The Flora Lunchbox Challenge with A Mum Track Mind

lunchbox

Lunchboxes are a pain in the backside aren’t they. Not just because you have to peel out sticky, yoghurt coated pieces of rubbish and mouldy tangerine peel at the end of each day but also because filling them can be a daily struggle. Fussy little eaters, confusing and ever-changing nutritional standards and tight purse strings can make filling a lunchbox a bit of a minefield.

To top it off, my boy hates sandwiches. Sure, I could stand my ground and insist he eats a good and filling sandwich each day but we all know the lunchbox would return home untouched or he would have swapped said sandwich for someone’s Monster Munch. Like any parent, I want to be sure he eats a healthy and filling lunch each day so I hold my hands up and admit that yes, I pander to him.

After many years of lunchbox packing, I have gotten used to creating sandwich-less boxes of goodness for him. I tend to plan ahead but often I will just use up basics from my cupboards such as fruit loaf or cheese and crackers. Once a week I will bake a batch of something lunchboxey (not a word) such as cheese & ham muffins or homemade healthy sausage rolls but if I’m having an off week it can be a nightmare doing all that preparation.

This is what a week in his lunchbox typically looks like at the moment:

 

It may be about to change however as this week, I am working with Flora on the #FloraLunchboxChallenge. Reading their latest study has surprised me a bit.

Did you know that only 1.6% of children in the UK are receiving a lunchbox that meets the nutritional standards set for school meals?

1.6%?! I’m surprised by how low that number is. So if 98.4% of us are getting it so wrong, what exactly is it that should be going into our children’s tummies at lunch time?

The NHS website states that

A balanced packed lunch should contain:

  • starchy foods  these are bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and others
  • protein foods  including meat, fish, eggs, beans and others
  • a dairy item  this could be cheese or a yoghurt
  • vegetables or salad and a portion of fruit

Starchy foods are a good source of energy and should make up a third of the lunchbox. But don’t let things get boring.

Instead of sandwiches, give kids bagels, pitta bread, wraps and baguettes. Use brown, wholemeal or seeded bread, not white bread.

Good news for sandwich haters then!

Flora are working with parents to change this quite frankly pathetic 1.6% statistic and as someone who has been using and enjoying Flora Light for years, I was pleased to get involved. Not only do they have tons of easy lunch recipes for you to try out on their website but they have also produced a handy lunchbox builder to help you plan it all out.

I’m a bit taken with this meal planner as it takes the hard work of planning the lunch box out of my hands. I was also impressed with the woman’s en pointe Mum bun but that’s by the by.

To say I was impressed with the meal planner is a tad bit misleading because I actually just gave it to Zak to choose his own lunch menu. I was safe in the knowledge that he would only be choosing from healthy options and he was suitably impressed about the level of lunch control he had suddenly been handed. Win win.

flora-planner

He decided on a wholemeal pasta salad with veggies and sliced turkey (we had run out of tuna!). It took me all of ten minutes to prepare the night before school and he scoffed the lot. Result! You can watch me making it here if you want to see how easy it really is.

 

If you are struggling to think up decent lunchbox ideas then I’d suggest you head on over to the Flora website where they have a ton of hassle free recipes and ideas for lunchboxes. I’m going to be trying out lots of the recipes myself over the coming weeks so head on over to my YouTube channel for weekly inspiration or just to check on how we are doing keeping it healthy.

What do you put in your child’s lunchbox? Do you have any favourite recipes to share? Let me know in the comments box below as always.

xxx

This post is an entry for the #FloraLunchbox Linky Challenge, sponsored by Flora. Check out their lunch planner and recipe ideas here

 

 

 

 

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52 Comments

  1. September 23, 2016 / 8:34 pm

    This is great Fi, well done for getting on the Flora Lunchbox Challenge. Zak’s lunches look so healthy now, and it’s great that he enjoyed it and got to choose it too. Putting him in control. I’m really impressed with the Flora meal planner here too, there are some interesting options here giving me some inspiration on what to feed my daughter. Here’s to a great week at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x
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  2. September 24, 2016 / 7:54 am

