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Share your top tips for packed lunches with Flora and you could win a £200 John Lewis voucher NOW CLOSED(128 Posts)
The team at Flora have asked us to find out about Mumsnetters' top tips for packed lunches.
Here's what Flora have to say, "We know a fair bit about sarnies at Flora but we understand that making them perfect for healthy lunches can be a challenge. We're keen to help you keep the peace at lunchtime, so whether youre tussling with fussy eaters or just trying to broaden their taste buds we would love to hear your thoughts!"
So what are your top tips for making packed lunches for your DCs? Do you try to get some variety with different types of sandwiches and wraps? Or maybe you keep it simple? What about snacks? Do you try to keep them healthy with a portion of fruit? Or perhaps you add a chocolate bar as a treat?
Whatever your top tips for packed lunches are, Flora would love to hear them.
If you're looking for ways to make packed lunches a bit more fun, why not enter Flora's Facebook competition for a chance to win a sandwich cutter in the shape of your DC's best piece of art!
Everyone who posts on this thread will be entered into a prize draw where one winner will receive a £200 John Lewis voucher.
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Thanks and good luck,
DD doesn't like change so her lunch is generally the same, with a change in the flavour of yogurt for example. She generally has a cream cheese sandwich, 2 pieces of fruit, some squares of cheddar, a yogurt and water. The odd time is a pasta salad and cooked cobettes of corn which she'll eat cold. A creature of ha it like myself!
I do a packed lunch every day for me and ds. He has either sandwiches with various fillings, normally some kind of meat, paste or tuna, sometimes jam. Sometimes for a change I give him a sausage roll with a few cherry tomatoes. I usually give him one or two of the following as well
Fruit (although this always gets left)
Muffin or Jaffa cakes or similar
The key is variety. He gets bored with the same stuff.
I have soup or sandwich and fruit for my lunch.
I make packed lunches for 3dc each morning, they like grated cheese, ham, i try to buy really nice rolls with seeds. I use apples, satsumas, grapes and boxes of raisins. A carton of juice and a crunch bar. Occasionally swapping the crunch bar for a homemade cake or flapjack.
I have a child allergic to dairy and all my packed lunch tips have come from here. I count to 5, 1- bottle of water; 2- piece of fruit, different to the one he gets for his afternoon snack (morning fruit provided by school) 3- main event, usually a sandwich made with homemade whole meal bread (bread maker!). This has ham, marmite, coleslaw etc in; 4 - treat - I make mini muffins or cakes in half terms and holidays , cut them up to very small portions and freeze individually then bung in lunchbox I thaw before lunchtime. 5 - something else - a few olives or cuc sticks / carrots with it without hummus to dip them in or some dried fruit etc etc.
If I could use dairy lunch would be more varied! In the winter he often takes in something hot in his mini thermos with fruit and cake. I do the same for DH and me when I'm working we more often have leftovers though as we have access to a microwave.
I hate packed lunches with a passion. DC have school dinners but take packed lunches to holiday club. So I only have 8 weeks to do thankfully.
I keep it simple. DD gets very anxious about not having anything to odd. So its a cheese or ham sandwich, fruit crisps or chocolate (it is holiday time after all!) And bottle of squash. I try to buy in advance and plan it out. But DH has been known to eat all the bread rolls which means buying rolls on route and DD making her roll at lunch - which she thinks is brilliant fun!
My packed lunch ephiphany was to understand that my ds does not want or need an endless variety in packed lunches. We eat a varied diet at home and his usual school dinners, so , if I need to make him a packed lunch, I just stick to a cheese sandwich, a piece of fruit and a packet of crisps, he's just as happy and I have saved on all the faffing about.
Use a mini ice pack to keep everything reasonably cool. Room temperature yogurt is so punishing.
I love a good packed lunch! I love big salads, like a tabbouleh, a cous cous and roasted veg one, or a soya bean, butter bean and avocado one.
I like more interesting sandwiches, like a flatbread with hummus and grated carrot.
Mmm. Hungry now!
