Summer is officially over! Back to school this week for some of the younger children. Secondary school goers are set to restart next week. It’s time to be getting organised and planning the lunch boxes. We have a few tips and hints that might help.

  • You may be one of the lucky mums whose children love fruit and will always grab something from the fruit bowl to munch. They won’t mind a whole orange, apple or banana being tucked into their school bag. But there are other children who don’t handle whole pieces of fruit so well – especially smallies with smallhands. In this case, we suggest making a little portion of fruit salad with a mix of chopped up fruit – little orange segments, chopped apple, grapes, and alittle fruit juice to make it sweet and juicy. This will be a good snack at morning breaktime, and included as part of their five a day portions of fruit and vegetables.
  • Use wholemeal brown bread instead of white if you can for more fibre. Seeded breads are particularly good, they introduce extra nutriton to an ordinary sandwich.
  • Be wise in the evenings when cooking pasta, couscous or rice. Do a bit extra which can help make a wholesome school lunch salad with some veggies and chopped ham, cheese or tuna stirred in.
  • As the season moves on and the weather gets nippy, if your child is allowed a little vacuum flask, a homemade soup will bring a bit of warmth and comfort to school lunchtimes. Autumn seasonal vegetables like butternut squash, carrots and parsnips make gorgeous smooth soups with a naturally sweet taste.
  • Tortiallas and pitta breads make good filling holders, for a change from bread. Easy to hold and munch too.

We have a number of Good Food Ireland members whose produce is a great addition to school lunchboxes.

  • Killowen Farm individual pots of natural yogurt with a layer of  fruit puree in the base make delicious treats at lunchtime.
  • Glenilen Farmhouse’s yogurt pots contain the farm’s home made natural yogurt and fruit puree inthe base, in a handy four pack of individually portioned yogurts in recyclable plastic containers.
  • Mr Jeffares Blackcurrant Cordial is perfet for drinks bottles. A measure diluted with water gives a nutrition boosting naturally sweet  blackcurrant drink. Mr Jeffares Blackcurrant cordial is made with 100% cold pressed blackcurrant juice, not from concentrate, and has nothing added – no preservatives,  sugar or artificial sweeteners. Just the full taste of prime ripe Wexford grown blackcurrants and  natural sweeteness from the Stevia plant.  Here is a Vitamin C packed drink, which boosts the immune system. Essential when kids are going back to school amid all the coughs, colds and sniffles that winter brings.
  •  Robert Ditty’s Traditional Irish oatcakes are great little munchers. A naturally made oatcake  with the goodness of Irish oats, they make a great replacement for commercially made sugar packed biscuits and sweets.  Spread them with cream cheese for a lunch bite. Older kids and teens might like them with some slices of Irish cheddar, smoked meats  and smoked fish too. 
  • If the kids are going to have crisps, give them the best crisps! Keogh’s handmade crisps are made on the farm, from the Keogh family’s home grown potatoes. The Spudnav on each pack pinpoints the name of the potato variety and the field they were grown in – that’s traceability! Keogh’s crisps are made from freshly harvested potatoes, cleaned, sliced and hand fried before flavouring with natural seasonings and bagging. An all in one process that ensures these crisps are fresh from field to bag.