base or pittas and wraps make for good alternatives to the white pan sliced option.
For fillings, a balance of protein and veg creates the ideal combo. Some of our favourites are: cheese and tomato (go for a lower fat cheese or a soft spreadable), salmon and cucumber with low fat cheese spread, egg and cress, tuna and cucumber or sweetcorn with a touch of mayo, cheese and tomato and ham and egg.
We love that pasta dishes from the night before can convert into easy peasy lunchbox fillers. That secret veggie sauce you make for the pizza base, stick it in with your pasta with a meaty topper to ensure a balanced meal. A creamy pesto pasta with cheese or ham or tortellini with broccoli is another great pasta alternative.
Pack your omelette with veg and a chosen protein, refrigerate and wrap in a cooler with a wholegrain roll for a lunchtime fix. Cherry tomatoes with crumbled feta or a cheese of your choice will fill your little one to the brim. You can shape your omelettes into muffins by baking for a more appealing look.
Not every child jumps at the idea of a salad at lunch time but when finely chopped and mixed with irresistible ingredients, you could tempt them to be a little more adventurous.
We love a tuna mayo salad mixed with rocket and tomatoes or a coronation chicken salad doused in dried fruit and a finely sliced apple and leafy lettuce.
Ham and egg salad is a simple yet perfect combo but put in the handiwork and chop all veg finely.
Age-sensitive, the warmer soup/stew meal is a winner come the winter months. Think chicken broth packed with veggies, a curry or even some meatballs with a hearty roll to bulk it up.
Bananas, apples and mixed berries are a great way to fit more fruit into your child’s diet. If they need a bit more persuasion then look at drizzling chocolate onto tangerines or strawberries. Apples and cheese are a marriage made in heaven for those who love both while melon slices rehydrate and inject vitamins A, B6, C, magnesium and potassium.
Every lunch box should contain a treat but keeping that treat healthy shouldn’t come as a challenge. Bread sticks, popcorn drizzled with chocolate, rice cakes with chocolate toppings, sugar free jelly, pancakes, no added sugar yoghurts and homemade oat cookies are better choices than shop-bought confectionery.
Never underestimate the pulling power of dippers. Kids find the DIY dipping something of a novelty allowing parents to sneak in the good stuff like carrots and cucumber. Or pack up a pitta pocket cut into fingers served with humous or for a treat add some mini breadsticks with a chocolate dip.
For the fussiest eaters breaking down meals is a great option. Think lunch boxes with compartments that allow you to fill each space with a separate food group from cheese to bread, fruit segments and more. That way the dreaded cross contamination of ‘touching’ foods will never happen!
For more yummy lunchbox ideas why not check out https://recipes.lidl-ni.co.uk/