A note on school lunches

School lunches are a challenge for many parents at this time of year however there are some options worth considering.

Firstly, make sure lunch is easy to eat, food that requires assembling, peeling or fiddly packaging may be off putting. Some children do not eat very much at one sitting; smaller portions and variety could be the answer.

Bread options – look at alternatives to bread; consider wraps, pitta bread, mini bagels, rice cakes, bread sticks, bran muffins or crackers. If you do choose bread try wholemeal or wholegrain.

Salads and dips Houmous is a good source of fibre and protein, pack with carrot or celery sticks (see recipe listing). For pasta salad make the most of pasta shapes available, try wholegrain pasta (see if they notice!) with pesto or tuna and sweet corn. Couscous salad is perfect with mozzarella and a little dressing.

Fruit – Fruit should also be easy to eat (strawberries, blueberries, sliced apple, diced melon), peel fruit such as mandarin oranges in advance. Alternatively fill a little tub with cubes of cheese and seedless grapes.

‘Cheat sweets’! Dried fruits are a big hit; dried apricots, mango or pineapple taste just like wine gums! Small boxes of raisins are also readily available.

Drinks – Ideally water, as many fruit juices, smoothies and some flavoured waters are high in sugar. Freeze water bottles and place in lunch box to keep food cool and fresh.

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