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Ideas for finger food for 4 year olds packed lunch

(20 Posts)
nappyaddict Tue 21-Sep-10 14:05:28

DS is about to start reception but can't feed himself with cutlery. (He can use a fork if you stab it for him) I want to do him a packed lunch that he can eat as independently as possible. I have some ideas, but wondered if there's any I haven't thought of? DS gets bored of food easily so need to make it as varied as I can. My ideas so far are:

Sandwiches, bagels, savoury muffins, savoury scones, mrs crimbles wholegrain organic salt free rice cakes

Cubes of cheese and pineapple, mozarella balls, cucumber, tomato, carrot, celery, lettuce

Quiche cut up into wedges

Slices of chicken, beef, turkey, lamb (he especially likes chicken or turkey rubbed in a bit of olive oil, black pepper, parsley and thyme, chicken or turkey with garlic and herb butter, lamb with mint)

Hard boiled egg cut up into wedges


Homemade fish fingers

Yoghurt pouches/yoghurt drinks

Fruit salad

Homemade banana bread/flapjacks/cereal bars/fruit loaf (cranberries, orange, nuts/seeds, blueberries, blackberries, apple)

Cold homemade banana rice pudding/ banana custard/crumble/stewed fruit (would need help with spooning these though)

Frittata/savoury pancakes/omelette/chicken goujons/potato wedges, eggy bread, fish cakes, potato cakes
hash browns, potato waffles (will these be nice cold?)

Pasta salad/wraps/pittas/cold chilli (not sure if too messy?)

Plain homemade popcorn, plain unsalted crisps, home made croissants (would these be allowed? They have a healthy eating policy.)

Is peanut butter allowed? We have homemade peanut butter sometimes but not sure if nuts are allowed in schools generally or does it vary?

nappyaddict Tue 21-Sep-10 14:08:23

He likes homemade potato salad, coleslaw, waldorf salad, florida salad but I think that will be too messy as well for school. Would coronation chicken or curried egg mayo work as a filling or again too messy? (He probably has the eating skills of a 12-18 month old?)

snice Tue 21-Sep-10 14:10:58

most schools wont allow any nuts

snice Tue 21-Sep-10 14:14:03

If his eating skils are so poor I would think he would struggle with some of the things you're suggesting-will he be able to open up the containers and seal them up again afterwards? Otherwise he'll be leaking stuff out of his lunchbox all afternoon

ShatnersBassoon Tue 21-Sep-10 14:16:57

I reckon you've thought longer and harder than the average parent, so I wouldn't worry about it. Some of the above will be fine.

Sidge Tue 21-Sep-10 14:30:37

He'll never eat all that in one day! shock

Sorry, more seriously now; all that you've put down there is fine. I would avoid all nuts until the school tell you if it's ok - many schools are nut free.

Most schools do have lunchtime assistants to help them open their tupperware pots etc but children are encouraged to be as independent as possible.

Remember they don't get that long to eat really, so if he is slow keep his lunch small and simple. Use sandwich bags that he can open easily rather than pots, and pre-cut it into fingers or chunks.

My DD2 (who has lunchtime help for her SN) has a sandwich cut into fingers with not-too-messy fillings, 2 little cocktail sausages, a pot of chopped fruit, a finger of cheese and a banana.

nappyaddict Tue 21-Sep-10 14:56:47

I was going to use pots covered in cling film cos he can't do lids and then a little sandwich bag to put in any left over stuff he doesn't eat. Would that be OK?

Sidge Tue 21-Sep-10 15:31:02

Bear in mind that lunchbags get chucked on and off the lunch trolleys by the children so pots with film on may well fall apart.

Leftovers won't go back in a bag, it will be thrown back in the lunchbag if it's anything like most schools!

clemetteattlee Tue 21-Sep-10 15:36:06

My DD (no SN) has packed lunches two days a week and I went to lots of effort for the first couple until she started begging me to give her "what the others are having". By this she meant something simple and quisk so she can eat and rush out to play with her friends. Today she had half a cheese and pesto sandwich, five Ritz crackers, a pot of grapes and a froob.

How much does your DS usually eat at lunchtime? I would plan on giving him about 75% of what he would usually have at home.

nappyaddict Wed 22-Sep-10 01:52:36

Well for breakfast at 8am he had a bowl of cereal, 10-10:30 was 1.5 rounds of beans on toast and at 1:30 2 babybels, cucumber, carrot, cherry tomatoes, some crackers with peanut butter, some strawberries and a yoghurt.

In his lunch box I have put a container of 1 orange, about 10 grapes and 5 strawberries, a babybel, a yoghurt, a banana, a sandwich, some fruit loaf and some raisins.

strandedatsea Wed 22-Sep-10 02:02:47

Wow that sounds like a lot for lunch! I give my dd's cold pasta, cold hot dogs and sausages, tinned fruit, melon, bagels, cheerios, dried fruit, biscuits, crackers and cheese, yoghurts.....

CheerfulYank Wed 22-Sep-10 02:13:59

You could do cubes of things on a skewer to make it fun, could he handle that? It would be good fine motor practice too. (Or practise? Sorry we just have the one spelling here! )

nappyaddict Wed 22-Sep-10 02:23:52

I thought about that but can you get blunt ended skewers?

CheerfulYank Wed 22-Sep-10 02:24:42

I think you can or you can break them off. Could get chopsticks and use those?

nappyaddict Wed 22-Sep-10 02:35:06

Can you get those from the supermarket?

Smash09 Wed 22-Sep-10 12:13:16

I think your best bet, mess wise, is to go for the drier options like the breads, rice cakes, cracker sort of things, and just vary the flavours as much as poss.
He won't have that uch time to eat the spoony stuff anyway so I think sarnies and crackers are best!

deaconblue Wed 22-Sep-10 14:36:00

Gosh what a lot of effort. Ds had a cheese wrap, a yogurt and some slices of salami for lunch today - mind you he wouldn't eat half the nice things you are planning for your ds.

nappyaddict Thu 23-Sep-10 09:10:34

DS needs a lot of encourgement to eat so anything weird and wonderful gets the thumbs up from him.

nappyaddict Wed 29-Sep-10 01:53:27

Wholemeal muffins, pittas and bagels went down well. Have cut them in half and used as an alternative to sandwiches and put pizza on them too.

kreecherlivesupstairs Wed 29-Sep-10 10:45:10

Small pies, spring rolls and mini pizzas are what my DD likes as an alternative to 'boring' sandwiches. Occasionally at the weekends we make marmite twirls. A slab of ready made and rolled puff pastry, cut into strips, spread with marmite, rolled into either twirls or pinwheels and baked. She loves those.

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