Monday, 29 August 2016

What's for lunch Mum ?

Hartley's your lunchbox 

Packed lunches can be the bane of my life during the holidays. You see Brown Bear has a hot meal at school every day so I don't have to provide a lunch for him. Blue Bear has a packed lunch twice a week when he does a longer day, so during term time it's not a regular thing for me to make a lunch. During the school holidays, however, they go to holiday camps and I make a lunch for them both every day, so we go shopping together for all the components. Their special teddy companions get to sit in the trolley and my boys can wander round randomly dropping items into my shopping that I won't usually buy. If they're lucky - or sufficiently persuasive - I might actually buy what they've chosen.

Woof Woof and Jiggles get a ride 

I used to have to find ways to get round that fact that the boys wouldn't eat sandwiches, but now they seem to be ok with them so this year I've come into my own both creatively and nutritionally. I always include a juice carton or a water bottle - recently I saw this coconut with a ring pull in it. Why a ring pull ? Who knows. I'm not sure who the target market is for this really - for one it won't fit in a normal packed lunch box and for another it's hardly a handy convenient post yoga snack is it ? I'll stick with water or juice cartons thanks. 

Coconut water - no really 

My boys have become veterans of packed lunches now so I like to include them in decision making. I like to theme the lunches and this summer we've had colour themes with two strong favourites coming out.

This is the yellow and green theme with apple juice, a pineapple jelly from Hartleys and a box of raisins and apple pieces. The sandwich thins have been a revelation as the boys will eat these with cheese spread on them. which is an improvement on dry bread which is what they used to insist on or they'd just throw away the filling and eat the bread. I've also discovered mini cucumbers that fit into the box and are waste free if I top and tail them so there's no stalk to dispose of. 

The yellow and green theme 

Personally I prefer the purple lunch - with blackcurrant drink, blueberry fruit snack, blackcurrant jelly pot and some dark cherries. I've always like the goth look and this would leave a nice dark mouth if they ate everything ;) the mini biscuit pack is a treat and a chunk of baguette instead of a sandwich goes down well.

The purple packed lunch

I like to ensure the boys eat their five a day and they love fruit so they are pretty good about it. An idea I can't claim as my own, but that I love, is fruit kebabs on a straw. Why a straw you ask, well, it's less spiky than a skewer and holds the fruit on securely. I choose fruits like melon, grapes and strawberries that I know my boys love to eat, but you can also include apple chunks or banana slices. Mine like a whole apple or small banana in their lunch so that works too.

Fruit straw kebabs 

The idea of the 'reverse sausage roll,' came about entirely by accident. I made up a lunch plate for Blue Bear with breadsticks, cucumber slices and some sliced ham in the shape of a teddy bear face - don't judge, he chose it in the shop. After watching him peer at the food for a while I decided to try something different. I rolled the ham onto the breadstick and behold he suddenly took interest and could hold it in his fist and munch away easily. I'm not sure I'd be quite so relaxed about my lunch watching me though !

Reverse sausage rolls 

I usually like to include a 'pudding' in the packed lunch - more than anything so the boys have an incentive to eat all of their lunch. They both love jelly and I often make individual portions of jelly for them to eat at home with custard or ice cream (if they're being proper spoiled). I was delighted to find Hartleys make individual jellies that are low in sugar and don't have to be kept in the fridge. Hartleys are running a collector scheme and once you've collected pot lids they will send you a fab lunch box with stickers to customise it.

Hartley's Collector Scheme 

I almost wish both my boys did take lunch to school so I could continue to challenge myself to find more creative ways to keep them interested in trying new food . I might just have to collect to get a lunchbox for myself :) 

This post is an entry for BritMums #HartleysYourLunchbox Linky Challenge, sponsored by Hartley’s Jelly


  1. Like the emphasis on 5 a day. Commenting for myself and on behalf of BritMums and thanking you for taking part.

    1. We are big fans of fruit and veg in this house ! Thanks for popping by and commenting Kate xx