Please ask Sue if you would like your child to be part of our Lunch Club. Just provide a healthy balanced packed lunch for your child and we arrange the rest. The club finishes at 1.40, we ask if you can please be prompt with pick up and stick to this time. The cost of lunch club is £7.00, but if you claim funding you receive £3.62 towards the cost.

Please remember that operate a nut free environment, so no nutella or cereal bars with nuts.

School and Nursery Packed Lunches

There are many factors at play when we think about pulling together a packed lunch for our children. We want it to be healthy, delicious, fuel our children’s brains through the afternoon, be easy to pull together and pass the ‘peer-pressure’ test. We also need to bear in mind if there are any restrictions or guidelines that the school has in place e.g. a no nut or Healthy Eating policies.

Get the Basics Right

Packed lunch boxes should contain something from each of the following groups:

Carbohydrate
Ideally make this wholemeal or wholegrain to help keep your child energised and focused through the afternoon. This will provide a slow release of energy through the afternoon and will help children to concentrate during the afternoon

Protein
Most lunch boxes don’t contain enough protein. A growing child needs plenty of protein to help them grow. Protein is essential for building and maintaining muscles, organs, and the immune system.

Calcium
Nutrients that are required for bone growth and development are crucial. Aim to add a portion of calcium in your child’s lunchbox. Try out non-dairy sources of calcium e.g.canned salmon or sardines, homous made with white beans, chopped orange pieces, sesame seeds

Fruit
Add some fruit that will still look delicious after being carried in a lunch box on the school run and after being thrown around in the playground. Satsumas, small pot of berries or grapes, chopped pear or plum. Try wrapping fruit in a piece of kitchen roll and securing with a band to protect it.

Vegetable
Cherry tomatoes, carrot sticks, pepper sticks, cucumber slices, radishes, celery sticks can all be easily added to a lunch box.

Drink
Water is the perfect drink for a lunchbox. Diluted fruit juice, a carton of milk or a home-made smoothie can also be a great addition. Watch out for sugary drinks or branded cartons as well as little fruit juice cartons which can contain 4.6 teaspoons of sugar.

Branded Lunchbox Fillers – Be Aware!

There are so many branded products for your child’s lunchbox that are easily accessible in Supermarkets and usually heavily branded with cartoon characters, rewards and prizes to make them as attractive as possible to children. Unfortunately many of these are highly processed, containing limited nutrients, high levels of sugar and/or salt as well as artificial preservatives, colourings and sweeteners. These are best avoided. An online shop can prevent pester power!

Equipment

Most children’s lunch bags are insulated but think about adding in a little freezer pouch to keep the food nice and fresh. Remember, lunchboxes are usually stacked in the classroom or nursery until lunchtime and are not kept in the fridge. In the winter, some children love having a hot lunch. A little flask or tupperwear can be great for packing soups, stews and casseroles for a warming, comforting lunch. Bento lunch boxes are also easy to come by and can provide a perfect way to box up an appetising and healthy lunch. Metal water bottle – with concerns over BPA leaking into our foods and water from plastic bottles and boxes, you may want to opt for a metal water bottle or a BPA free plastic bottle that you can get from most retailers.

What happens if it keeps coming home uneaten?

Find out the reason for this and work with your child to find a suitable solution. Here are some ideas:

  • Too big a snack in the morning or snack is too close to lunch time
  • Don’t like where they are eating (in some schools children with packed lunches sit apart from those on school dinners)
  • Goes straight out to be with their friends
  • They don’t like the food in their packed lunch
  • Other children are commenting on the contents of their lunch box or the lunch box itself
  • Child wants branded, packaged foods to fit in with their peers

It can be useful to overcome the above by going round the super market together to find foods that you are both happy with. Be clear about the foods that work for both of you and your guidelines before you go shopping e.g. nothing over 15g per 100g of sugar, nothing with ingredients that you can’t pronounce!

Lunchbox Examples – get stocked up on Tupperwear!

Portion sizes will depend on the age of your child.

  1. Pitta and vegetable sticks with hummus, pot of chopped strawberries and plain yogurt with a pumpkin oatmeal biscuit* and water
  2. Chicken and salad wrap (wholemeal), cherry tomatoes and chopped cucumber, satsuma, piece of banana bread* and water
  3. Rice, prawn and mango salad with peas and sweetcorn, blueberries and a carton of milk.
  4. Vegetable soup (in a small flask), oatcakes, cubes of cheese, plum, olives
  5. Wholemeal roll filled with tuna and salad, pot of greek yogurt with chopped apricots and pear stirred through, grate some dark chocolate over the top.
  6. Pieces of frittata, mixed salad/crudities, seedy flapjack and diluted fruit juice.
  7. Wholemeal pasta salad (tuna/chicken, peppers, tomatoes, sweetcorn, olive oil), chopped up kiwi and apple, small pot olives and mozzarella balls, water
  8. Left over chicken stir fry, chopped up hardboiled egg, 2 oatcakes and cubes cheese, grapes, water bottle with strawberries added for flavour
  9. Left over casserole with brown rice, berries, granola bar, water

*Pumpkin Oatmeal Biscuit, Banana Bread, Granola Bar Recipes below

Granola Bars

Ingredients
20 Medjool dates
175g sunflower seeds
175g pumpkin seeds
200g flaxseeds
200g raisins
240g oats
3 tablespoons chia seeds
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  2. Pit the dates then place them in a saucepan with 2 mugs (600ml) boiling water and simmer for 5 minutes until they are soft
  3. While the dates cook, place the sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, raisins and oats in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Once the dates have cooked for 5 minutes, place them and the remaining water from the pan, in a blender with the chia seeds and cinnamon. Blend until smooth.
  5. Pour the date mixture over the oat and seed mix and stir thoroughly until everything is coated and sticky.
  6. Grease a brownie tin with coconut oil, then pour in the granola and press it down firmly so that it is tightly packed and smooth on the top.
  7. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the top starts to turn a golden brown. After 20 minutes of baking remove from the oven and cut into bars, then place them back in the oven to finish cooking.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Biscuits

Ingredients
135g wholemeal flour
65g rolled oats
½ teaspoon each of bicarbonate of soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg
1 tablespoon Maple Syrup
80ml rapeseed oil
1 tablespoon molasses
115g tinned pumpkin or cooked pureed pumpkin
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
35g raisins

Method

  1. Mix together the flour, oats, bicarb, salt & spices.
  2. In another bowl combine maple syrup, oil, molasses, pumpkin, flax seeds & vanilla.
  3. Add the dry ingredients in little batches and bring together.
  4. Fold in the raisins.
  5. Place tablespoons onto greased baking sheets (about an inch apart)
  6. Flatten the tops to make them into a biscuit shape.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes at gas mark 4.

Health Benefits

Molasses, pumpkin, raisins and oats are sources of iron.
Rapeseed oil and flax seeds are also good sources of Omega 3s and 6s.

Banana & Raisin Bread

Ingredients
4 ripe bananas (mashed)
2 eggs (beaten)
1 tsp mixed spice
75g sultanas or raisins
75g softened butter or margarine
115g wholemeal self-raising flour

Method

  1. Preheat oven to Gas Mark 4/180°C/350°F.
  2. Mix together the beaten eggs and the mashed bananas.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well.
  4. Transfer to an oiled loaf tin and bake for 40 minutes until cooked through.

Health Benefits

Low sugar snack that provides wholegrain carbohydrate to keep your little one filled up for longer.
Bananas are a good source of vitamin B6, manganese, vitamin C, potassium, dietary fibre, protein, magnesium and folate.