After the lovely long summer holiday’s it is good to kick start the new academic year with some positive things. What better way that making lunch boxes a bit healthier. When my two were at infant and junior school their lunch boxes were always super healthy and reports back of contents of other lunch bags they were in the minority.
Fast forward to teens, 17 & 15 and I have one that still takes little pots of salad and the other well a pot of strawberries would go down well but that lunch bag has slipped a bit.
We hear more and more about nutrition and how important it is. But also see more and more people consuming too much that is not so good for them,
But as always I really think life needs to be balanced. Just a few changes can roll out into massive differences. So here are some things all teen tested (there is not tougher testers than teens, I can tell you) and all get the thumbs up.
First up, lets start the school year with a brain boost and add something fishy to the lunch boxes. Salmon especially gives a fantastic dose of omega 3 fatty acids essential for brain power. It is also packed with protein, potassium, selenium and vitamin B12.
The Saucy Fish Co have a amazing selection of ready to eat fish. If you don’t know the company already, you can probably guess from the name their fish comes with a sauce. These sauces match perfectly and really compliment the already delicious fish. This is a great option for lunch boxes and easy to serve up. The fish is great flaked with a little sauce and added to sandwiches and wraps etc.
I served some Tremendous with roasted sweet chilli salmon up to try with some sushi rice and cucumber swirls. This made the for a very appetising and boredom busting lunch. The tomato & chilli chutney that accompanies this fish was perfect to drizzle over the top before serving. Oscar said a BIG ‘yes’ to having this in his lunch box.
We also tried out Sicilian Lemon & Dill Mayo magnificent with roasted lemon & herb salmon. This we did not do pack lunch style but it would be amazing again in a wrap or flaked and mixed with cooked pasta or rice with the beautiful Sicilian lemon & Dill mayo on top. Or served as above perhaps with my all time current favourite, quinoa.
We were super impressed with the quality and taste of the fish and sauces.
How about making it a fish Friday lunch bag, mmmm!
Find out where to buy visit www.thesaucyfishco.com
Children do get hungry and though crisps may be frowned upon, I think you will like these two I have chosen to feature here. Both offer a healthier option to regular crisps.
First up a snack brand I have not heard of before, Kiddylious. New to me but originally the company was born in 2002. Started by food scientist Sally Preston from Buckinghamshire UK. Their ethos is taking the finest ingredients and turning them into delicious snacks for toddlers and children.
Although these snacks are aimed at younger children, the fab no nonsense ingredients and are gluten free won the hearts of all of us. My teens loved them and shhh so did I. I actually could taste the most amazing savoury tasting spinach in the vegetables straws. I was super impressed and no artificial nasties that change our natural palette into craving the bad stuff. Kiddylicious is full of good stuff containing actually vegetable protein. The quinoa crisps and lentil curls were equally delicious.
So we agree Kiddylicious is delicious!
Find out more about Kiddylicious and their other products visit www.kiddylicious.com/uk/
Less young child orientated we also enjoyed the new Kettle Bites range. Made from beans, lentils and pea’s these crisps are also a source of protein & fibre. The wholegrain waves and lentil curls are all baked so are also 50% lower in fat than your average crisp A 22g bag is sub 100 calories at 97 calories at the highest.
There are also no artificial nasties in these either, so a massive thumbs up there. They are super tasty too I am told, though the lentil curls do not contain gluten, they may be made where gluten is handled. Therefore not suitable for coeliacs or people with severe gluten intolerance’s.
If you are vegetarian they are suitable for you! There are some great flavours to choose from: Lentil curls come in Sweet Chilli and Mozerella and Pesto favours. The wholegrain waves can be found in Maple Barbecue and Coconut, lime & Chill. Scrummy so a tick for the lunch boxes. A healthy snack and a great alternative to regular crisps.
Stockists include Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Nisa, and Independents.
Now for a sweeter snack and I am a bit fan of also added extra nuts and seeds into our diets. On a personal level I feel and look so much healthier with a daily dose of nuts and seeds in my diet.
So I had to include some of the goodies from Forest Feast and Acti-snack which have a great mix of nuts, seeds and dry fruit. Not forgetting berries and soya. They also have a wonderful range of mango, my ultimate dry fruit snack. Alongside great choice of yoghurt covered goodies.
I think the Acti-snack branding has teen appeal and certainly would not look a miss in their lunch boxes. Being a fan I also taste tested these. The sweet and sour mango were highly addictive in a positive way. The mini packs of mango from Forest Feast count as 1 of your 5 a day. They come in a handy box of 5 x 25g so perfect for the week.
I loved the cranberries had been infused in apple juice which made them lovely and soft.