Ours tend to have a variety of food - favourites are cold pasta salad with separate dressing which they add themselves. They also enjoy tuna mayo, ham, cheese sandwiches. I use a mini cookie cutter to cut them as it makes them more about interesting and bite sized, also the lunch supervisors pounce on them and demand they eat the crusts. As crusts hold no magic formula for success I would rather they have a trouble free lunchtime - the ducks like my approach too!
They also usually have a cake, smoothie and jelly, all of which I freeze in bulk and put in their bags to keep the other contents fresher while they stew in their classrooms. Also makes it more straightforward as I just have to grab them from the freezer.
I usually add a bit of fruit/ veg too. They much prefer packed lunch to school lunches which seem to be hard pasta, chips, pizza. Not sure what I will do when ds gets free lunches.
DS is 6 and has packed lunches at least 4 days a week. He has a sandwich (usually wholemeal), a tub of fruit with plain yogurt, and something else, such as cheese, carrot and cucumber, cherry tomatoes, a hardboiled egg. He won't always eat it all, mainly because he's in a hurry to play. Sandwich fillings include cheese, egg, tuna, cream cheese, chicken, salad and occasionally ham.
Yes I am uptight about nutrition
He likes pasta or couscous for a change sometimes. And once in a while he has a cake or a cereal bar or something. School lunches are a carb fest on a daily basis so I'd rather he avoided them most days. I'm looking into a soup container for winter.
Dd takes one three days a week.
She usually has a dry rye open sandwich with cheese or ham. I put the topping on the bread, but I imagine she actually eats them seperately. She doesn't like butter on her bread.
Then she has some sort of crunchy veg - cucumber and celery are the favourite, some fruit, a cereal bar, and usually water to drink but sometimes diluted fruit juice.
If I put too much in she doesn't eat it - she often eats the fruit and veg when she gets home anyway. I try and vary the fruit each week, I probably stick to cucumber more than I should because I know she'll eat it. I would like to put nuts in, but worry about the safety of it, so she has nuts as a snack at home instead.
My two tend to have packed lunches in the summer.
Last summer they always ate everything, but never bothered finishing their drink.
I wanted them to get more fluid, so I started to make sugar free jelly in small plastic pots. I added different fruits to it each day, sometimes fresh things, sometimes frozen fruit which defrosted fast in the heat of the water in the jelly.
They always ate up all the jelly so I felt like they were getting more fluid via the jelly, plus one of their five a day! And it was very cheap as one sachet of jelly made four pots. Win win win.
DD1 likes lots of different things in a packed lunch. She likes cheese or sausage sandwiches, or cheese and crackers or sometimes ham & mushroom pizza. She likes any kind of bread - white/brown/seeded, bagel, wrap, rolls. I try to vary it a bit. Sometimes she'll have ham/chicken/tuna, but if she got to chose she'd always pick cheese or sausage.
She loves a few cherry tomatoes, grapes, chopped apple, cucumber sticks etc.
She usually has a fromage frais or yogurt.
If she could have her way she'd have crisps & chocolate too.
A sandwich/wrap with a savoury filling, usually cheese, DS will eat the same thing over again. Fruit - to make it more exciting I sometimes give grapes/blueberries, esp if it is a trip. Yoghurt - often the tubes are on special offer and I stock up. +/- mini cheddars.
If it is a trip I also add a homemade cake/biscuit. The homemade aspect somehow makes me feel it is healthier than a shop bought one, even though I have seen the amount of sugar and butter in it!
My tip is to make the sandwich the evening before and put it in the fridge. The only time it didn't quite work was when I put sliced tomatoes in, the bread became soggy.
I rarely have sandwiches as I get bored quickly, but get/make the best bread you can afford. I buy nice M&S bread/bake at a weekend so I have a few different types and then freeze. Never have the same bread two days in a row - much more exciting!
I do pack up for three very day. 2 x DDs and 1 for DH.
