As the summer holiday comes to a close, a new school term awaits children across the UK, and parents are starting to prepare for their return.
With searches for ‘easy meal prep recipes’ up by 110% and ‘kids packed lunch ideas’ also seeing a 150% increase in the past 30 days, chefs at Ocado have shared healthy and fun lunchbox recipe ideas for people to try out in September.
From cute Japanese-inspired picture sandwiches, to eggs that look like chickens, houmous-stuffed peppers, and nutritious chicken and red pepper mini pittas served alongside playful and exciting sides – see the six delicious recipes below.
To start with:
Searches for ‘easy lunch box sandwich ideas’ have seen a 33% increase in the past 12 months, and Ocado’s unique and artistic picture sandwiches are perfect for the ultimate crowd-pleasing children’s lunch snack.
- 4 slices bread
- 1 tbsp mayonnaise or butter
- 1 slice cheese
- 1 slice ham
- Spread the bread with mayonnaise or butter and place a slice of cheese on one and a slice of ham on another.
- Take the remaining two pieces of bread and use a knife or small biscuit cutter to cut four ‘windows’ out of each slice (cut any shape you like but make sure it’s smaller than 3cm; to make a bear, as we have, cut a circle, then carve out the ears with a knife). Pop these slices on top of the ham and cheese, so the fillings show through.
- Trim the crusts off the sandwiches and cut each into four. Don’t waste the cut-out pieces of bread – fry them in butter and serve with a sprinkling of cinnamon powder and sugar
Halved pitta breads stuffed with sliced roasted chicken, sweet red peppers and crunchy gem lettuce are a winner – especially when paired with a healthy tomato yoghurt sauce. Perfect for those searching for ‘quick pitta bread recipe with yoghurt’ which has seen a 67% increase in past 12 months.
- 2 white or brown mini pitta breads, halved
- 50g plain yoghurt
- 2 tsp tomato ketchup
- 1 little gem lettuce, separated into individual leaves
- ½ red pepper, deseeded and white pitch removed, cut into thin strip
- 60g sliced roasted chicken breast
- Lightly toast the pitta breads in the toaster, then set aside. In a small bowl, mix together the yoghurt and the tomato ketchup, then season with pepper. Set aside.
- Spread 1 tsp of the sauce in each pitta half. Layer in a gem lettuce leaf, folded in half if needed, a few strips of red pepper and a few slices of chicken. Finish with a drizzle of the remaining sauce.
- Pack the pitta sandwiches into the lunchbox upright, stacked tightly against one another. Alternatively, wrap in food-safe wrap to ensure the pitta sandwiches hold onto their delicious fillings until lunchtime.
Something to munch on the side:
With searches for ‘boiled eggs lunchbox ideas’ seeing a 133% increase over the last year, eggs are becoming a go-to choice as a lunchtime snack. Ocado has the perfect adorable solution with these Japanese bento box-inspired boiled eggs, dressed up as cockerels.
- 1 egg
- ¼ carrot
- 2 black sesame seeds
- Pop the egg in boiling water for 10 mins. Remove, cool, then peel. Slice 5mm off the flattest end of the egg, to make a base so the cockerel can stand up.
- Peel the carrot and cut off a 2mm slice, then cut out a triangle (approx. 5mm long on each side) for a beak. To attach the beak to the egg, use a knife to make a horizontal incision, and slide the triangle in.
- To make the cockerel’s cockscomb, cut another carrot slice into a half-moon and cut a zigzag shape on the outer edge; make an incision on top of the egg and slide in the carrot piece. (Leave the cockscomb off if you’d rather make a chick!)
- Add black sesame seeds as eyes, pressing them lightly into the egg.
Houmous-stuffed anything is a great idea, but it works especially well with sweet, crunchy piccarella peppers. A popular side packed with favour, searches for ‘bell pepper houmous recipes’ have seen an 80% increase in the past 12 months.
- 3 mini piccarella peppers
- 40g houmous
- Cut the peppers in half lengthways, remove the stems and scrape out the seeds and white pithy bits using a teaspoon.
- Using a teaspoon, divide the houmous between the peppers and smooth over using the back of the spoon to ensure the houmous stays neatly inside. Pack the peppers tightly into your lunchbox, ensuring they’re secure.
Satisfy the sweet tooth with:
For parents looking for ‘healthy muffins for kids,’ which has seen a 250% increase in searches in the last 30 days, these banana strawberry muffins work perfectly as a lunchbox snack for little ones who don’t enjoy eating fruit in its raw form, as they will still be getting two of their five a day.
- 3 bananas, the more ripe the better
- 25g honey
- 80g apple sauce
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 120g plain flour
- 100g wholemeal flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- 120g strawberries, roughly chopped into small pieces
- Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/gas mark 5. Place 12 paper muffin cases in a 12-hole muffin tin and set aside
- In a large bowl, mash the bananas well. Add the honey, apple sauce, eggs and vanilla extract and mix well.
- In another smaller bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, cinnamon and salt and mix well. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and stir to combine thoroughly. Add in the chopped strawberries and stir well
- Divide the mixture evenly between the 12 paper muffin cases and bake in the oven for 15-20 mins until risen and golden. Transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely before packing them into the lunchboxes.
Sweet strawberries and chocolate are a match made in heaven, and the vanilla yoghurt adds even more goodness and flavour to this tasty lunchbox snack, perfect for the 2,400 people searching for ‘yoghurt dessert recipes’ each month.
- 1 tsp cocoa powder
- 50g vanilla yoghurt
- 60g strawberries, hulled and halved
- In a small bowl, stir the cocoa powder into the yoghurt until smooth and well-combined. Transfer to a small airtight container to pack into the lunchbox along with the strawberries and this deliciously healthy snack is ready for dipping come lunchtime.
If you enjoy games and gaming and want more NEWS from the Gaming World Click Here