Kevin Dundon's lunchbox hacks: from sandwich kebabs to bacon muffins
If you're looking for some lunchbox inspiration and supper ideas to whet the appetites of even the fussiest eaters, here is a helping hand with the tough task of preparing lunches.
Making your child's lunchbox attractive may seem daunting - however with a little planning, you can say goodbye to those half eaten sandwiches that arrive back home every day.
We all want to pack the healthiest food we can into our kids' schoolbag - and by getting help from your child to pack their lunchbox, they are more likely to eat their own creations than throw them away.
Include plenty of fresh fruit, bit sized vegetable batons - even frozen grapes. A useful piece of kit is a compartmentalised lunchbox, where you can out fruits or small vegetable pieces in patterned-paper muffin cases.
Here are some recipes to get you started:
INGREDIENTS (serves 2)
4 slices bread (we used sourdough)
40g cream cheese
4 slices of ham
2 slices cheese
¼ cucumber, diced into cubes
8-10 piccolo tomatoes
8-10 mini bamboo skewers
Salt and pepper
Spread each slice of bread with some cream cheese. Next, add the ham and cheese and place between the slices of bread. Cut each sandwich into 2-3cm slices and thread each mini sandwich onto skewers. Top with a cucumber and tomato.
Apple, Bacon Courgette Muffins:
300g self-raising flour
80g brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs, lightly beaten
125ml olive oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
100g cooked rasher pieces
100g apple, peeled and grated
150g courgette, grated
Preheat oven to 160°C/fan 140°C/gas 3 and grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
In a bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar and cinnamon.
In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, olive oil, vanilla, cooked rasher pieces, grated apple and courgette.
Stir the egg mixture into the dry ingredients until just combined. Don't over-mix!
Spoon the mixture evenly into muffin tin and bake for 20-25 minutes until cooked through.
Carrot, Ham and Peanut Butter Bagel:
INGREDIENTS (serves 4)
4 wholemeal bagels, halved and toasted
4 tbsp peanut butter
2 large carrots, grated
4 slices ham
1 lemon, juiced
Salt and pepper
2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
Lay the halved bagels on a flat work surface, then spread with 2 tbsp (half) of the peanut butter. In a small bowl, combine the carrots, the remaining peanut butter, ham and lemon juice and a pinch of salt and pepper if required.
Divide the grated carrot mixture on each peanut butter bagel, add the sliced eggs and add the top of the bagel. Press down firmly.
Either serve immediately or wrap in parchment paper and refrigerate until required.
Mini Chicken Rolls:
INGREDIENTS (makes 8 rolls)
200g chicken mince
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 spring onions, chopped
1 tbsp parsley, chopped
375g pack rectangular shaped ready-rolled puff pastry
Flour, for dusting
1 egg wash (made of 1 egg yolk with 1 tbsp milk), beaten
25g sesame seeds
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6.
In a bowl, combine the minced chicken, garlic, spring onions and parsley. Season with a little salt and pepper.
Lay the two pastry sheets on a lightly floured surface and cut each in half lengthways. Spread a quarter of the chicken mixture along the middle of one of the pastry strips, then roll up the pastry, pinching the ends together to seal. Using a sharp knife, cut into two rolls.
Repeat with the remaining three pastry strips.
Place the rolls on a baking tray. Brush with the egg wash, then sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 20 minutes until golden and cooked through.