Since school is out for summer and packed lunches are out the window, we thought we’d bring you some free from inspiration on how to keep the kids excited and involved with making nutritious lunches over the summer break.
Our first instalment of ‘coping with the kids’ was all about getting organised at home during the holidays (you can read it here) but for this blog, we’re going to be giving you delicious recipes to try. Whether it’s for family days out or in the home, these ideas should help inject some variety into your lunch time routine.
Wave goodbye to the humble ham sandwich and say hello to this colourful and healthy alternative, perfect for fussy eaters and kids who struggle to eat their vegetables.
Grab some of your favourite colourful veggies such as carrot, beetroot and spinach and steam each colour in separate compartments. After you’ve left them to cool, add one of your vegetable colours to a blender with a spoonful of dairy free ‘cream cheese’ style spread and blend. Do this with each vegetable colour and keep them in separate containers.
Using gluten free/wheat free bread, get the kids to help you build your colourful sandwich towers (don’t forget to cut off the crusts for the best effect) and place a slice of bread between each colour.
Tip: These also work great when warmed in a sandwich toaster, just remember to butter the top and bottom outer layer of the bread with almond butter to avoid it sticking to the toasty-machine!
Mini omelette cakes (serves 6)
Omelettes aren’t just for breakfast as they offer a great alternative to sandwiches.
Start by pre-heating your oven to 180°c/350°F/GM4, chop up some of your children’s favourite toppings, we suggest spring onion, sweetcorn, pepper, carrot and a little ham, and cook in a pan until softened. Break three large eggs in a bowl and whisk until frothy before adding your cooked veggies to the bowl with some grated, dairy free ‘cheddar’, then stir until combined.
Line a muffin tin with 6 cupcake cases and spoon the mixture into the cases, before placing in the oven for 25 minutes until they are cooked through. Leave to cool, before serving with some baby leaf salad.
Salmon and sweet potato fish cakes
We know the importance of getting enough omega 3 and 6 and we also know how much children love fish fingers. That’s why we thought we’d share this recipe for a healthier alternative that makes for a great lunch choice. You’ll need 600g of salmon fillet, 300g of sweet potato mash and 2 slices of gluten free bread (for breadcrumbs).
Cook the salmon and sweet potato mash as per the packet instructions, or boil sweet potatoes until soft, drain and mash with some almond butter.
Once the salmon is cooked, break it up in a bowl with some finely chopped red onion and mix together with the sweet potato mash and GF breadcrumbs, until fully combined. Roll your mixture into equal balls and pat down before adding to a low-medium pan and cooking for 2-5 minutes each side.
Want a quick, easy and visually appealing alternative to a bread sandwich? Wash a cucumber thoroughly then slice in half through the centre, lengthwise and scoop out the centres and seeds with a spoon. Next, spread your favourite filling such as a (dairy free) ‘cream cheese style’ spread onto your go-to sliced ham. Roll up the ham and place inside one of the cucumber halves, place the second half of the cucumber on top and enjoy… simple!
Psychedelic salad rolls
Bored of mundane tortilla wraps? These vibrant, rice paper wraps will not only be a hit amongst the kids, but they’ll be a hit on your Instagram too! To make: grate cabbage, carrots, slice beetroot, radish and avocado and leave to one side. Combine 120g of almond butter, 6 tbsps of lime juice, 5 tbsps of tamari, a table spoon of maple syrup and four drops of sesame oil in a jar and give it a really good shake! Fill a separate bowl with boiling water and insert your rice paper wraps for 20 seconds and then carefully remove and place on a plate. Grab the veggies you prepared earlier and place in the centre of your rice paper wrap and roll up like a burrito.
Finish by generously dunking your wrap in the jar of sauce you made in your previous step.
We’d love to find out if you’ve tried any (or all!) of these summer lunches with the kids over the summer break and if they were a success with the family. Let us know in the comments!