When Ruby first started school I used to love making her exciting packed lunches every day. I enjoyed the creativity of putting together little themes and she loved eating them. It honestly doesn't take that long to put them together, and the results are worth it.
I fell out of practice when she went through the brief period of qualifying for free cooked lunches in Year One, but I'm determined to get back on it in September when she goes back. It's a great way of introducing new foods, helps with picky eaters, and encourages variety - and let's face it who doesn't want their food to be fun and appealing?
I created this lunch for her for a day trip to the beach and it went down a treat. For someone who claims to hate pepper, she happily munched her way through the 'claws' on her 'croissant crab'.
I created a seaside bucket with crushed biscuit sand on top of her favourite fruity no-added sugar Hartley jelly. Added some homemade courgette and cheese muffin 'starfish', a Babybel beach ball, and some fresh strawberries to help with her five a day. There's even a teeny tiny 'ice cream cone' made from a broken cone filled with Primula squirty cheese and a little salami 'flake'!
The crab eyes are part of a clever set of picks from Eats Amazing, who sell all manner of Bento supplies and bits to brighten up your lunchbox.
If you want to try your own themed lunches, here's my tips:
- Batch bake some plain cupcakes or savoury muffins. You can cook them in differently patterned cases or decorate individually to fit your theme.
- Different shaped and coloured lunch boxes help to add interest and right now you can collect the special Hartley's jelly lids to claim your own free lunchbox and stickers to customise it. Collect 12 of the limited edition green foil lids to claim your free set.
- Include little printed images or notes which you can make at home.
- Shaped cookie cutters are perfect for adding interest to sandwiches.
- Cake toppers and decorations are great for adding interest.
- Little party favour toys, 'cracker' items are great inspiration for a theme and you can add them into the lunchbox - a compass might inspire a pirate theme or a medal a sports theme.
- Use topical ideas like the Rio Olympics, back-to-school or even their favourite band or football team for inspiration
Here's some other ideas you might like to try:
European themed lunches
Bunny themed lunch
Disney Frozen lunchbox
World Cup/Football themed lunch
St Patrick's Day themed lunch
Rainy Day Lunch
This post is an entry for BritMums #HartleysYourLunchbox Linky Challenge, sponsored by Hartley’s Jelly http://www.hartleysfruit.co.uk/