I’m a great woman for dishing up the same dinners and lunches and getting into a slump. Unfortunately kids tend to get into a slump too and essentially get bored with what’s being served. Sometimes just changing the way you serve food can increase interest and appetites!
I’ve created a list of lunches and alternative serving suggestions that stays away from the conventional four corner ham and cheese sandwiches, in the hopes that we are not all emptying full lunch boxes every evening come October.
1. Think less is more – One of my first tips I have for making toddlers sandwiches is remember they are toddlers. So think toddler portions. I use the Thins slice pan allot for myself (calorie counting) and realised it’s actually far better portion size for the smallies too. A conventional slice pan is a huge portion for under fives.
2. No Mayo Tuna – mix some cream cheese in with your tuna and sweetcorn instead of mayo. Add some grated cheese for a double calcium hit. These little dino cutters aren’t expensive from Eatwell UK and they have several uses outside of sandwiches. A little Dino for lunch will definitely keep them guessing!
3. Pastry Pinwheels – These have been such a huge hit in my house and yours. I’ve had so much feedback from so many of my lovely mums who read my “Pastry Pinwheels four ways” blog post and had great success with the recipes. Definitely pop these in the lunch box from time to time to change things up from bread, bread and more bread. Click here for the recipe: https://thoughtstotsandtea.com/2018/06/25/pastry-pinwheels-4-ways/#more-2278
4. Fruit kebabs – Most often if a child goes off something they happily eat normally. It often just comes down to boredom, my advice just change the way you cut them or how you present them. These little Stixs from Eatwell UK are a cute idea. They are ery inexpensive and just might help in getting that five a day into them. I’d also recommend chopping fruit veg differently if they get bored. Serving them with different sides like maybe dipping fruit in yougurt or veg in hummus might tickle their taste buds.
5. Sugar Free Banana Buns – This recipe like the Pinwheels was hugely popular with so many of my followers. They are guilt free with zero added sugar and a perfect filler instead of sandwiches in that toddler lunch box. They freeze well so you can pull from the freezer as a lunch alternative any day. Click here for the recipe: https://thoughtstotsandtea.com/2018/07/30/sugar-free-buns-even-for-under-ones/
6. An alternative Egg Roll – wholemeal wraps are easily found these days but they are a huge size and far too big for smaller tummies. My egg roll starts with a buttered strip of brown wrap and then adds mashed boiled egg (avocado too if you have any takers) and roll that wrap right up. Pop a Stix in it if you think it’ll be a struggle to handle. This is a particularly yummy use of that protein filled boiled egg!
7. Good For You Chips – you can make the tastiest nachos from wholemeal wraps and they go down a big treat here with everyone. Lightly oil both side of the wrap. Cut with a scissors into triangles bake in an oven for 10mins at 180oc and you have tasty guilt free nacho chips. Serve them with humus or some mashed avocado for a delicious lunch alternative!
8. Jigsaw Sandwiches – As I’ve mentioned previously sometimes when interest is waning its just a matter of alternative presentation. This jigsaw cutter makes for a bit of fun for so many breackfasts and lunches. They can be real great for play date snacks if you make a few sandwiches and create a large jigsaw for everyone to share. All my lunch bit and bobs, cutters, stixs and Yumbox are all from Eatwell UK.
9. Fresh Fruits – This lunch box phase is a tricky one as they are on their own but probably not yet up to peeling and prepping fruit straight from the lunch bag. Don’t go buying expensive prepared fruit packs or filling the world with cling film. A squirt of lemon on most open fruit well keep it fresh and the right colour. So peel and slice your apple if needs be and just put a little squeeze of lemon on to keep rope and ready. An orange will hold its own peeled and popped in the lunch box and of course berries and melon will be perfect too prepped and popped in without any extras. The lemon also work great with an open avocado if you need to pop it back in the fridge.
10. Mondays are for Left Overs – Nothing tops left over roast chicken or baked ham on a bagel, cracker, bread whatever you fancy like humus. It’s also good at keeping things together to make them easier for little hands to handle pick up and bite. Great source of protein and a wise woman Caroline from SolidStarts.ie once informed me that if you pair humus with a vitamin C hit such as pieces of orange it helps the absorption of iron from no meat sources such as chickpeas the main ingredient of humus! Winning all round!
Enjoy Dee x