With only a few weeks of holidays left, its almost time to get back to pulling out hair thinking about what to pack for the dreaded school lunch. With limited time and picky eaters on your hands trying to come up with ideas for what to pack for your kids can be a frustrating and time-consuming task.

When thinking about what to pack, here are a few tips you can follow to make the task easier, faster and more effective: 

 

Keep it simple

While there can often be a perceived pressure among parents that their kid’s lunches need to be incredible, interesting, varied, beautiful and 100% ‘healthy’, the truth is everyone is busy and does not have the time to spend on cutting out fun shaped sandwiches every night (no matter what Pinterest will have you believe!). Make your life easier by keeping things simple – have a number of go-to’s that you can rotate between every few weeks; have a few core go-to meals that are fail-safe and and then mix up the snacks you use to keep things varied.

 

Be realistic

You can come up with as many exciting and healthy recipes as you want, but if your kids don’t eat them it means absolutely nothing. Without you hovering over their shoulder telling them to eat their vegetables, they are free to leave whatever they don’t want to eat, so make sure you’re packing food that they will actually eat. Pay attention to what comes back uneaten and avoid it in the future, if your kids only like certain fruits and vegetables, send those with them day after day. Get your children in the kitchen and ask what they would like to eat – within reason! (for tips on creating a family-friendly kitchen look here). Be realistic about what your kids will actually eat and be adaptable to that.

 

Sneak in as many nutrients as possible

Try to provide a lunch with a portion of protein, complex carbs and fruits/vegetables. Try and keep sugar to a minimum, but don’t worry too much about the odd small sweet snack – as long as they’re eating it alongside their other food, it shouldn’t be a problem. A good idea is to pack a main protein dish – leftovers from dinner, sandwiches, wraps, salads etc. and then complement with sides such as carrot sticks, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, sugar snap peas, blueberries, grapes, apple slices with peanut butter, yoghurt and berries, hard boiled eggs, hummus, dried fruit and nuts, popcorn, baked crisps, cheese and crisp bread – there are plenty of options to choose from.

 

Remember kids are visual

Kids are visual creatures and will be more encouraged to eat when their food is colourful and looks appetizing, so try to include as many colourful fruits and vegetables as possible that they like and will eat. A good idea for packing food that looks great and is very practical is in a bento style lunch box that includes many different compartments that allow you to separate different food to keep everything fresh and tasty. For a good example, look here. A pretty lunch box and colourful food is always a winner.

 

Prepare ahead of time

Avoid a last minute scramble in the morning and start preparing lunch the night before – even if you put a few snacks in Tupperware and lay out the boxes etc., leaving the fresh stuff to assemble in the morning, you’ll be doing yourself a favour.

 

Having an organised and well-designed kitchen will help you keep on top of things – if you’re looking to re-design your kitchen, book a free consultation at your nearest Optiplan Kitchens showroom and get some practical advice to suit your needs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

With only a few weeks of holidays left, its almost time to get back to pulling out hair thinking about what to pack for the dreaded school lunch. With limited time and picky eaters on your hands trying to come up with ideas for what to pack for your kids can be a frustrating and time-consuming task.

When thinking about what to pack, here are a few tips you can follow to make the task easier, faster and more effective: 

 

Keep it simple

While there can often be a perceived pressure among parents that their kid’s lunches need to be incredible, interesting, varied, beautiful and 100% ‘healthy’, the truth is everyone is busy and does not have the time to spend on cutting out fun shaped sandwiches every night (no matter what Pinterest will have you believe!). Make your life easier by keeping things simple – have a number of go-to’s that you can rotate between every few weeks; have a few core go-to meals that are fail-safe and and then mix up the snacks you use to keep things varied.

 

Be realistic

You can come up with as many exciting and healthy recipes as you want, but if your kids don’t eat them it means absolutely nothing. Without you hovering over their shoulder telling them to eat their vegetables, they are free to leave whatever they don’t want to eat, so make sure you’re packing food that they will actually eat. Pay attention to what comes back uneaten and avoid it in the future, if your kids only like certain fruits and vegetables, send those with them day after day. Get your children in the kitchen and ask what they would like to eat – within reason! (for tips on creating a family-friendly kitchen look here). Be realistic about what your kids will actually eat and be adaptable to that.

 

Sneak in as many nutrients as possible

Try to provide a lunch with a portion of protein, complex carbs and fruits/vegetables. Try and keep sugar to a minimum, but don’t worry too much about the odd small sweet snack – as long as they’re eating it alongside their other food, it shouldn’t be a problem. A good idea is to pack a main protein dish – leftovers from dinner, sandwiches, wraps, salads etc. and then complement with sides such as carrot sticks, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, sugar snap peas, blueberries, grapes, apple slices with peanut butter, yoghurt and berries, hard boiled eggs, hummus, dried fruit and nuts, popcorn, baked crisps, cheese and crisp bread – there are plenty of options to choose from.

 

Remember kids are visual

Kids are visual creatures and will be more encouraged to eat when their food is colourful and looks appetizing, so try to include as many colourful fruits and vegetables as possible that they like and will eat. A good idea for packing food that looks great and is very practical is in a bento style lunch box that includes many different compartments that allow you to separate different food to keep everything fresh and tasty. For a good example, look here. A pretty lunch box and colourful food is always a winner.

 

Prepare ahead of time

Avoid a last minute scramble in the morning and start preparing lunch the night before – even if you put a few snacks in Tupperware and lay out the boxes etc., leaving the fresh stuff to assemble in the morning, you’ll be doing yourself a favour.

 

Having an organised and well-designed kitchen will help you keep on top of things – if you’re looking to re-design your kitchen, book a free consultation at your nearest Optiplan Kitchens showroom and get some practical advice to suit your needs.