Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Back to School Lunch Ideas

It is that time of year again - Back to school.
My youngest was back this morning and despite a lost pair of socks (Puppy, I am looking at you !!) and the fact that despite making a fuss last night about being up extra early she didn't get up until an hour after the first waking, she made it to school on time with my nerves practically in tact.

She also went out the door with a suitable lunch, it is harder now they are teenagers to make sure they eat but I have been providing pack lunches for years now and I have to learn a few things, so I thought I would share.

Ideas for Main Lunch Snacks

  • Yes the good old sandwich are always a good staple but you can mix it up by trying different breads and filling.  I have a daughter that loves chicken flavored with Tikka seasonings and mango chutney on rye bread nothing - boring about that sandwich !! I have another that would eat cheese and ham every day if allowed so you know what your kids will eat and what will return untouched.
  • Wraps and pitta bread are a great alternative and can hold anything from cold meats and salads to banana and chocolate spread or last night's chili with grated cheese and lettuce.  

  • Have one that is not keen on bread based foods, what about a warm home-made soup in a flask with croutons in a container or a Pasta Salad.  

  •  You could try out these hand pies - very easy to throw together for lunch on a Sunday afternoon. 

 Easy Shortcrust Pastry


Makes: 450 g approximately

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 125g butter, cut into chunks
  • 250g plain flour
  • 50ml water or more if needed
  • 1 good pinch of salt 

The How to bit

  1. In a food processor or a large bowl, mix the flour with the salt and butter. Blend until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs and there are no chunks of butter left.
  2. Add the egg yolk and just enough water to make a non-sticky dough. Wrap and refrigerate if you have time or use immediately.

To Fill -

You can make a filling like Cheese and Onion or to make it even easier fill with left overs from dinner these ones were filled with left over chicken curry and were delicious, it has work with left over cottage pie too.

Snack Ideas

  • Cheese sticks 
  • Yoghurts 
  • Rice cakes 
  • Fresh Fruit - we always included some form of fruit
  • Carrot Sticks 
  • Trail Mix ( no nuts just in case )
  • Dry Cereal 
  • Fresh Fruit Jelly
  • Popcorn 
  • Cereal Bars check out my post on Lunchbox treats

How To Make Mandarin Jelly 


  • 2 tins of Mandarins blitzed in a blender
  • make up to 400ml of liquid with orange juice if required 
  • 1 sachet of  gelatine 
  • 2tsp of honey to sweeten.

The How to bit 

  1. Warm the mandarins in a pot with the honey - do not boil 
  2. Take off the heat and sprinkle over the gelatine - whisk in quickly 
  3. Pour into containers and allow to cool then place in a fridge for 2-3 hours to set.  
The Lunch box used is a NUDE FOOD MOVER  The Nude Food Movers range by Smash, is designed with a space for everything to eliminate the need for portion packing and wrapping. All products are also BPA free . I am in no way affiliated or being paid by them,  my daughter's had these boxes for the last 2 years and they are fantastic so I am recommending them on that basis alone.

Hope your little or big ones back to school goes well and isn't too traumatic on them or you :)

Good luck everyone xx