DH hates cheese but will eat pretty much anything else. DDs like plain stuff like ham/cheese etc
I did try making up batches of sandwiches and freezing them, but they're not the same as freshly made, so I instead freeze yogurts / fromage frais and use them as mini ice packs to keep everything else cool, and they are defrosted by lunchtime.
I also use little pots of frozen berries in the same way, DDs love berries.
I used to buy lots of little boxes of raisins etc, now I just buy a big bag of mixed dried fruit and put it into pots. Saves a fortune!!!
Salad is also put into little pots, sliced cucumber and tomato - DDs can add to their sandwiches if they wish, but the sandwiches won't go soggy in the meantime.
As it starts to get colder, I will use mini thermos food flasks and put things like stew, soup, pasta and sauce etc in there. Dd1 is used to this, but dd2 is only in reception so will see how she gets on.
DH will have anything left over in his.
Also add in usual things like fruit and carrot sticks.
Biggest tip for me is organise it all the night before and fridge it - saves me from acting like a headless chicken in a morning!!!!
My ds takes a packed lunch for nursery twice a week and I always try to put something different in it which is healthy. I always try to give him homemade bread which I make in the mornings (well the bread maker does!).
I cut the sandwiches into different shapes depending on the time of year ie Christmas trees!
Another favourite of his is to squish the bread with a rolling pin, put the filling in, roll it up like a sausage then cut into pieces. It's perfect finger food.
If I haven't been organised with the bread he likes cheese and crackers or sausages and cheese like a picky lunch.
I always put in fruit ready peeled or chopped and a yoghurt or rice pudding. He then gets a homemade cake or biscuit too.
Basically anything which is easy to eat, tasty and tempting gets him to eat his lunch. Nothing ever comes home so he must be happy!
Try adding something unexpected. We put a treat like a muffin or gingerbread man/woman in DS's lunchbox but one day, when he unwrapped the gingerbread woman, there were two mini gingerbread babies. I hope it brought a smile to his face. I also always add a sticker to one of the things that I have wrapped for him (he's in reception) and also cut his sandwiches using a cookie cutter.
Wraps with peanut butter or honours cut into small rolls. Dd loves it. Always a peach and a little tub of strawberries.
Can I just clarify when I said honours wraps I meant houmous
DD has pretty much the same thing every day. It appears that children quite like this. She doesn't like crusts so I use a shaped sandwich cutter and her favourite shape is dinosaur. I try out different things, but have found that he last thing she eats is her fruit, so if I give her more than she will eat, she won't eat her fruit.
Standard packed lunch for DS is sandwich (sometimes wrap or roll etc), some veg (carrot sticks, cucumber, tomato, peppers), some fruit and a something else. The something else depends on what his appetite is like or how kind I'm feeling! So it could be a box of raisin, cheese string, bag of crisps etc. He gets a bottle of water or sometimes a juice box.
He's got a Sistema sandwich box and also a Sistema snack box with two compartments for his fruit and veg. Fruit is always chopped and ready to eat, otherwise he won't bother. He's recently discovered satsumas so I peel and segment one for his lunchbox. A bit of lemon juice on apple slices stops them going brown before lunchtime. He's got a small ice pack from Wilkos to keep things cool. I know it works as I've got the same for my lunchbox!
My 'kids' are teenagers so my top tip for when they want a packed lunch is to get them to make it themselves!
They generally choose a sandwich with ham or chicken, juice, a banana or apple or satsuma and that's about it, maybe a cereal bar.
DD has soup in a Thermos food flask and sandwich or bread and butter. Plus fresh and dried fruit, maybe occasionally a bag of crisps.
DS (9) now makes his own
as he is too fussy for words. He generally has a sandwich thin or roll with Bovril or ham, sometimes crisps, fruit and sometimes an Actimel. He always puts an ice pack in and he never clears up properly afterwards.
DD also likes a hard boiled egg. She fantasises about a packed lunch she saw in a Frances book, where the boy badger (I think it was a badger...) had a hard boiled egg, sandwich fingers, cucumber strips etc etc and a cup of custard. Very sophisticated.
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