Wednesday 29 January 2020

4 Quick Healthy Lunches Your Kids Will Love

It’s back to school time and across the country there’s a collective sigh, as parents think about the prospect of school lunchboxes once again.

There’s good reason too - primary schools open for 183 days a year and secondary for 167 days – and that means a lot of school lunches!

If you’ve always wanted to get a little bit more creative about lunchtimes and give your children more variety and better nutrition without always relying on the same old staples, here are 4 quick easy-to-eat, healthy choices they’ll love this September:

1. Ham, Carrot and Houmous Rolls

These ham, carrot and houmous rolls are a great and tasty alternative to bread and easy to eat:

You will need:

50g carrots, grated

1 tbsp reduced fat houmous

4 slices lean ham

I large handful of rocket leaves

Pinch of sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

What to do:

Place the carrots and rocket leaves in a bowl, season with sea salt and black pepper and mix well.  Spread each slice of ham with some houmous, add a dessert spoon of the carrot mixture in to the middle of the slice of ham, then wrap around the filling to make a roll.  Secure with a cocktail stick or simply pop straight into their segmented lunchbox.


2.  Fruit Kebabs

Every lunchbox needs a portion of fresh and juicy fruit.  These fruity kebabs are big on colour and on fun too. Tesco Ireland has been talking to parents around Ireland in a novel new Parents Panel to gather and share advice and tips.  This recipe comes from Cork mum Belinda:  “Forget the traditional sandwich.  I’m all about making kebabs for lunches”


You will need:

A packet of wooden skewers

Slices of fresh fruit: raspberries, grapes and blueberries are easy to thread.


What to do:

Prepare a bowl of fruit pieces, asking your little helper to select the sequence of threading onto each skewer.  Why not try some ham slices too?


3.  Wholemeal Chicken Wraps

Wholemeal chicken wraps are a great lunchbox filler and an even better tummy filler. Depending on your childrens tastes, you can swap sour cream for some salsa, or even serve them plain.


You will need:

4 Wholemeal tortilla wraps

240g Tesco Every Day Value Sliced Cooked Chicken

1 yellow or orange pepper, deseeded, thinly sliced

100g low-fat cheese, grated

2 tbsp half-fat sour cream or low-fat sour cream and chive dip

125g cherry tomatoes, halved


What to do:

Place each tortilla onto a plate, cover with cling film and warm through in the microwave for 10 seconds.  (This makes them easier to roll or wrap, even if they are going to be served cold.).

Now it’s time to get your little kitchen helpers involved – spread each tortilla with a little sour cream or sour cream and chive dip, top with the sliced chicken, sliced peppers, grated cheese and sliced cherry tomatoes.

Fold over the end facing you (to stop the filling falling out) and then fold in the sides over eachother.  Wrap in foil and chill until ready to serve.


4.  Mini Cheese Quiches


You will need:

320g ready rolled all butter shortcrust pastry

35g cooked ham, chopped

3 medium free range eggs

150g crème fraiche

40g low-fat cheese, grated

75g broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces


What to do:

Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C

Roll the pastry out with a rolling pin so that it is a little thinner and wider.  Then divide it into 6 pieces and use it to line 6 x 10cm individual fluted loose-bottomed tart cases. Leave 1cm hanging over the edge – the kids may need a little help with this.  Prick the base with a fork and chill for at least 10 minutes or until the pastry is firm.

Fill the tarts with a small circle of non-stick baking paper (time for the older kids to get cutting) and baking beans and then bake for 15 minutes.  Remove the baking paper and bake for another 5 minutes or until golden brown and the pastry is crisp.  Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes before carefully trimming the cases.

Blanch the broccoli florets in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, drain and refresh in cold water.

Whisk together the eggs, crème fraiche and half the cheese and season a little – this is a job that the kids will enjoy!

Divide the blanched broccoli and cooked ham pieces between the tart cases and then pour over the egg and crème fraiche mix – perhaps this should be a joint effort with the kids!  Scatter over the remaining cheese and then bake for 15-20 minutes or until puffed up, golden on top and cooked through.

Remove from the tart cases and serve warm with extra broccoli florets on the side.

Cooking Tip

The tart cases can be cooked in advance, left to cool and then stored in a cool place for 24 hours.  Then continue with filling and cooking as below.  The raw tart cases can also be frozen for up to a month and then blind baked from frozen.  Add 2-3 minutes extra to the blind baking and then continue.

It doesn’t always have to be a sandwich.  From a fruit boost to smart swaps, do your homework and your school time stars will be legends in their lunchboxes!

For more Back to School tips and tricks, visit Back to School Hub.

Sponsored by: Tesco

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