Lola and Finn's Mum

Lola and Finn's Mum

Monday, 10 October 2016

It's all in the balance - Lunchbox ideas with #FloraLunchbox

Who would have thought that packing a lunchbox could be such a challenging thing? In previous blogposts I have already alluded to a certain lack of thought in what you gave your child to take to school for lunch, back in the days when summers were hot, winters were cold and I carried my packed lunch in a bag the size of hand luggage, but back then, the received wisdom was that trans fats were harmless and that food should be bright and convenient – to heck with the E numbers and other additives, that inadvertently sent your child on a rollercoaster of craziness during the afternoon’s lessons. Thankfully, parents are now beginning to think about the variety and suitability of lunches, and it’s great that the people at Flora are giving people alternative ways of filling lunchboxes with delicious food which facilitates good health and stamina to take on the rigours of fronted adverbials, 'Goodnight Mr Tom' and dodgeball.

Lola and Finn are picky discerning eaters… but it is pleasing to see empty lunchboxes when they come home from school most nights, knowing that I lovingly filled them that very morning with a balance of wholesome food and the odd treat. It was interesting to read the great suggestions that Flora made for recipes that could easily be put together to make a luscious lunchbox which can be found here and in particular, their really useful lunch planner. It got me thinking about the little quirks that go into my children’s lunchbox, many of the ingredients of which are present in Flora's suggestions. Phew, maybe I am supermum after all.  Here we go – from the weird to the wonderful:
The ‘Tuna Crunch Barm’

Not really earth shattering, but Lola’s sandwich of choice. It used to be a mixture of mayonnaise, tuna in brine and tinned sweetcorn, but over the years it has evolved into really quite a treat! Don’t be surprised to find a sandwich filling that with the tuna contains diced red onion, diced peppers, spring onions maybe, sweetcorn definitely, and occasionally, the mayonnaise is switched for a salad dressing, just to make the whole thing taste ‘zing’.

‘The Enthusiasm Frittata’
So called because everything I have got left (in the fridge) goes into it… *tumbleweed*
Finn loves eggs – From that first 'proper food' meal of loosely scrambled egg, circa 6 months old, to today’s vociferous dunking of soldiers on a Sunday morning, Finn knows his eggs, and this one appeals to his lunchtime tastebuds. This week’s offering was made with six beaten eggs, some leftover potato, some leftover roast gammon and spring onions. You fry off the frittata filling with a bit of oil, butter or Flora and then add the eggs, which have been seasoned with a bit of salt and pepper. Stir the filling round so that all the ingredients become equally dispersed and then leave the mixture to cook and set. Once the bottom of the pan has become quite set, put the pan under a pre-heated grill and allow the top to set, puff up and become gloriously brown. Allow to cool, cut into chunky wedges and put into the lunchbox.

The Carrot, Coriander, Lemon and Hummus Combo
Proof, if it were needed, that you can put anything in a buttie. I live in an area of the country where it is de rigeur to put a pie inside a buttered barm, (this should be on your foodie bucket list…) so this combo doesn’t seem that weird to me. If you use something like a wrap then this becomes a delicious Vegan lunchbox main, especially if you use Flora that is dairy free. To make this ‘interesting' sandwich, you need some hummus, some coriander, a squeeze of lemon and some grated carrot. Grate the carrot and mix it with the hummus. Then mix in some chopped coriander (I am a bit of a coriander fiend so I have loads in, but I tone it down for Lola, who likes this combo, because I know coriander can sometimes taste a bit soapy) and a squeeze of lemon. Mix and taste. You might need a touch of salt; you might need a bit more lemon. Once you’re happy with the taste and the consistency, load it onto bread/into a wrap.

Flapjacks. The treat to make the afternoons seem not so bad.
The recipe that I use for Lola and Finn’s favourite flapjacks is here. Other recipes are available. Lola and Finn are fans of the apple flapjack in particular and I have been experimenting with substituting some of the oats with some millet, which gives a nice crunchy texture. However,  I do believe that anything coated with butter/golden syrup/brown sugar is going to taste mighty fine and a little bit of flapjack will leave your bubs sated and with enough energy to take the world on.

Maybe, with a little bit of help, it is possible to improve on the current percentage (a mere 1.6%!) of children who eat a packed lunch that is nutritionally comparable with the guidelines set out for school dinners. It’s vital for the long term health of our children that little changes are made to produce, maybe over time, a lunch that strikes a balance between health, wellbeing and …the odd flapjack!

This post is an entry for the #FloraLunchbox Linky Challenge, sponsored by Flora. Check out their lunch planner and recipe ideas here < >


  1. Great to see how you got on. Commenting for myself and on behalf of BritMums and thanking you for taking part

  2. I'm always happy to see you pop up in my mailbox. I rarely go to the contessa board anymore so I like to check out your kids...and you kitchen. Thanks for showing up. (=


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