Neither A nor R are fans of sandwiches. Ruby will eat them if she is really hungry but Alexander has a long-standing feud with them! I have tried various things to try to outsmart him (when will I learn this is an impossible task?!) I bought ‘invisible crust’ bread when, aged five, he wouldn’t eat sandwiches because of the crusts only to be told “Mummy, just because the crusts are invisible doesn’t mean that they’re not there,” as he pushed his plate away, untouched. I tried cutting the sandwiches into ‘fun’ shapes which was greeted with, “Erm, it’s just the same sandwich, it doesn’t taste different because it’s cut like a star.” And he was quite right, of course, but for some reason other children fall for that sort of thing – Alexander is a different kind of a boy!
So then when it came time for packed lunches we were in trouble. When I was at school I had a cheese sandwich, piece of fruit, sometimes a yoghurt or a packet of crisps EVERY DAY. I remember occasionally having a chicken sandwich on a Monday if there were bits left from Sunday’s roast but otherwise it was cheese. This suited me fine, I was not a hater of crusts, I liked cheese, I enjoyed my lunches but it has left me without much of a ‘Plan B’ where packed lunches are concerned!
In Scotland we worked around this by the kids having school dinners. Midlothian provides GREAT school dinners with lots of options for hot, healthy meals and all at a very reasonable price. Not so in Australia! They don’t have dinner halls here. Lunch is eaten in their classroom, supervised by their teacher (who by this time of day has SURELY had enough of them!) and the only alternative to bringing lunch from home is to buy some unhealthy crap from the tuck shop. The school the kids are at is marginally better than their last one but it’s still not great stuff and it’s pretty expensive for what it is.
After a term of tipping sandwiches into the bin at the end of the day I decided to go on a mission to make nice lunches that the kids would like so at the beginning of every term I spend a morning cooking things to go into their lunchboxes. So now they have a lunch that looks like this …
Their lunches now comprise of
- at least two pieces of fruit or veggies
- some crackers or french bread (yes despite the fuss about crusts, they fight over the end of the baguettes – go figure?!)
- A ‘main’ savoury thing – so far we’ve had success with homemade sausage rolls, courgette/zucchini and sweetcorn muffins, chicken legs (only Alexander), homemade chicken nuggets, ham and sweetcorn mini quiches, good pork sausages, mini pizza rolls, pasta pesto (only Ruby), chicken breast strips.
- A sweet thing – either a couple of sweeties, a cookie or a jam tart
Every night before they go to bed they can ‘order’ what they want for lunch and I get it out of the freezer ready for the morning. After the initial couple of hours spent cooking at the beginning of term, lunch takes only a few minutes to put together (and most of that is chopping up fruit!) and is almost always eaten 🙂