Friday, 7 September 2012

Lunchtime inspiration

The kids are back at school or you and your partner are back at work, I know what it's like, it's difficult to get out of the rut of having cheese sandwiches every day so here are a few ideas to liven up that lunchbox whether it's for your child or anyone else!  You all deserve a decent lunch, it's that little moment for you in the middle of the day!


Mini quiches, quiches are a great thing to make for teatime and then have leftovers for lunch.  One of those use what's in the fridge recipes but ham or bacon is traditional but why not try something a bit different like broccoli?  (Sneak those vegetables in!)

Sandwiches, why not try something a bit more unusual like pate and mango chutney or grated carrot and hummus?  Or why not try a stuffed naan?

Cooked chipolatas, again a great way to make teatime into lunchtime too.  Cook a few extra, great with salad on the side.  I prefer to use good quality long chipolata sausages and twist them into little ones, they tend to be better quality.

Salad for example tomato salad, coleslaw, potato or courgette salad.  Great to have alongside some of the leftover goodies above and no reason why it can't be made with leftovers.  Something about a pot of salad says "I've made more effort" than when it's between two slices of bread.  Why is that?  If you look at my cous cous salad recipe above for example, it's all leftovers!

With that lovely salad, some cold tandoori chicken (made as drumsticks would be great) would be a tasty nibble, perhaps with a little pot of mint raita and some cucumber sticks?

Sausage plait.  Hot for tea and a cold slice in your lunchbox, sneaky hidden vegetables.  What could be better?

Don't discount the savoury baked goods.  Pepper and cheese muffins are delicious and if you fancy something a bit more traditional, there's always the humble cheese scone or spanakopita if you're feeling a touch more exotic (a great way to get spinach into the diet of the reluctant vegetable eater.)


Berries and a little pot of cream.   Why does this feel so luxurious?  My husband loves it when I put this into his lunchbox and it's the kind of thing that makes people look over at your lunch and go "ooo" like they never would for a chocolate bar!

Yoghurt and honey.  Greek yoghurt is cheap as chips, add a tsp of honey and it's a lovely pudding.

Mini muffins, my favourite is date and ginger.  No added sugar, no nasties, all natural.  Freeze brilliantly, take one out of the freezer and put in a bag, it will be defrosted come midday.

Jelly!  Why not?  As long as it's kept cool, this would be great and it's so simple to make without all the unnecessary colourings, sugar and flavourings!

There are loads more sugar free and low sugar pudding recipes on the blog so take a look around.

One last word:

When I was a child, no-one really bothered all that much about food hygiene.  No-one said you had "food poisoning" either, you just had a stomach bug, stayed off school for the day and then went back in.  Nowadays, schools have adopted similar controls to food factories and insist kids stay of for 48 hours after their symptoms have cleared.  This is because many food poisoning bacteria or viruses can easily be spread from person to person (especially with kids).

The thing that confuses me though is I believe that there are very few if any schools who provide facilities to keep lunches cool.  It is really important to keep your kids lunch cool because most sandwich fillings, salads etc could be a perfect breeding ground for pathogenic (illness causing) bacteria.  Keeping it all cold helps stop them multiplying.  To do this, get some freezer packs (and get loads of spares to keep them in the freezer, you will forget to put them back in the evening) and use an insulated lunch box or bag.

The same applies to adults too.  Not all workplaces have fridges so it's definitely worth keeping your lunch cool.

I've linked this up herehere and here.


  1. Lovely ideas and I am going to be joining in with this one seeing as I have 3 school age kids now myself. My youngest has just finished his first week!

  2. lovely recipes. I shall link up some of my lunchbox recipes too. We all need inspiration to do something other than a sandwich!

    1. Absolutely! Nothing wrong with a sandwich but the people who have the same thing EVERY DAY? Really? Do you eat in your sleep? Do you notice when you've ingested???

  3. I'm going to steal your lunchbox. These are terrific. Thanks for sharing them on foodie friday.

  4. These are great! I am so glad that you shared them with us; I never would have thought of those cute mini quiches! What great finger food.

    1. Thank you! I made them originally for my son's 2nd birthday party but they make great picnic and lunchtime food too!


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