Young people’s mental health platform Hidden Strength has tips for making school lunches more exciting!
Tired of drab dinners? Switch up your midday meal to enjoy yummier food with a side serving of boosted energy levels, this International School Meals Day!
Whether you take a packed lunch, go home, eat out, or eat at school, there are lots of ways you can make simple changes to get the most from your school lunch.
Changing just one thing can make a world of difference. Swap out your usual packet of crisps for a piece of fruit or opt for diet instead of a regular fizzy drink. You can make these choices whether you’re standing in the queue at Greggs or waiting your turn in the school cafeteria.
Try Something New Today
Push your boundaries and aim to try a new food today. Do you usually plump for pizza and chips on a Friday? Choose a healthier option instead and give your tastebuds a chance – who knows, you might find your new fave food!
Another great way to make a change is to opt for the vegetarian option on the school meal menu. If you’re out and about at lunchtime, why not try a new lunch spot? Swerve the food van and head to the shop to try something a little bit different.
Eat A Rainbow
Ditch beige, bland foods (hello, nuggets and waffles!) and fill your plate or packed lunch box with as many colours of the rainbow as you can: red, juicy tomatoes; green, leafy lettuce; colourful blueberries; orange satsumas… the list is endless! A simple fruit salad or wrap packed with colourful salad and chicken not only looks good – it also tastes great!
Meal prep is a great way to create more exciting, healthier lunches for the week ahead. You could batch-cook something like a healthy pasta dish to eat throughout the week, or simply pack a fresh salad or wrap the night before school. For lots of tasty lunch ideas you can prepare ahead, check out https://tasty.co/article/jesseszewczyk/meal-prep-lunch-recipes.
Keep It Cheap
Eating healthy and vibrantly doesn’t have to cost the earth but we know it can be extremely difficult if you don’t have the ingredients at home. Jack Monroe, the Bootstrap Cook, has lots of great recipe ideas for making yummy meals from cupboard basics on a budget – https://cookingonabootstrap.com/
Love Your Leftovers
Leftovers can make awesome lunches! Fry off your favourite vegetables and stir them through some leftover rice from dinner to make a yummy rice box for the next day. You could fill a wholemeal wrap with cold leftover chicken from your Sunday dinner for a monumental Monday munch. Excess pasta is also great to throw in a Tupperware box for the next day – just remember to pack a fork!
Many of us eat school-prepared meals and the choices can be somewhat limited but you can make small changes to boost your plate. Pick water or milk for your drink and load up on veg or salad. You could choose a meal option you wouldn’t normally consider and give it a go or pack a piece of fruit in your bag to supplement your school lunch.