lunchboxguideSeptember is here and with the children back to school it’s time to start thinking of more lunchbox ideas to keep the lunches interesting!

Two of my boys take pack lunches, and I do find myself running out of ideas from time to time, or resorting to the same old favourites.

We recently tried some of the new Warburtons products to “liven up lunch” – Square sandwich wraps and sandwich thins. I also try to vary the sandwiches by mixing it up between sliced bread, bread rolls, tortilla wraps or pitta.

The boys favourite sandwich filling is cheese. Also nutella or peanut butter but obviously not too often! Some other ideas are:

Or:

  • Rice Salad
  • Pasta Salad
  • Cous cous Salad

As well as the main sandwich or salad item, I also like to find variety for the extras that I include.

We were sent some samples from Yu who have a great range of healthy snacks.

IMG_9091There range includes:

  • Fruit Chews
  • Yu-Bar
  • Granola
  • Fruit Pieces covered in yoghurt

They are all a great size for lunch boxes and are made from real fruit. I have tried them myself too, and really like the taste. I’m really happy for the children to have these as a part of their lunch or as a snack. They do taste quite sweet, especially the yu-bar which means the children enjoy eating them but I know as it is made of fruit that it does have goodness in it.

IMG_9140We have also tried out a variety of fruit pouches, including fruit smoothie pouches from Ella’s Kitchen and 100% Fruit pouches from Cow & Gate

IMG_8975These are really handy to eat straight out of the packet, and provide an easy portion of fruit. Especially for children who are fussy or not keen on whole fruit, these could be a solution. Mr T will only eat banana so these are good to try and encourage him. I have been told that sucking from these kind of pouches is also good for his mouth muscles! I also like that it is really mess free as compared to giving fruit puree in a pot with a spoon. Mr Z would not have any of the pouches in his packed lunch as he said they are too babyish. Although you do often get weaning food in these pouches, fruit puree can be eaten at any age and I have even tried the cow & gate ones myself but it will depend on the child whether they are happy to include them in the lunch box or not. My younger two would have no objections to it.

walkersCrisps: As long as it is not every day, I am happy for the boys to have crisps in their packed lunch. We have tried a couple of varieties from walkers recently:

My boys preferred the Hoops and Crosses from these two types but it is worth trying them both to see which you like.

You can also get fruit crisps from brands such as Nims Fruit Crisps. We personally didn’t love these as much but they are nice in small quantities and could be a healthier option to include now and again. Our favourite is the apple flavour.

We have also been trying out a couple of different drinks, all of which have been really popular in the boys lunch boxes.

Kids Blends from Cawston Press

IMG_9055These come in a blend of either apple & mango or apple & pear and are 60% juice and 40% water which makes them a lighter tasting juice and also seems healthier than 100% juice as it is less calories and will be kinder on teeth. Each carton is 200ml which is an ideal size for lunch boxes. The boys enjoyed the taste (so did I – I tried one too :D) and I really like that it has a high water content, especially for Mr R who is only 2 years old.

Little Crackers Juices

IMG_8985These are also a blend, but in more unusual flavours. They come in blackcurrant and cherry or pear and vanilla, which is nice to add some  variety to the usual flavours. They come with cheeky characters on the packaging and 1% of profits goes to support the Rainbow Trust. These are 100% natural fruit juice, with just a splash of water added. Again, I am happy to see water added to this to dilute the juice a little and the boys enjoyed the taste of the juice.

Ribena Plus

IMG_8934We tried this out recently through Bzz agent and the boys really enjoyed these. It does have less fruit juice content than the other juices mentioned but I am happy for them to have it now and again. The plus refers to added vitamins. Depending on the flavour different vitamins are included with some having added calcium (marked as healthy bones) and others having vitamins A, C and E (marked as immunity support) I do like the idea of this especially for Mr T who’s diet can be a bit restricted.

I would buy all of these drinks in future as its good to mix and match to stop the children getting bored.

lunchboxcollageWe have also been sent a great personalised water bottle to review recently from It’s Your Story. This is a really cute and different product and is great for making lunch times more fun and encouraging children to drink more water.

ItsyourstoryTo make the water bottle you choose which design your child would prefer, from 14 available options then upload a picture so that their head can be added in the design. Mr Z chose the farmer design himself as he found it really funny

farmer

Sample of the design from the website so you can see the details more clearly

The design has come out really clearly on the water bottle and looks great. It is a metal water bottle (aluminium) which seems better quality and more durable than some of the plastic ones we have had, and is a really good size at 500ml yet is still pretty light to carry. The bottles are available in either white or silver, and ours is a white one. I have found it doesn’t chip or scratch easily. As well as livening up your child’s lunch box it would also be a nice gift.

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Have you tried anything new in your child’s lunchbox this year? Let me know in the comments.