School lunches have always been a chore that fill me with dread and weariness. And here we are already, first day of school and the curse of the school lunch begins again. Everyday I pack them wondering if they are healthy enough, hopeful that my children will enjoy this meal, and irritated at how long the preparation of nutritious choices can take. But yet I feel frustrated knowing that all that hard work could be for nothing when your child opens it up at lunchtime, turns their nose up and picks over it, and leaves most of the lunch untouched.
I remember back when I was young, and I think my anxiety of packed lunches actually comes from watching my mum go through the same process, whilst I stood by with an eagle eye, dictating what was and was not acceptable to put in. And now the baton has passed to me to repeat the same cycle with my children.
Luckily now though we have the magic of the internet to fill us with inspiration. When I scroll through various websites, some suggestions make me feel like I need cordon-bleu training to make some of these lunches, seriously… one suggestion included peach slices wrapped in seared prosciutto. Sounds lovely, but I highly doubt my 9-year old will feel the same elation I did at the idea, nor do I have the time to create such masterpieces. But fuelling our children with proper nutrition is vital to their well-being and ability to learn.
Luckily we have people out there like Jenny Tschiesche , The Lunchbox Doctor, willing and able to help us out. Jenny is the UK’s leading expert on Lunchbox Nutrition, with appearences on GMTV, Sky News, BBC News and BBC Radio 5, and she is coming to Roost in Bagshot on Tuesday September 19 from 7:30pm. Jenny will be talking Lunches, after school snacks and giving us tips and tricks to make these events less stressful. Tickets are available to book through the Primal Roost Facebook page under events, or you can follow the link here. Also check out some the the great blogs Jenny has created by checking out her website lunchboxdoctor.com.
I would like to share with you a few other resources I have used to find inspiration. These are mostly paleo based, so they are fantastic base to start with and add things to suit your own children. My aim is to reduce the amount of beige food, take out the processed snacks, reduce sugar and find tasty alternatives to sandwiches. Sometimes you will need to tweak them, or mix & match, but check out these resources as a starting point.