    Oh my god, you have answered my prayers with this post! I recently took my son out of full time nursery and into a pre school with a childminder for wrap around care. I put him into the school lunch club and I’m now in the world of what the hell do you put in their packed lunch boxes! Pleased to see that I think i’m in the 1.6% but after only 2 weeks was struggling to add variety. Thanks so much I’ll be heading over to the Flora Website for some more inspiration #fortheloveofBLOG
    Mum-Work-Repeat recently posted…90 Day SSS Plan – Cycle One Complete!My Profile

  3. September 24, 2016 / 8:20 am

    I have a fussy eater too, but he does eat at college as they have a great Refectory, goodness knows what he eats, but I am just glad he does eat, as he is choosing what he wants, he tells me its usually a sandwich, he takes a big 2 litre bottle of water with him and does drink a lot of water at home too and he takes Vitamins (most days) My nightmare is feeding him a healthy and enjoyable dinner at home! My eldest is now a vegan and he looks after himself so Im left to cook for two, but he loves bland & I love interesting and spicy! nightmare #fortheloveofBLOG
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  4. September 24, 2016 / 8:21 am

    Oh this looks so yummy! Alfie isn’t at the age where he needs a lunchbox at nursery yet, but I certainly get bored of my own lunches at work and these are some fab ideas! #fortheloveofBLOG
    Something About Baby recently posted…Baby Got Back…and Moved!My Profile

  5. September 24, 2016 / 9:02 am

    Looking at the healthy lunchbox requirements, I’m actually surprised to see that I’m pretty much getting it right for Baby Lighty’s childminder lunchbox twice a week! I think I probably need to add more vegetables though, so I’m definitely going to check out Flora for some ideas. Thanks for sharing with #fortheloveofBLOG.
    Mrs Lighty recently posted…The FakeiversaryMy Profile

  6. September 24, 2016 / 9:29 am

    This is so important to get right. Instilling good food habits in children from a young age can only be a positive thing.

    #fortheloveofBLOG
    The Tale of Mummyhood recently posted…SAHM vs. Working MumMy Profile

  7. September 24, 2016 / 9:42 am

    Piglet isn’t at school – but I make JHogg a packed lunch for work every day. He is seriously fussy so I might just have to look at this for him. He’s probably got the same mental age as a school age child 😉 #fortheloveofBLOG
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  8. September 24, 2016 / 11:49 am

    I quite like the look of this myself! I wouldn’t have expected the figure to be high, but not that low. It must be so hard with a fussy eater to just get them to eat SOMETHING! #fortheloveofblog
    Claire recently posted…It’s ok… #mumguilt 009 featuring Bump & BlushMy Profile

  9. September 24, 2016 / 12:13 pm

    I will admit this past year our diets have plunged. I feel quite guilty about it. With the twins entering toddler years, sports taking over our lives and a workoholic husband I have totally slipped on the meals…lunches included. I need to make some changes over here.

    #fortheloveofblog
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    • September 25, 2016 / 9:51 pm

      Don’t beat yourself up! It’s really hard work keeping on top of everything and sometimes an ok meal is just fine xx
      A Mum Track Mind recently posted…For The Love Of BLOG #19My Profile

  10. September 24, 2016 / 12:19 pm

    I’ve been loving all of the Flora lunchbox challenge posts this week, I’m actually really gutted that my daughter has school dinners!! We’ve been saving some of these ideas for our lunch at home! #fortheloveofblog
    five little doves recently posted…And then there were two…..My Profile

  11. September 24, 2016 / 3:48 pm

    Fiona this brings back nightmares of packing lunchboxes. I was so glad when mine finally got to secondary school with a canteen doing all the hard work for lunch. Some great ideas here. #fortheloveofBLOG
    Jo (Mother of Teenagers) recently posted…The Wonders Of The Barre!My Profile

  12. September 24, 2016 / 6:39 pm

    Anything with pasta is a winner in our house. Commenting for myself and on behalf of BritMums and thanking you for taking part.

