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 :)

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.

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