Smiling children having lunch at school

Packing A Punch For Lunch

A day out can become expensive, even if you are just going to the local park. And if you’re walking it’s not long before tummies rumble and the kids start to grumble

Constant demands for snacks and drinks can end up costing us the earth. Taking a packed lunch along works out cheaper and healthier. It might feel like the boring option but we’ve got some tried and tested tips which will liven it up, keeping the kids happy and the cost down.

Our 5 Tips For A Top Packed Lunch:

1 Make their favourite food
Make your child’s favourite sandwich, so they are more likely to eat it! Include healthy, easy-to-carry snacks like bananas, apples, or home-wrapped mini packs of raisins (from a cheaper, big bag). Hunger-busting flapjacks are also a winner, (see our super easy recipe below). Invest in a solid, re-usable lunch box. If you have a freezer, a freezer block will keep food chilled.

2 Take re-usable bottles of water or drinks
They’re better for the environment and keeps costs down as they’re so dear to buy out.

3 If you have foods that are past their
best, use them to prepare some treats for when you are out. Over-ripe bananas can be used to make banana loaf (see recipe below). Other fruits past their prime can be used to make smoothies.

4 Encourage the kids to help you prepare
the packed lunch. Research (and our own experience) shows that, if they feel they have helped to make it, they are much more likely to eat it!

5 If you avoid spending on treats all day,
it’s not so bad if you cave in to demands for ice creams (don’t forget, though, it’s still cheaper to pop into a supermarket and buy a box of lollies or choc ices!)

Recipes

Easy-Peasy Flapjacks

All you need to make these yummy flapjacks are four ingredients. They’re also super quick and ready in half- an-hour. If you have any dried fruit lying around like raisins or apricots, add those in for a fruity kick. Nuts work really well too.

(Makes 12 individual slices)

• 250g porridge oats
• 125g unsalted butter
• 125g light brown sugar
• 2-3 tbsp golden syrup

METHOD

1 Heat your oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4
2 Put the butter, sugar and golden syrup into a saucepan and put on
a low heat until all the ingredients have melted.
3 Pour in the oats and stir the mixture so that it is combined.
4 Lightly grease a baking/roasting tin with a knob of butter and spoon in the mixture. Press into the corners with the back of a spoon so the mixture is flat.
5 Then bake for around 30 minutes until golden brown.
6 Leave to cool then cut into slices

Delicious Banana Loaf

  • 140g butter, softened, plus extra for the tin
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 140g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 over-ripe bananas, mashed
  • 50g icing sugar

METHOD

1 Heat your oven to 180C/160C fan/ gas 4.
2 Butter a loaf tin and line the base and sides with baking paper.
3 Mix the butter and caster sugar together until it is light and fluffy. Slowly add the beaten egg mix. Gradually add the flour, bit by bit, continuing to stir as you go.
4 Then add the baking powder and mashed bananas.
5 Pour the mixture into the tin. Bake in the oven for about 50 minutes. Check the loaf is cooked by testing it with a knife (if the knife is removed cleanly this means it’s done)
6 Leave to cool for 10 minutes, then remove it onto a wire rack or plate.
7 Mix the icing sugar with 2-3 tsp of water to make a quick icing.
8 Drizzle the icing across the top of the cake and enjoy!

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