Exciting and economic packed lunch ideas
We are all getting ready for the start of another school year and life getting back to normal. However thinking of healthy and exciting packed lunched can be a daily challenge. Not just for the kids but for yourself too. With the cost of living crisis refusing to go away, there is more pressure than ever for all of us to cut costs and eat healthily but that’s not always so simple. But fear not we have some exciting and economic packed lunch ideas to get you started. So let’s go back to the basics of what we should be eating.
According to NHS choices, a balanced lunchbox should contain:
- Starchy foods like bread, rice, potatoes or pasta
- Protein foods like meat, fish, eggs or beans
- A dairy item, like cheese or yogurt
- Vegetables or salad and a portion of fruit
Make it filling, healthy and exciting
Try not to overthink lunch box ideas. If you and your kids love sandwiches then go for sandwiches and try mixing your slices to add more fibre into the meal. Make a sandwich using one piece of white bread and one piece of brown bread. Not only does it make the sandwich look more interesting but it’s healthier too.
Add veg for colour and variety
Cherry tomatoes, sticks of carrots and cucumbers and even olives add variety, flavour and colour. People often dismiss olives but they are a hidden superhero. Olives contain vitamin E, essential fatty acids and loads of fibre AND 10 olives count towards your one a day!
Add variety by picking from our range of marinated olives, go for pure and simple from our plain olives or go different with our stuffed olives.
Cut down on crisps and chocolate
We are all about moderation here and we don’t want to cut out the things that you love, but cutting down can go a long way. If you are looking for economic and exciting lunchbox ideas then move away from processed foods and try adding nuts to your lunchbox. Nuts are full of flavour and there are lots of vitamins and minerals in every handful. Pick raw nuts for the ultimate healthy choice and go for about 15 to 20 nuts as your portion size. If you love roasted and salted nuts, then mix them with raw nuts to make a healthier choice.
Swap the fruit bars
Dried fruits like raisins, sultanas, dried apricots and figs are not only cheaper than processed fruit bars and snacks but are healthier too. Dried fruits keep a lot of their vitamins and minerals and their sweetness has been intensified by being dried. To be economical buy in larger packs and keep them in the fridge for extra freshness. Decant into small containers or little bags for the perfect sweet snack. Go for naturally dried fruits and keep away from sweetened fruits. You really don’t need the extra sugar and it’s much healthier too.
Making simple changes to your lunches can not just save you a lot of money but they can also bring variety and lots of healthy choices to your diet. Find out more about the eat well guide from this NHS website.