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When the new term starts, many parents get the shock of realising that they now have to start preparing lunches. Everyone wants to make sure that thier children have enough fuel in thier little tummies to keep them active and concentrating throughout thier day of learning and fun. And to us, in this house, it’s all brand spanking new. Before now, I’d only ever had to pack a quick sandwich for my two when they went to the childminder. Now that Amelia has started school, well, the penny has dropped that I’ve got to be prepared.

There are so many rules now for lunches in school. Both put forward by school and self-inflicted ones. We were given a list practically on the first day of what is permitted in the lunch box and what isn’t. Kiwis and nuts aren’t allowed (I’m assuming someone is allergic) and certain fromage frais yoghurts aren’t allowed due to high sugar content. That’s grand. I can cope with that – I just have to make sure that I can pack things she will enjoy.

lunchbox-packHandily enough, Flora have begun the #FloraLunchbox Challenge, and it is all about packing delicious and healthy lunchboxes. Flora has created a meal planner to help you put together tasty and nutritious lunchbox combinations, and they want to hear about your lunchbox ideas and challenges! A Flora-commissioned University of Leeds study recently revealed that only 1.6% of children in England receive a packed lunch that meets the nutritional standards set for school meals, with just 17% of lunches containing any kind of vegetables or salad. (Shocking, right?) Flora wants to change that!

 

So, what is going to be our regular lunchbox routine? I’m a plan ahead type of gal…I literally get panicky sweats if I realise I haven’t organised things ahead of time. So as much as possible I’m going to have any fruit or vegetables pre-chopped and put in containers in the fridge, so I can quickly put my hand on them and assemble them in the lunch box.

I’m going to use the Flora Lunchbox Guide to help me include a mixture of a main, a snack and a fruit and veg from all the relevant food groups. This way, she will hopefully feel that she has an element of choice about what she is eating, while at the same time learning about healthy food. She loves cucumber, hummous, carrot sticks, so thankfully they are easy options. I’m hoping to introduce, olives, new types of cheese and cooked meats – not just crumbed ham!!

I fear the only real struggle I will have when getting to grips with this is the time factor. I don’t want it to become a ridiculously time consuming process. I mean, its a child’s lunch box, I’m not a personal trainer and chef, prepping her for a competition with special meals. It needs to be quick and easy to prepare. There are a couple of really tasty recipes with the #Floralunchbox challenge, I know Amelia with especially like the Moroccan Couscous Salad recipe. It’s really simple and quick to make.

Yes, I’ve got to get organised. I’ve got to build this into my current routine and make sure I’m prepared to have her lunchbox stacked with lots of tasty nibbles, and the ideas from Flora will certainly help. The bottom line is that Flora’s study shows, like I said that only 1.6% of children receive a packed lunch that meets nutritional standards set for school meals? I’m going to do my bit to improve that statistic.

This week, Amelia starts full time hours in school – we’ve tried out the Chicken TikkaWrapflora-wrap which she really likes, so I think this will be her first proper lunch. Watch this space for some more child-friendly lunchbox ideas, I’m definitely going to be getting some inspiration from Flora!

 

 

 

“This post is an entry for the #FloraLunchbox Linky Challenge, sponsored by Flora. Check out their lunch planner and recipe ideas here <http://www.flora.com/article/category/1104207/healthy-kids >

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