Lunch Box Ideas From Our Friends At Spinneys
Lunch boxes. Ugh. All that planning, making and packing – only for your little darlings to return home with everything untouched. Jazz up your kids’ school lunches with a few ideas that go beyond the usual sandwich/pasta/anything-that’s-leftover options and there’s more chance of them being gobbled up! Our friends at Spinneys have come up with a few tasty ideas for starters…
Protein-packed goodness in a scrummy crunchy ball – anything that can be picked up and eaten easily by little fingers gets a huge thumbs up from us (particularly if it contains Kale!).
Prep time: 15 minutes plus cooling
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 400g kale, stalks removed, leaves chopped
- 300g cooked quinoa
- 100g parmesan, finely grated
- 50g chick pea flour
- 2 Spinneys Food Free Range Eggs, beaten
- Set a large frying pan with 1 tbsp oil over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes. Season, add the kale and cook for 2-3 minutes more until softened.
- Remove from the heat and leave to cool, then finely chop and transfer to a bowl. Alternatively, blitz in a food processor. Add the quinoa, parmesan, and flour and mix well to combine.
- Season the mixture, if you like, then stir in the eggs to form a thick paste.
- Set a large frying pan with 1 tbsp oil over a medium- high heat. Working in batches, spoon the falafel into the pan and cook for 3 minutes, turning halfway and adding more oil if needed, until golden brown.
- Leave to cool, then pack into airtight lunchboxes. Freeze the extra falafel for up to 1 month and defrost overnight in the fridge when needed.
This recipe is a wonderful way of using up fruit that is about to become overripe or has returned worse for wear in a school bag (you know what we’re talkin’ about, mamas). Try any combination of apples, pears, berries, and grapes or stone fruit such as nectarines, peaches and apricots. Add to a leak-proof container, give them a little spoon and hey presto – too easy.
Makes 8 x 100g portions
Prep time: 5 minutes plus cooling and freezing
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 800g apples and pears, peeled and grated
- 50g runny honey or coconut palm sugar
- zest and juice of 1 orange
- Put the apples and pears, honey or coconut sugar and orange zest and juice in a saucepan set over a medium heat.
- Cook for 12-15 minutes, stirring often, or until the fruit is softened and tender.
- Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Divide the compote among airtight containers before packing into lunchboxes. Or, add to freezer bags and freeze for up to 3 months. When needed, defrost overnight in the fridge.
Lunch on a stick?! What fun! Easy to make, easy to eat and oh-so-yummy too – this one’s a keeper (and won’t come back uneaten..).
Prep time: 10 minutes plus soaking and cooling
Cook time: 10 minutes
- 25g miso paste
- 1 tsp runny honey
- 2 tbsp SpinneysFood Sunflower Oil
- 2 SpinneysFood Chicken Breasts, each sliced lengthways into 15 strips
- Whisk together the miso, honey and 1 tbsp oil in a shallow dish. Add the chicken strips and coat well.
- Soak 10 bamboo skewers or cocktail sticks in water for 30 minutes. Thread three strips of chicken onto each skewer.
- Set a non-stick frying pan with the remaining oil over a medium-high heat. Add as many skewers as you require to the pan and cook for 8-10 minutes, turning halfway, until golden and cooked through.
- Remove from the pan and leave to cool before packing into airtight lunchboxes.
- Arrange the remaining skewers on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Cover with cling film and freeze. Defrost overnight in the fridge when needed and cook as above.
Pasta is pasta but noodles? SO much more exciting! We’ll be making extra for our own lunches too!
Prep time: 10 minutes plus cooling
Cook time: 5 minutes
- 1 tbsp miso paste
- 1⁄8 tsp vegetable stock powder
- 1⁄2 small red onion, very finely chopped
- 100g fine rice noodles
- 50g broccoli florets
- Small handful mangetout
- 75g canned sweetcorn
- 1 tbsp sesame oil, plus extra for drizzling (optional)
- 1 tsp white sesame seeds, toasted, to garnish
- Put the miso paste, stock, onion and 500ml water in a large pan. Bring to the boil.
- Add the noodles, broccoli, mangetout and sweetcorn and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the vegetables are just tender and the noodles cooked.
- Drain well, tip into a bowl and leave to cool. Stir in the sesame oil.
- Divide the mixture among airtight lunchbox containers and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Drizzle with a little sesame oil, if you like.
These granola bars are a great way to introduce kids to nutrient-rich seeds and dates. You can replace the dates and sunflower seeds with apricots and pumpkin seeds too! Yum!
Prep time: 10 minutes plus cooling
Cook time: 30 minutes
- 250g butter
- 150g runny honey
- 150g coconut palm sugar
- 450g porridge oats
- 50g ground flaxseed
- 100g dates or sultanas, chopped
- 100g sunflower seeds
- Line a 30cm x 20cm shallow baking tin with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 190°C, gas mark 5.
- Put the butter, honey and sugar in a large saucepan set over a medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, without allowing the mixture to come to the boil.
- Stir in the porridge oats, flaxseed, dates or sultanas and sunflower seeds. Tip into the prepared tin, packing the mixture firmly and pressing down to even the surface. Cook for 20-25 minutes.
- Leave the granola to cool in the tin for 15 minutes. Cut into 30 bite-sized pieces, offering 2-3 per portion. Store the extra granola bites in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
Featured image from the Instagram handle of Whatlisacooks.