Rediscovering the 'Me' in 'Mumeeeeeee'

'I have always thought that there is no more fruitful source of family discontent than a housewife’s badly-cooked dinners and untidy ways'. (Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management, 1861)

September 6, 2011

Re-thinking the lunch box

So, we're 'Back to School' and the usual morning chaos/routine is in full swing. For the first hour of the morning, I rush around the house looking for clean pants and socks and bark random orders at my children. It's not the most relaxing way to start the day.

And every morning, despite my devout promises the previous night that I'll do something different for the boy's lunches the next day, standing there in the kitchen, half-dressed and half-asleep, all I seem to be able to manage is the same old boring cheese sandwich, something yoghurty, some form of dried fruit and some shrivelled-up grapes (just so the teacher thinks I'm at least aware of the need to provide your kids with '5-a-day').

So, when the Innocent people asked me if I'd like to be on their lunchbox panel, I gladly said 'Yes'. My lunchbox attitude is very much in need of an overhaul, and this seemed like a great way to start. So, armed with a new lunchbox to decorate, a set of the new Innocent magnet letters, some Innocent products and a large helping of enthusiasm, we set to work. Our lunchbox creation is pictured below. I kind of like him. According to my youngest, he is called 'Strawberry Bert'. Fair enough!

Inside our lunchbox we have: a wholemeal bread organic peanut butter 'heart' sandwich (ahhh), the obligatory grapes (un-shrivelled preferably), a pizza muffin (recipe below), a small pot of organic yoghurt and an Innocent smoothie. Yum. Other things we came up with for alternative lunchbox fillers were: unsalted cashew nuts, dried mango (looks awful but tastes delicious), wholemeal pitta bread as the basis for a sandwich and homemade museli bars (there's a great recipe for these in the Annabel Karmel 'You Can Cook' recipe book.

Pizza Muffins (recipe from Rozanne Stevens writing in Irish Independent)
Makes 12-16
300g self raising flour
80g melted butter
1 egg
250g natural yoghurt
50ml milk
1 cup grated mature cheddar
1tsp oregano
4 rindless bacon rashers - grilled and diced
4 spring onions finely chopped
3 tbsp chopped sundried tomatoes or roasted red peppers

Preheat oven to 200c. Line 12-hole muffin tray with paper cases.
Mix the butter, yoghurt, milk, egg and oregano.
Sieve in the flour and barely mix.
Stir in cheese, spring onions, tomatoes/peppers and bacon. Don't overmix - leave lumpy.
Spoon into paper cases and bake for 20 mins.

These can be frozen in freezer bags for up to 2 months.

So, with a little help from Innocent, I've made a great start on my new approach to the lunchbox. Whether I can maintain my lust for lunchbox life remains to be seen. To help all our lunchbox resolutions, Innocent will be hosting a Twitter party on Tuesday 13th September between 1 and 2pm. During this time, parents and Innocent will be discussing healthy eating tips for kids, focusing on lunchboxes and sharing ideas for getting fruit into packed lunches and discovering new ideas and recipes to give your lunchboxes a fresh start! Why not join in and add your own ideas @innocentdrinks

Innocent make a range of healthy, tasty (and fun) products for kids and their Smoothies for Kids, Fruit Tubes, as well as the newest addition to the family, Juicy Drinks(a blend pure fruit juice and spring water) make the perfect addition to school lunchboxes.

This is a sponsored post. Thank you to Innocent for the lovely lunchbox and yummy Innocent products.



  1. Lunches are a morning chore, aren't they? Sometimes I have a little phase of getting them ready the night before, but it never lasts long. It's really hard to provide healthy stuff, without just giving the same meal every single day (though mine actually like the same meal, and don't like it when I try to add variety).

  2. It is the one thing I hate most about school - I try desperately to give them a change every day but it feels like one of those nightmarish dreams - everytime the lunchbox is filled, it appears empty again, and it just needs filling constantly! Girls love the Innocent smoothies.

  3. I did one day of lunches and ran to the school to sign up for a term of hot lunches. I don't think I have the patience, organisation or inspiration to make endless variations on the lunchbox theme (I did have the inspired idea of chucking some tomatos and celery to dunk in the leftovers of his dairylea dunker tho!).

  4. It takes dedication to try and create healthy lunches that vary every day. The one think that can really get you down is when they bring things back not eaten as they were too busy playing :)

  5. Good to hear that you are providing your children with healthy lunches which vary each day. I love all of the lunch ideas you have mentioned, I'm a little hungry now... :)

  6. You don't know how happy I was when Darling Daughter was old enough (and picky enough) to start fixing her own lunches. I take a gander every now and again to make sure there aren't any sodas and cookies only meals going to school. Texas is really cracking down on what kids can bring in their home lunches and the school could be fined! Isn't that crazy!?!

    On another note, I am pretty sure this award is a version of those emails that tell you to forward this to 15 people you know and see if they send it back to you to see if you are loved. It's my first blog "award" so I am playing along this time! Sweet Laura Maria at "Lessons, Emotions and something that begins with R" nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award. I am nominating you! See my blog for the deets.

  7. If that was my lunch box as a kid, I would have eaten all those healthy lunches!


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