Nuts, seeds and dry fruit are really good energy giving food. With good amounts of fibre which a lot of us are lacking. They are perfect to keep our kids going through the afternoon and they also make a great mid morning snack. There is a lot of goodness packed in nuts and seeds especially, so adding these to a lunch box has to be a good thing.
These are available in small individual packs and pots and also larger packs that you can put into your own little pots.
There is plenty to choose from in these ranges to find out more go to www.forestfeast.com
Is this a food or is this a drink. Well actually UP&GO is both. Landed from Oz (not my Oscar but Australia) this as a mum of two teenagers has big appeal. Teens either have whooping appetites or really need to be tempted to eat especially when at school or college. My two are more the latter, so I welcomed telling you about UP&GO simply it is a breakfast on the go. But let’s put it in the lunch bag and even if they skip their lunch, if they drink this it will keep them going till they get home. Now, I am not advocating skipping lunch far from it. But as a realistic parent I recognise that lunch is often skipped by teens especially.
UP&GO has wholegrain oat flour within its tasty liquid, therefore giving them more than a drink and something far more sustainable. Of course alongside containing much needed calcium, protein and fibre. Equaling that of the average bowl of cereal with milk, all in an easily consumed drink. It is also fortified with vitamins.
But what does it taste like. Oscar loved it and said it tasted wholesome. Wholesome made me think the less of wholesome (taste wise) Bex may not like it. But it was a “I like this…actually I highly rate it!” praise indeed. With further discussions that these would be great for first week nerves of starting a new college next week. When vital breakfast will be skipped and this will be a great stand in.
On a personal level, it is so important my teens eat something. So this very much has a thumbs up to enter the healthy lunch box idea’s!
They don’t need to be kept chilled although do taste best chilled.
UP&GO is available from most supermarkets.
Now a refreshing drink and another big winner on taste with both my two and a Mum’s thumbs up from me. This though is pricey around £2.50 so not an every day drink in our household. What A Melon drink (yes, fab play on words) is well basically all water melon.
Packed full of naturally occurring electrolytes it also contains antioxidant Lycopene and is packed full of potassium, meaning its perfect at keeping you hydrated.
This tastes just like water melon and in What A Melon there is only watermelon and a dash of lemon juice to preserve it. So no wonder it taste so water melony gorgeous!
Find out more about the hydrating drink from www.whatamelonwater.com
With all these gorgeous healthy idea’s we need to pack up their lunches well too. Sistema a New Zealand company do a fantastic range of lunch boxes, big and small and also drink containers. All are designed and made in New Zealand and most importantly our Phthalate & BPA Free.
Their designs encourage healthy lunch box idea’s, I love the sections to stop everything mingling. The little pot in this Triple Lunch Split above is great for as shown seeds mixes, yogurt and also dips to name but a few idea’s. Eco friendly too, as there is less need for extra packaging.
The Snack Attack Pack which I filled with a salmon pate I had made from The Saucy Fish Co’s cooked salmon. This made a great dip for Oscar along with some vegetables to dip into it. Perfect for all sort of dips and even yogurt and fruit to ring the changes.
These boxes are really well made. The clips keep everything firmly closed and fresh. Nice and easy to clean and are freezer, microwave and dishwasher safe. They are also stackable which is a big bonus I think.
Both Bex and Oscar thought these lunch boxes were really good. I like to keep thing with ice packs and insulated. The snack pack easily fits into a lunch bag which I love.
Pop to www.sistema.com to find out more and where to buy.
Talking of keeping things cool, a favourite company the Genuine Thermos Brand have now bought out some more child friendly products. Oscar for the last few years has had a Thermos lunch bag. They last, do a great job of keeping things cool and for a teen the design has been good but adult.
So it is great to see Thermos going a bit more child friendly and I totally love the new and very playful Forest Friends Fox lunch bag. Fox joins other characters, hedgehog, frog and Panda.Lunch bags are also available in floral and football designs. They also have a fruity collection, which are very cute!
This year on the list for Oscar is to have hot food in a food flask to make a change and warm him up if the winter is as cold as last year. The food flasks look fantastic and offer:.
- Thermos™ vacuum insulation technology for maximum temperature retention, hot or cold
- Durable stainless steel interior and exterior
- Extra wide mouth is easy to fill, eat from and clean
- 5 year guarantee
It also come in pink, floral and football designs. Matching flasks are also available and in other colours too.
Thermos is a brand that has been with me since childhood and has never let me down. Lunch bags and flasks are available direct from Thermos and Amazon. Visit them at www.thermos.co.uk
I hope you like my round up of healthy lunch idea’s.
I would like to thank all of the company’s who have sent us goodies to try all were enjoyed and loved. Everything got the thumbs up from Oscar and myself. We only failed to convert Bex to being a fish lover, we will continue to try!