Ease the packed lunch pressure this Autumn
It’s been a fun, food-filled summer here at One Yummy Mummy HQ. One of my highlights was having the chance to do some cookery demonstrations at agricultural shows – a great way to get out and share some of our Kids in the Kitchen tips and tricks.
I know the damp weather may have called a halt to a lot of picnics, BBQs and campfires this summer. But hopefully, your family had the chance to enjoy lots of rainy-day baking and cooking sessions indoors instead.
Now, with school on everyone’s minds, it’s all the more important to provide good fuel for growing brains and bodies. Keep reading for some packed-lunch tips to keep everyone going for the new school year.
One Yummy Mummy on Tour – The Agricultural Show Circuit!
Lils and I had an absolute ball on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th of August. On Saturday, we hit the road to the Cappamore Show in Co. Limerick and on Sunday, we took a spin to Co. Carlow for the Tullow Show.
Both shows provided us with a fantastic full kitchen set-up where we got to demonstrate our Scratch Chicken Curry as well as lots of our Kids in the Kitchen tips and tricks (especially the ones for peeling and chopping). We had about 50 people along to each of our 40-minute demonstrations and I hope they all left feeling inspired to get stuck in themselves.
Agricultural shows are such an important part of Irish life and Cappamore Show and Tullow Show were both a credit to their committees and organisers. They were so well-organised, with a fantastic family atmosphere and a huge community effort put in.
Lils and I especially enjoyed looking at all the animals – particularly the sheep-dog trials and the equestrian competitions. And, of course, the fun fairs were quite a draw as well!
Thanks so much to Maura from Cappamore and to Mary and Shane from Tullow for inviting us along. We had a great experience and we hope everyone who came to our demos did too.
If you’d like to try our Scratch Curry for yourself, have a look at the recipe and to view the demo we did live on the Today Show!
Kids in the Kitchen News
Congratulations to Emmy O’ Shea from New Ross who is our most recent GEM cook-along prize-winner.
Our latest GEM class gave budding chefs the chance to put a fresh twist on sausage rolls by adding sweet and juicy apricots. Well done to everyone who took part – your creations looked delicious.
If you’d like to encourage your child’s cooking skills this school year, why not get a taste of our Family Cooking Club by signing them up for September’s GEM cook-along?
On Tuesday 19th September at 5 pm, we’ll be making Moroccan-style meatballs with Gem sultanas and homemade flatbreads. It’s a warming, flavoursome recipe for autumn evenings and one the whole family is sure to enjoy during the chilly months to come.
We’d love your child to join us on Zoom for an hour of creativity, fun, chat, games and prizes. Best of all, dinner will be served by the end of the call!
To get involved Grab your FREE one-off spot at the Zoom class:
Join the Family Cooking Club for weekly child-friendly cook-alongs (including this one), plus recordings of all our previous sessions (€10 per month, cancel anytime).
Tips for the School Lunch Box
At the start of the summer holidays, I heard so many people say “It’s great not to have to pack the lunch box every day”.
Packed lunches are dreaded by many parents: there’s nothing worse than getting a full lunch box and a hangry child back through the door at the end of the day! So here are a few tips to help you on your packed lunch journey this academic year:
1. Research the School’s Healthy Eating Policy
Make sure you know exactly what is and isn’t allowed by the school. Some schools mightn’t allow any treats, while others might be okay with homemade flapjacks. Nuts are usually a no-no in most schools. Do your homework so that you (and your child) don’t get a nasty surprise!
2. Agree a menu
Some children get frustrated with the exact same lunch every day (although some like nothing better!). But most parents don’t have the time or energy to think up creative lunches five days a week.
So why not sit down with your child and create a menu plan? Encourage them to research and suggest some lunch box options. Try to keep the items straightforward and easy to put together. Then compile these into a regular menu, trying to include a balance of things such as fruit, veg, bread, meat and dairy each day.
Your plan could be for every two/three days, week or even fortnight. Either way, you can keep repeating it, meaning your child gets variety without you getting a headache!
3. Remember: Your Freezer is Your Friend
Lots of lunch box fillers can be cooked in batches and frozen for use in the future. Make space in your freezer for items such as cheese scones, savoury muffins or mini quiches. One big baking session could last you over a few weeks when alternated with other items such as lunchbox roly-polys (see below).
4. Maximise Your Leftovers
Fill up a food flask and send in last night’s bolognaise, curry or soup. On a chilly day, opening up a warm meal at school is like getting a big hug from home. Just make sure to send in a fork or spoon!
School Lunch Box Roly-Polys
- Bread (with the crusts cut off) or wraps
- Turkey and stuffing
- Ham and cheese
- Chicken and mayo
- Chocolate Spread
- Whatever’s in the fridge!
- In my opinion, the sweeter roly-polys work better with bread.
- Cut off the crusts, add the jam or chocolate spread and roll up tightly like a Swiss roll.
- Slice into pinwheels.
- For the wraps, add your favourite savoury filling, roll up tightly and slice into pinwheels.