Wednesday 7 May 2014

European themed lunchboxes

Ok, so it's not quite Around the World in 80 Days - more like around a bit of Europe in a week's lunch boxes, but I had fun making them and more importantly Ruby enjoyed eating them.

I know I'm really lucky in that she's not really a fussy eater, but there's no harm in pushing her palate further and we've found this to be a great way to introduce new foods.

These lunches were inspired by a new cookie cutter I bought recently - the GB outline.  I admit, I have a problem with cookie cutters, I can't stop buying them.

Then things just progressed, and most of the others needed no special equipment.

I know some of this may seem extravagant for a child's lunchbox, but honestly, the basis for most of them was leftovers from our dinner the night before.

Great British Lunch:

  • Cucumber sandwich
  • English smoked cheese
  • Mini Yorkshire puddings and roast beef (leftover from Sunday dinner)
  • Scone with jam
  • Strawberries

The little toppers were leftover from a cake case set I bought from Poundland at Jubilee.

French Lunch:

  • Mini croissants
  • Brie
  • Cornichons (as Ruby likes to call them because she's well posh - to you and I they're gherkins)
  • Grapes
  • Lemon tart (leftover from pudding the night before)
  • Fromage Frais

The toppers are easy to make - Google the flag image, print and cut out and glue onto a cocktail stick

Spanish Lunch

  • Spanish omlette (leftover from my dinner the night before and made with assorted bits from the fridge)
  • Slices of chorizo
  • Olives
  • Churros (I made mini churros!! Never made them before, but so easy, recipe here)
  • Nutella chocolate spread to dip
  • Strawberries

Italian Lunch:

  • Slice of pizza (leftover from dinner - I added some extra veg in the form of frozen sweetcorn!)
  • Salami
  • Amaretti biscuit (she was honoured to get one of these from my stash!)
  • Grapes

Swedish Lunch:

  • Rye bread
  • Cheese
  • Hard boiled egg
  • Smoked salmon (leftover from dinner)
  • Cucumber
  • Homemade ginger biscuits
  • Orange slices

Happily she came home with an empty lunch box and a full tummy every day.  The only thing from the whole week that she didn't eat was the Spanish Omelette and that was totally my fault - I didn't hide the onions well enough!  But she took a bite and tried it and that's all I can ask.

Have you tried themed lunches?  Any of these you fancy?  I wished I'd made a Spanish one for myself too!

Check out Capture by Lucy's Bento Babies linky and Eats Amazing for loads of lunchbox inspiration.


  1. They look wonderful, so creative! I was just wondering though, how do you stop everything from moving about in the lunchbox, do you package it up a bit more when you send it in to school?

  2. Thanks Jennifer!

    Yes, the little pots all have lids which I put on, sometimes I'll wrap food in clingfilm (like the egg so it doesn't make everything smelly!). I use a Clip-Lock box which has an internal lid too. Oh, and I carry it flat. All is good unless she drops it when she retrieves it from the shelf at lunchtime!

    1. Thank you! I thought that there must be some extra packaging going on! Thanks for the inspiration :)

  3. I have lunch box envy again! I am never letting my daughter see your blog, otherwise I am going to be in a whole heap of trouble!! :-)

  4. Oh my!! Those are such fun. I love how much time you spend on these. And a great way to learn about different countries!

  5. Liz, can you make me a packed lunch when we meet up for Britmums. I'll bring a hipflask? ;)

  6. These look great, so original - can I come to lunch and have sandwiches/lunchboxes at yours?!!?

  7. I am such a boring Mummy! Lunch is never this exciting. Picking a theme definitely makes you think outside the lunchbox so I might give myself a kick and try some of these ideas. Can't wait to try your mini churros x

  8. Oh my! How wonderful are these! Fantastic creations and it has given me so many ideas x

  9. Yum, I'd eat any and all of them!

  10. What great idea! You pack a mean lunchbox! I think I'd like to make my way round the world in 80 lunch boxes if they all look as good as these :)

  11. Wow, these are fantastic! I so need one of those GB Cookie cutters! :D Can you make my lunches too?? :)

  12. What a cool idea! I bet the other kids love waiting to see what lunch box daughter has each day

  13. These are so inspired... I tend to shove the same things in Little A's lunchbox every day, but your lunch boxes are on another level... love the British one!

  14. Love this and I bet Ruby does too. I think Spain is my favourite x

  15. so so fab - I bet she is the envy of all her friends who want to see today's theme.

  16. I need all the inspiration I can get right now. I am mean and refused my kids packed lunches, but my husband caved and so we're playing catch up. Love these!

  17. Ruby must be the envy of every dinner lady, let alone the other kids. Your Spanish omelette looks so good Liz. Mich x

  18. These are so cool Lizzie! We've just invested in a Yumbox, which has made school lunches SO much easier. I'd been wanting to do Bento style for ages, but couldn't be bothered with the faff. I just need to learn to pretty it up a bit now - these ideas are a great inspiration!

  19. Fab Lizzie do you have a pinterest board with them all on ?

  20. I love these lunches so much, such a brilliant idea to theme them around countries - they look really tasty and are very educational too!
    Thank you for linking up at Fun Food Friday!

  21. Such a genius idea! Loved all your rainbow ideas breakfast buffet near me las vegas
    but this one.