Out of the Box: Affordable, Organic Lunch Box Ideas with Abel and Cole
One of the more daunting decisions this time of year is what to do about pack lunch. The temptation for school dinners is strong; the kids smell chips in the hall and you are freed from the making, the to-ing and fro-ing over the forgetting, all for roughly £10 per week per child.
The choice is not so easy when we recall that we are all working to reduce the amount of processed food we eat and increase our intake of more wholesome or even organic food.
School dinners are a huge temptation for my kids, but our household has worked out a happy repertoire of affordable Abel and Cole lunch box recipes that take under 15 minutes to prep and pack and come very close to cost on our school dinner options. These cost about £20 per week and make enough for 2 pack lunches 5 days a week. With Abel and Cole, I am able to match my kids’ school dinner budget each day and exceed the nutritional quality.
Here are some ideas you might use to persuade your children to take pack lunch. The kids and I packed these on our days out over the school holidays before putting them in their lunchboxes. You can easily start getting them used to pack lunch on the weekends before committing entirely to giving up school dinners. These are quick, easy and AFFORDABLE!!
Tahini and Jam or Honey Sandwiches: This is an adaptation of the American PB & J that we are no longer allowed to pack in school lunches. Check with your school if sesame is allowed, but it’s a good source of protein (18.7 grams per 100) and my kids will eat anything with gooey sweetness on it. Organi Tahini, Organic Wholemeal Bread, Abel and Cole Organic Strawberry Jam or Organic Honey (£8, 10 portions for the week)
Bacon, Tomato and Cream Cheese Sandwich: If you would prefer a more savoury option, this is another easy alternative. Organic Back Bacon (on offer this week), Organic Cream Cheese, Wholemeal Bread, Organic Tomato (£10.50, 10 portions for the week)
Salads and other ideas:
Buffalo Mozzarella and tomato salad: my 7 year old makes this herself each morning. Use one half a ball from the container, one tomato and give a splash of oil, dash of pepper and salt (8 portions £11.36 for the week) ) Organic Mozzarella, Organic Tomatoes
Hard Boiled Eggs, Cheese and Crackers and Oat Biscuits: Here is a nice sampling of protein to get the kids through the day. Pack a hard boiled egg (keep the shell on, if they are older; take it off if they are little) a few slices of red leister or English cheddar and some oat biscuits. You can even put a dash of salt onto some cling film to dip their egg into. Organic Eggs, Red Leicester Cheese, Mature Organic Cheddar, Oat Biscuits, (£10 for 10 portions for the week)
My kids are not keen on salad, but I have worked out that they will happily munch some carrots, red peppers and cucumbers during their lunch break (especially as these are generally available year-round from Abel and Cole and taste so wonderful) Organic Carrots, Organic Cucumber, Organic Red Pepper (20+ portions per week – 2 per child, £5)
Fruit can get costly, especially when they hit a rut with apples that week and suddenly want bananas again … Pop an organic apple, organic orange or organic banana in their lunch and they are golden (10+ portions about £6)
This is a good starting frame work for pack lunch with Abel and Cole. When we first started, I also packed in frozen Yeo yogurt tubes (£1.79 for 9) to give them a little bit of a buy into shirking the hot chips and sausages. Keep in mind, you can augment this with leftover pasta, Sunday roast, any baking you might to do with them over the weekend … there are loads of other organic, low-cost snacks available on Abel and Cole.
Give it a try, it’s not difficult, it’s not more expensive and you can be assured your kids are getting the best quality food and nutrition.Tweet