Mia started Preschool 4 mornings a week from September and as she absolutely loves it, we got the opportunity to enrol her in Lunch Club which means she can stay an extra 45 minutes and have a packed lunch with all her friends. The idea is that it gets the children used to sitting and eating with others ready for when they start school next September. I think it’s a great idea and she is absolutely thriving however it has thrown up a couple of problems for us in that I have never had to make up a packed lunch for her before and I suddenly felt the pressure of making sure her lunchbox is ‘good’ as well as contains things she will eat!
Before the challenge, I had only been making Mia’s lunch up for a week but I went and bought some dried fruit which I know she eats, stuck in a ham sandwich and a mini sausage roll (she’s obsessed with them!) but I knew she would soon get fed up of the same thing so I needed some more ideas! Then we found out about the Flora Lunchbox Challenge!
The Flora Lunchbox Challenge came at a great time for us so when I heard they were looking for people to take part; I knew it would be a great way of introducing me to the world of lunchbox making! Flora kindly sent us a cute doggy lunchbox (a big hit with Mia!) in order to create Mia’s lunch. I must admit I was shocked by Flora’s study that found only 1.6% of children receive a good, healthy lunch for school however I was unfortunately not surprised by this statistic. Having worked in a school before having Mia, I know what children’s lunch boxes look like and I know parents struggle to find things their children will eat, that’s convenient and doesn’t cost a fortune!
It seems really difficult to find snacks that are suitable for children to have on a regular basis and that don’t seem to carry a big price tag. When I had a quick look at what I could pop in Mia’s lunchboxes, the snacks and bits and pieces cost quite a bit more than I would be regularly willing to pay and surely that is part of the problem. How can parents afford to send their child(ren) to school with snacks that are healthy if they cost too much?
There is a great meal planner on the Flora website itself where you can find various ideas of what to include in your child’s lunchbox. The basis of it is to choose a main (tuna and lettuce pitta), 1 or 2 healthy snacks (flapjack/breadsticks), 2 portions of fruit or veg (apple/grapes), and add a drink of water. They have also created some lunchbox ideas to make it even easier to choose what to put in the lunchbox. The ideas are named after Dinosaurs which immediately got Mia’s attention and she was desperate for me to create the Stegosaurus Lunch Box so we set about creating it straight away for the next day at Preschool!
We decided to purchase the Original Flora and Buttery Flora as I have to admit, we only use proper spreadable butter at home, never margarine so it was going to be an interesting taste-test as well! Each tub of Flora contains plant oils, and is lower in saturated fats than butter. Flora provides a source of healthy Omega 3 and 6 and they have just launched their new Flora Freedom which is an 100% dairy free version.
Mia chose to create the Stegosaurus lunch box for the Flora Lunchbox Challenge which includes; wholemeal pasta with tuna, sweetcorn and peppers, dried fruit, rice pudding, cherry tomatoes and grapes so they are all things Mia enjoys already but has never taken in her packed lunch to Preschool before!
Mia absolutely loved her lunch the next day and the Flora Lunchbox Challenge has given me lots of new ideas and tips to try to keep Mia’s Preschool lunchbox not only healthy but also varied so she will stay interested in eating her lunch with her friends!
This post is an entry for the #FloraLunchbox Linky Challenge, sponsored by Flora.
Disclaimer: we were sent a lunchbox in order to write this post however all opinions and views are honest and our own