If your kids don’t like sandwiches, then packing their school pack lunch can be incredibly frustrating. They might not be exciting, but the sandwich is the staple of the school packed lunch box: they’re easy to make, and easy to eat. But don’t despair: just because your small people won’t eat sandwiches doesn’t mean you can’t pack them a delicious and nutritious lunch every day.
From veggie muffins to crudité-filled bento boxes, here are some of our favourite packed lunch ideas for kids that hate sandwiches:
Picky Bento Boxes
If your kids prefer to snack than to eat a proper meal then why not invest in a sectioned bento box that you can add a whole variety of healthy and nutritional snacks to. Use each section to add a different snack to create a colourful and appealing lunch.
Some great options include hard boiled eggs, crudités of carrot, cucumber and pepper, raisins and other dried fruits (most schools will ask that you leave the nuts at home as these can be an allergy risk) and to add some protein to the mix why not include chunks of chicken, ham, or chunky flakes of salmon. The overall dish will taste delicious and be visually appealing too: no child will be able to resist.
Super Salad Boxes
There aren’t many children that would get excited about a big bowl of lettuce, but a super loaded salad box contains so much more than just leaves! Make a standard salad base of veggies that you know your little one will love (cucumber, tomatoes, chunks of pepper and peppery rocket leaves are all popular choices) and then add some exciting tummy fillers on top. Cooked pasta shapes or croutons are great for adding carbs whilst hard boiled eggs, chicken breast slices and flakes of tuna are all good, traditional protein options.
For fun, why not create shapes in your salad box to bring a smile to their face when they open their lunch? A monster is an easy option: Olives make great eyes whilst almond flakes can be scary monster teeth. And don’t forget to add a big spoonful of salad dressing to add even more flavour (boys may call this monster blood)!
Savoury Quorn and Cheese Muffins
A perfect lunch time treat for fussy or reluctant eaters, quorn and cheese muffins contain all the lunchtime nutrients they’ll need whilst looking just like their favourite fun dessert. Simply combine cheese and quorn ham with flour, eggs and milk and pour into muffin cases. Depending on how your child feels about veggies you could also add diced tomato, spinach, or finely sliced courgette.
The best thing about these muffins is that they can be baked in batches and then frozen, meaning that whilst your kids will take a home cooked lunch to school every day, you’ll only actually have to make it once a month!
Pizza Pitta Pockets
You might think of pitta pockets as being a lunch that should only be eaten warm, but cold pizza pitta pockets are a great lunchtime option. And the good news is that, as well as being super-easy to make, they can also be prepared the night before and popped into the fridge, saving you vital time on those busy weekday mornings.
Simply slice your pitta pocket in half and stuff it full of your favourite pizza toppings: chicken, ham, sweetcorn, mushrooms, tomatoes and sliced peppers are all great options. Add a little tomato puree, stuff with cheese and pop under the grill until the cheese is melted and turning golden brown. Wait for the pitta pocket to cool before popping it in a sealed lunchbox in your fridge and it will be just as delicious by lunchtime the next day.
Homemade Mini Quiche
Another homemade dish that can be served hot or cold, a homemade mini quiche is a great go to for a packed lunch box. Easy to eat without cutlery and prepare and freeze far in advance, having a homemade mini quiche in your lunchbox repertoire will immediately make you look like a super mum!
Unless you love cooking, why not cheat by buying a ready to roll pastry sheet to make your quiche cases? Then simply whisk together eggs with cheese and a little milk and pour into your cases with your preferred toppings. Quorn and onion, mixed vegetable, and tomato and spinach are all popular options that your child might enjoy. Bake until golden and set, and take your crown as the queen of the lunch box!