Episode 13 | Lunchbox Inspiration

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Are you ever stuck and tired when it comes to making a packed lunch box for the children every day? Well this week on Farmer's Kitchen we have the solution. Lyndsay Bettles is in the kitchen with Helen using Spinneys fresh ingredients to give you some ideas for the lunchbox.

Watch the full episode below including a look into where Spinney's amazing 'For the love of bread' sourdough bread comes from. 

Healthy and Quick Lunchbox Ideas!

Do you struggle through the week to make nutritional lunchboxes for the little ones? Here's some tasty and healthy soloutions from Farmer's Kitchen presented by Spinneys Dubai with Lyndsay Bettles from I eat my peas.

Posted by Dubai Eye 103.8 News. Talk. Sport on Thursday, October 17, 2019

LUNCHBOX INSPIRATION

However enthusiastic you are about food the daily lunchbox(es) can break even the brightest of spirits. I believe that you only need to look to achieve three things: colour, freshness and simplicity. Life as a parent is already too busy to cook elaborate lunchbox fillings but that doesn’t need to mean that lunchboxes are dull and boring. Below are three fun and creative ideas to make your daily lunchbox filling stress free but firstly lets run through what food groups your lunchbox needs to cover on a daily basis:

1- Carbohydrates should form the backbone of your child’s lunchbox- they need fuel and energy to make sure they can concentrate and enjoy school or nursery.

2- Protein -they don’t need a huge amount of protein but always include it and aim for 2-3 different forms over the week- remember that beans, eggs and dairy also count towards this.

3- Fruit + Vegetables - eating the rainbow is one of my number one mantras and its so important to ensure your family are getting the necessary vitamins and minerals. However, we have to accept that not all children (or adults) like the same fruits and vegetables so don’t get hung up if your child won’t eat something- instead find something else they enjoy. Aim for at least 2-3 ‘colours’ in my daughters’ lunchboxes and around 2-3 handfuls of fruit and vegetables.

Pick’n’ mix Salad w Nut-free Energy Balls

Get your children involved in the process of choosing and preparing their own food- this empowers them to make choices and can also be great fun.

Pre-cook your child’s favourite pasta shape and give them a variety of different toppings to choose to make their own pasta ‘salad.’ My daughters like to choose from cherry tomatoes, peas, peppers, sweet potato, mini mozzarella, grated cheese, kale pesto and tinned tuna.

At the same time ask them to choose two different colours for their fruit portion - help them to decide by telling them about the different ‘superpowers’ the different colours give them. For example: Red food gives you a strong heart. Orange food helps you see in the dark. Blue food gives you a strong brain. Yellow food heals your cut and bruises.

These Nut-free Date Balls are a great little treat and so much fun (and just the right amount of messy) for making with kids!

  • 100g dates, de-stoned
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 tbsp flax meal

Whiz the dates and coconut oil for 1-2 minutes or until broken down into small pieces. Add the chia, cocoa and flax and blitz for 2-3 minutes until you can squeeze the mixture together to create a sticky dough. Form into 6-8 energy balls and chill for 2 hours.

Rainbow Mezze

Exposing your children to as any colours, textures and shapes is a great way to get them to try new foods and get excited about food. Remember that children will often be more adventurous in different environments and surrounded by different people so lunchboxes are a good place to try something new.

Fill your lunchbox with an array of fruit and vegetables- cut into different shapes and sizes and arranged as a rainbow.

Add a pot of hummus to dip the vegetables in (a great source of protein for vegetarians or vegans), some toasted sourdough ‘soldiers’ (carbohydrate) and a hardboiled egg (protein).

Leftovers LunchBox

Try to keep lunchbox preparation simple and short- there is no need to spend longer than 5 minutes per box. Using leftovers reduces waste at home and preparation time- we love roast chicken or roasted vegetables.

Roast chicken is great with no-cook couscous [Recipe: simply put 1-2 tbsp couscous in the lunchbox and cover with double the amount of water- leave for 20 minutes and its ready to eat- no cooking required!] I add chopped apricots or dates for sweetness and if you have leftover squash or sweet potato this would work well too.

Add greek yoghurt in a separate compartment and sweeten with honey or maple syrup and use bitesize cutters to cut watermelon into fun shapes for visual stimulation (or just serve in chunks).

Finally, its very easy to get caught up emotionally when feeding out children but it is important to focus on making food and mealtimes fun and relaxed so don’t worry if the lunchbox comes home half eaten- exposing children to different and new foods is a journey and for some it takes a little longer- (or sometimes they just aren't that hungry some days)!

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