Friday, 12 August 2016

A Seaside Themed Lunchbox with Hartley's Jelly

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
Valentine lunchbox
Bunny themed lunch
Disney Frozen lunchbox
World Cup/Football themed lunch
Flower lunch
St Patrick's Day themed lunch
Rainy Day Lunch
Pirate lunch

This post is an entry for BritMums #HartleysYourLunchbox Linky Challenge, sponsored by Hartley’s Jelly


  1. Loving the crab! Oh we do love to be beside the seaside! Commenting for myself and on behalf of BritMums and thanking you for taking part.

  2. such a brilliant idea - love the sandcastle bucket with the jelly. Erin has the universal luches but so will be doing this the year after!

  3. This is absolutely brilliant! I bet all her friends are super jealous. Lucky Ruby!

  4. Wow you are so creative - Ruby is a lucky girl! I love the seaside theme especially the savoury 99 cone. Yum yum - I need to do this kind of thing for he boys they would love it. x

  5. I love that idea, it's so clever. I am so rubbish at school lunch boxes and really should try things like this as I'm sure the kids would be far more inspired to eat new things if it was more fun

  6. That ice cream cone is absolutely genius! I picked up some seaside cookie cutters from Sainsbury's to make some sandwiches so I'll be nicking all of your ideas to go with them!

  7. I LOVE the crab, so clever . In fact the hole box is amazing. Instead of the cone you could use those buggles crisps!

  8. Loving the crab - very clever. I can imagine she was thrilled.

  9. That's adorable Liz, the ice cream is especially cute.

  10. Haha that looks brilliant! LOVE the crab x