Innocent Drinks sent us some lunch boxes to decorate along with a sample of their new juices and asked for me to discuss with you what I would put in the boys school lunches. Well I have a confession to make. I think that it is cheaper to give the boys school lunches at £9.75 each per week. I also am a great believer in the fact that they will get a well balanced meal and learn to try more food if they sit at a table with their classmates. Now it has to be said that I am very lucky that the boys are not picky eaters and they both love having school lunch and it helps that the lunches at their school are delicious.
One thing I have found over the last couple of years is that my boys leave school ravenous. so I have learned the importance of after school snacks to keep the hunger at bay until we have our family meal at 6pm. I asked my friends on twitter for some ideas of what they give their children for after school snacks and got some great suggestions:
- Rachel at Tales from the village – carrot sticks, bread-sticks and humus
- Liz at Violet Posy – Fruit, porridge or toast
- Emily at Babyrambles – Bread sticks, crackers and occasionally a Jammie Dodger!
- Vonnie from The Life Craft – Peanut butter and/or banana sandwiches
- Deb (my SIL) – banana on brown bread toast
- Helen – Fruit, cereal bars, school bars, yogs, toast, cheese cubes….
- Jo (from Maxi’s NCT Group) Apple and cheese is a good combo … Or we do a snack plate of bits of ham, cheese, carrot or cucumber sticks and some crackers so they can make up their own idea. If it is cold we sometime do Heinz tomato soup or you could do a noodle plate … Egg noodles tossed in a bit of soy and sesame oil with “veg noodles” – cucumber and carrot cut into strips with a veg peeler … And for fun a set of kids chopsticks …
- Rachel – Brioches, yoghurt coated fruit flakes, sun bites, rice cakes, fruit..
- Tasha from Wham Bam – marmite sandwich or Philadelphia and peanut butter. And a cup of pink milk (nasty Nesquik stuff, sorry)
- Ella from Notes from home – cheese straws, chocolate rice cakes, breadsticks, sandwiches or homemade cupcakes/cookies made with less sugar and salt than usual. Sometimes a packet of crisps or bisuits if I have to bribe them to go out somewhere!
On our list at the moment we have:
- Nutella on brown bread
- home made flapjacks
- savoury scones
- cereal bars
- bear fruit yoyo’s
- home made popcorn
- veg sticks
- crackers and cheese
- malt loaf
- scotch pancakes
- cereal and dried fruit (mixed together in small bags)
- Mini Jaffercakes (Mini’s favourite thing in the whole wide world)
- Cheese and grapes
- Milk and cookies
The best bit of advice I have received on school snacks is not to ban chocolate, crisps or biscuits, just to downsize them. By limiting the amount you have in the house you are not depriving your child, but you are helping them to moderating their intake and teaching them about healthy choices..
We were also sent some Cars 2 lunch boxes from Clintons back to school range over the summer. Mini had a day out last week, which required a lunch box and he decided that he wanted to use the Mater box, which is a pretty unusual shape, but actually it is a great shape for taking drinks upright and took all his lunch with room to spare, plus the great thing was that no other cold had one the same, which meant that it was easy to identify. The lunch box had a pull out handle, which made it easy to carry too.
I would love to know what you give your children for after school snacks.
I’m glad of these tips thank you! I totally agree with you on giving them the sugary bad stuff in moderation rather than forbidding it entirely. Much better to help them learn how to make choices than take away the choice entirely.
Glenda » Thanks for the comment Glenda, I totally agree with everything in moderation and teaching them about healthy foods
Banana drop scones are my two’s favourite snack and quite healthy too! They quite often have savoury biscuits too. I agree it’s hard not to just succumb to the shop bought biscuit! Great post!
Wendy » I need a re wipe for the scones
We have cupcakes – not healthy but Buddy loves them.
Courgette mini muffins (healthy ones for kids)
Benjoy pots – Check out http://www.benjoy.co.uk/ I get them in Morrisons. Buddy loves them, they are really healthy and he sees them as a treat and is now choosing them over sweeties and chocolate – Happy days!
My children have never taken packed lunches to school (unless for trips). Not for any other reason than I’m sure I’d never have the imagination to give them anything other than sandwiches and I’d never be organised enough to make sure I had something in for them every day. They do like hot meals and enjoy them too, so I suppose I’m lucky.
After school hunger pangs are usually satisfied by fruit as they are so hungry they’ll say yes to anything I offer ;0)
Cara » I could never do packed lunches for the boys
Some great ideas here. For after school snacks I always just do a massive plate of chopped up fruit, different kinds depending on what we have in. They love it and it keeps them going until dinner. Also my son is not so great with his vegetables so it’s important I get some fresh fruit him!
Solveig » fruit never last in my house
I really watch everything my kids eat to avoid colouring, preservatives, etc it is hard work but worth it. My kids love croissants so I can jazz them up with jam or mayple butter or make them healthier with cheese and ham. We have discovered mini-croissants which fit nicely into lunch boxes.
Bernadine » I just wanted to say thank you for your comment. I love the thought of croissants and will add them to the after school snacks
Some great tips there, and I love the cars lunchboxes too! My two currently take lunchboxes, but when we move in a few weeks, I will be tempted to let them have lunches as the menu looks incredible. In fact, I might join them each day!! After school snacks vary in our house from flapjacks to fruit and cheese, and the occasional chocolate biscuit! Emma 🙂
Emma » I wish I could have lunch with my two
Scool lunchboxes i see at well school are a nightmare some of them. parents need to keep it simple. My son has always enjoyed chopped cucumber with BBQ sauce .. strange but if he eats its thats all that matters.
Claire Toplis » I agree with you, I send my boys for lunches, but they are great little eaters
Thanks for the mention.
I definitely agree about not banning chocolate, crisps or biscuits because they don’t learn how to eat them as part of a healthy diet otherwise. I also don’t say those kinds of food or fast food is a ‘treat’, we just have them as part of our overall diet. It doesn’t stop them wanting them all the time but hopefully the message will sink in as they grow up! x
Ella @ Notes from Home » I agree onthe treat issue. I find that my boys are often keen to educate m on heathy eating