Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Packed Lunch Inspiration - #HartleysYourLunchbox Challenge

As the summer holidays draw to an end, I am preparing for my children's return to school. That means getting back into our routines and getting myself organised.

As Freddy is starting Year 3 in September, he no longer gets a free school lunch so making packed lunches is back on the list of things to do. It is important that he gets a nutritious, yummy lunch that will fill him up but is still easy for me to make in the morning.

Britmums and Hartley's are challenging bloggers to come up with some ideas for quick, easy and nutritious lunchbox suggestions.  Hartley's currently have a special promotion on their pots of No Added Sugar Jelly Pots, where you can collect 12 special edition green lids to claim a free lunchbox and some funky stickers to personalise it! Find out more at



Here are some of my top tips for packed lunches:

  • Freddy isn't always the biggest fan of sandwiches. He gets easily bored with eating the same food day in, day out, so we like to offer him alternatives to bread. One of his favourites is corn cakes. Topped with a dairy based spread (such as cream cheese and mushroom pate) and some veggies such as sweetcorn, chopped cherry tomato or red pepper, they are a tasty, filling alternative to a cheese butty! Wrapped in foil, they survive in a lunchbox pretty well.


  • Make it fun!  We don't all have the time or inclination in the morning to create an elaborate Pokemon themed bento lunch for our little ones. However, anyone can take a minute to write a message on a banana! Or add a little note written on a napkin to let your child know you're thinking of them on their first days back. A personal touch like that can help with your child's confidence and remind them of home.

  • Add two or their five a day to their lunchbox or it's difficult to be sure they get enough fruit and vegetables in their diet. Fresh fruit or salad is great at lunchtime: plums, bananas, a pot of grapes or strawberries, a box of raisins, carrot and cucumber sticks or a small green salad are healthy additions. Add some chopped veggies to a sandwich, pitta or wrap filling or cracker topping. A smoothie is another good way of adding to their daily fruit and veg quota.

  • Add a treat!  Hartley's sugar free jelly is convenient, refreshing and flavoursome. It is suitable for vegetarians too. Just don't forget a spoon! 

  • Keep kids hydrated by including a bottle of water with their lunch. Our tap water is not great where we live so we use mineral water instead. Buying individual bottles is a really expensive way of doing it. Buy a big 2 l bottle (35p in Lidl) and pour it into a refillable, sports top drinking bottle and save a fortune across the school year.

  • Buy a small flask and give the children a hot lunchtime meal of soup. A good chunky vegetable or tomato soup and a brown bread roll is perfect for when the weather gets a bit colder.

This post is an entry for Britmums #HartleyYourLunchbox Linky challenge sponspored by Hartley's Jelly.


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