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Back to school: Lunch boxes

September 21, 2010

I wish the lunch boxes I sent off to school with Grace were as exciting as the one above, but sadly mine are a bit more basic! However, I do try very hard to make them varied and as healthy as I can, although I personally don’t think there’s anything wrong with a little treat now and then πŸ™‚

Grace’s school don’t allow children to have chocolate in their lunch boxes. Fair enough – we all know chocolate isn’t a healthy snack and it also doesn’t travel well, especially in hot weather. However, they do allow crisps – hmmmm…. If a child takes something in their lunch box that is deemed inappropriate then they are not allow to eat it and it is sent home. This irks me endlessly! Whilst I accept that the school has a duty of care for my daughter during the time she is at school, I resent that fact that they get to choose what she eats. What if they deem most of a child’s lunch box to be unhealthy? Do they let the child go without lunch and send it all home? Personally, I’d rather they were allowed to eat it and then a letter or meeting could be arranged to discuss it. Anyway, it’s not an issue we face as Grace doesn’t have chocolate or crisps in her lunch box, and I haven’t approached the school to get their views on why they do what they do – perhaps I should.

It can be a bit of a bind keep thinking of what to put in each day, so here is a small selection of some of the things we include:

  • Crunchy veg sticks – carrot, cucumber, courgette, peppers
  • Houmous dip
  • Baby tomatoes
  • Bread sticks
  • Pasta salad (often with ham, cheese, various vegetables, mixed with natural yoghurt and a pinch of curry powder)
  • Pitta pockets with various fillings
  • Ham and cheese muffins
  • Sandwiches with various fillings
  • Dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, strawberries, apricots, mixed dried fruit)
  • Fresh fruit salad
  • Homemade muffins (blueberry, apricot, choc chip)
  • Homemade flapjack (plain or fruit)
  • Yoghurts
  • Fruit smoothie tubes

I find it is useful to bake big batches of muffins and cakes and keep them in the freezer. You can also make up things the night before and keep them in an airtight container in the fridge, then all you have to do is assemble them in the morning.

We were also sent some new apple, sultana and cinnamon Frusli bars to try, which could be used as an occasional lunch box filler. There were certainly delicious and contained a lot of fruit. The girls enjoyed trying them too.

Photo Credit

15 Comments leave one →
  1. September 21, 2010 7:34 pm

    I can’t believe the school sends unhealthy food back home with pupils and refuses to let them eat it. Surely it should be up to the parents to decide whether or not to let their children eat it?

    • amylane permalink*
      September 21, 2010 8:25 pm

      Glad it’s not just me who thinks this!

  2. September 21, 2010 9:42 pm

    Some fab ideas there! Thanks for sharing.

    My lad is still at nursery, so doesn’t quite need packed lunches yet, but I’d definitely be annoyed if I sent something into his nursery/school for him to eat and it was sent back. It undermines your authority and not only that, it leads you to infer that you are allowing your child to be unhealthy and they know better. It’s terrible. I do think you should voice your opinion.

    I think with things like fizzy cans etc there’s a difference, health and safety wise. I mean, kids shouldn’t really drink it on a daily basis, but it can cause all sorts of havoc if they decide to shake it and spray it everywhere. Even if they drop it it’s a disaster. I’m waffling now…


    Becca x

    • amylane permalink*
      September 21, 2010 9:51 pm

      I agree, that there are health and safety concerns with things like fizzy drinks cans. I really don’t like the fact that they seem to think they can veto a parents choice and overrule their decision. Obviously if there are ongoing concerns with a parent who keeps sending in an unhealthy lunch box then there are ways to address this. Personally I don’t think this is by disallowing the child to eat it.

  3. September 22, 2010 10:39 am

    My children’s school sends out a letter every half term instructing parents on how to put together a healthy lunch box this irks me immensely!!!

    On the whole my children take good lunch boxes, well balanced 2 of the 5 a day and they eat them – however on occasion I have sent them with ham on white, crisps and a kitkat…. And do you know what they haven’t come to any harm whatsoever πŸ˜‰

    • amylane permalink*
      September 22, 2010 1:43 pm

      Exactly! Wonder what would happen if I sent chocolate one day? Am quite tempted! πŸ™‚

  4. September 22, 2010 12:22 pm

    great tips – am all for making healthier snacks like flapjacks. Kids can help cook, saves money and usually healthier than bought ones – a win win no brainer!

    • amylane permalink*
      September 22, 2010 1:44 pm

      Definitely – and they taste much better too πŸ™‚

  5. September 22, 2010 5:17 pm

    Oh gosh.. I hope Oli’s future school isnt like this! I’ll be one of those mothers that run out of lunchbox things and will end up stuffing nutella in his sandwiches and a bar of my secret stash of chocolate!! ;o)

    • amylane permalink*
      September 22, 2010 5:43 pm

      Lol, I am mean Mummy – if I don’t have stuff in the house she has to have a school dinner! πŸ™‚

  6. September 26, 2010 1:38 pm

    I have a fussy daughter but some of the things on your list sound fab – any chance we can have the ham and cheese muffin recipe!


    • amylane permalink*
      September 26, 2010 2:21 pm

      Hello! I have a cheese and bacon muffin recipe here which you can do using ham or bacon – enjoy!

  7. mrsljhall permalink
    September 26, 2010 6:26 pm

    I was seriously impressed thinking that you had made the lunch boxes in the picture! x

    • amylane permalink*
      September 26, 2010 8:03 pm

      Lol, if only! Mine are so dull looking I couldn’t even bring myself to photograph them! x

  8. October 1, 2010 1:00 pm

    While reading your post and staring in the first photo, I said to myself, if I were the kid who’ll have this bento box, I would say I’m very lucky. πŸ™‚ Well I am fond of bento especially when the food inside is sooo cute that I would want to eat it with tears and happiness. Oh well, I’m into fantasies again. Anyway, thank you for posting this and sharing some ideas and helpful tips. I would also have something to share to you and that’s about stainless steel container. I learned that plastic ware container is not safe at all. There are issues behind it that can harm our health. As an alternative to this type of container, we can use stainless steel lunch pack because it has 100% BPA free, eco-friendly and reusable. πŸ˜‰

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