  13. September 24, 2016 / 7:03 pm

    Lunchbox filling is tough, I feel like my daughter eats the same all the time. She enjoys fruit which helps, and yogurt always goes down well but I am guilty of the endless sandwich offerings! hahaha… great post, its got me thinking. #fortheloveofBLOG
    Twin Pickle recently posted…Whiplash – Knowing when to break your kid’s balls.My Profile

  14. September 24, 2016 / 7:41 pm

    I really like the meal planner chart. Great to let your son choose his own things off the chart too. My son’s on school lunches at the moment, but I worry he doesn’t eat them and goes hungry all day. Good to know about this resource if I decide to start packing. #fortheloveofBLOG
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  15. September 24, 2016 / 8:32 pm

    I hate making packed lunches with a passion! When I have to it’s filed with good nutritional stuff, but I still hate making them. Over here in France, it’s all about school lunches – three courses and an afternoon snack p that’s the way to do it! #fortheloveofBLOG

  16. September 24, 2016 / 10:02 pm

    Such a yummy lunch idea. We’re doing the challenge as well, it’s been an eye opener. L is a sandwich fiend, but only if it is a jam sarnie. Honestly if he had his way that’s all he would eat. He’d love the pasta you made though. #fortheloveofBLOG

  17. September 25, 2016 / 7:30 am

    It’s great to see so many different ideas for lunchboxes. We don’t really make them as my daughter uses the free school meals in school at the moment but I’m quite lucky that she’s not very fussy when it comes to lunch time foods. #fortheloveofblog

  18. September 25, 2016 / 2:54 pm

    I don’t have to deal with lunch boxes yet but I love this idea. TBH it would even work as a way of getting kids to choose their own meals at home. Great idea because, you’re right, that stat is terrible! Hope you success with the planner continues. #fortheloveofBLOG
    Angela Watling recently posted…My first month with a Bullet JournalMy Profile

    • September 25, 2016 / 10:03 pm

      I find the kids are so much more receptive to eating new foods if they’ve had a hand in choosing or making it. Contrary little beasts haha x
      A Mum Track Mind recently posted…Meal Planning & BudgetingMy Profile

  19. September 25, 2016 / 2:56 pm

    Love the idea of the meal planner, that’s great. My daughter adores bread so sandwiches are her favourite but I struggle to come up with exciting fillings other than tuna or cheese. Poor child!
    #fortheloveofBLOG

  20. September 25, 2016 / 9:07 pm

    Great idea. Max gets free school lunches at the moment so I don’t have to worry about making his lunch. Evie has to take lunch on her two preschool days but she is quite fussy so it always ends up being the same things! x #fortheloveofBLOG
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  21. September 26, 2016 / 9:27 am

    Gosh! I can’t believe how pitiful that statistic is! I love this, you had me almost giving myself whiplash as I nodded my head violently to your opening paragraph about lunchboxes being a pain in the backside!! They are!!!!!!!!!!!!! They drive me absolutely mad! If I ever get them home before they can walk home themselves…Rather than storing up a minecraft style building worth of Emily’s packed lunch boxes at school.

    The flora packed lunch making thingy is a great idea. Thanks for sharing.
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  22. September 26, 2016 / 1:08 pm

    Our school have a finally got hot school lunches available and my younger 2 had them for free for the second part of the summer term being in KS1. I cannot believe the amount of what I would call ‘crap food’ on offer with pizza at least once a week and a sweet pudding like chocolate browny or jam sponge every day. I believe my lunch boxes were far more healthy and have gone back to them. Like you though, I can’t believe so few parents get lunch boxes right- it’s really not that hard!! Hopefully this will help parents get the balance right and we’ll have more healthy kids! #fortheloveofBLOG
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  23. September 27, 2016 / 2:51 pm

    That app looks great! I bet Zak is loving choosing his own lunches. I’ve always just gone for the nursery lunch option because I thought it would be easier than a packed lunch but maybe it’s time I gave it a go! xx #fortheloveofblog

  24. September 30, 2016 / 7:17 am

    It’s so hard trying to pick something healthy that they will enjoy everyday.The pasta salad looks amazing #fortheloveofBLOG

  25. October 6, 2016 / 10:08 am

    Great tips – I love the Flora lunchbox planner as it helps me decide how to put a healthy lunchbox together for LP who is very picky when it comes to vegetables and salad. He also hates tuna!
    #FloraLunchboxChallenge

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