The Mini-Monsters have been back in school for a while now which means ideas for interring packed lunches can be a bit thin on the ground. Every class has a Magnificent Mummy, you know her… the one who looks like she has rolled out of a photo shoot in the morning rather than the wrong side of bed, her children consistently win trophies and medals and of course, her Instagram is just dripping with pictures of the adorable, yet nutritionally balanced lunch she shows together in the mornings. When faced with carrot cut to look like fish and sandwiches that have more personality than most TV presenters it can be tempting to just throw in the towel and put in for a bulk order of lunchables.
Don’t let Instagram and Pintrest get you down, lunch doesn’t need to be a masterpiece or filled with the latest unpronounceable superfood to be a good lunch, here are some of the recipes we have been having success with.
Build your own sandwiches. if your child consistently leaves sandwiches barely touched, it might be because they don’t like the texture of soggy sandwiches. Try providing your child will all the materials needed to make their own sandwich at lunchtime rather than making it ahead of time. Not only will they appreciate the independence but they are much more likely to eat something they have put together themselves.
Googley eyes. This is a Monster Mummy secret weapon, so listen to me carefully; Buy the biggest bag of these suckers that you can find and put them on everything. Yogurt pot? Googly Eyes. Tangerine? Googly eyes. Water bottle? Googly eyes. You get the idea. For kids who struggle with making friends, this technique will give them a whole host of smiley faces each lunchtime and can be a good starting point for conversation with classmates
Plan ahead. Prep a couple of different lunch items in bulk and in advance. A week’s worth of grapes, cherry tomatoes or cubes of cheese on a skewer can be quickly made up and stored in the fridge ready to go into lunches. A batch of pasta or potato salad will easily last a week in the fridge, is a crowd pleaser and can be made with all sorts of different variations. You can also enlist your mini-monsters to help with prepping their weekly lunches; tasks, like skewering grapes or helping to measure out and mix salads, connects kids to their food and will also help you keep on top of the ever-changing list of likes and dislikes.