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Share Back To School Struggling With The Dreaded Lunchbox

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  • Back To School Struggling With The Dreaded Lunchbox

Back to School - struggling with the dreaded lunchbox?

So, I’m going to preface this post by saying I’m not the most imaginative cook and I’m constantly struggling to keep the home menu varied…nowhere more so than when it comes to lunch boxes!

The joke in our house is that I only work in Ardkeen to feed the family...literally. I’m unashamed to say my kids are very fond of our made instore meals, the fact that they are made from the highest quality and freshest ingredients mean I have no guilt in dishing up a prepared meal, but with two strapping teenagers who seem to have an endless capacity for eating, I find lunch boxes really daunting!

Whilst nutrition is the top of my list for the boys, the contents of their lunch box need to compete with 30/40 mins of fun in the yard/pitch with mates, so it better be tasty and it better be interesting…..’not a ham sandwich again Mum!’

And with the pressure to keep it interesting sometimes it’s tempting to go for convenience which doesn’t always result in the best food choices. So, I thought I’d share some of the lunch ideas that work in our house …

Shines Wild Irish Tuna is perfect with some Grantstown tomatoes and Tom Cleary lettuce in a brown seeded wrap or try a wholemeal pitta with The Happy Pear Pea Shoots and Sweet Beet Hummus or Mezze Hummus Masabkha.

When the weather gets a little cooler my lads love soup in a flask, Kinsale Bay do a good traditional flavour range but if they are a bit adventurous mix it up with Happy Pear Sweet Potato, Coconut & Ginger or Laragh Stuart Beetroot, Dill & Crème Fraiche and pack in a couple of Walsh's Blaas and a snack pack of Grantsown Tomatoes.

If I’m not serving an Ardkeen meal for dinner (Thanks Chef Brendan and team!), I’m very fond of a good free range or organic roast chicken and we have lots to choose from instore from Bertram Salter in Carlow or Sean Ring in Kilkenny to Regan Organic in Wexford. All produce fantastic juicy birds that are a perfect dinner and generally have enough meat left over for lunch sandwiches or pasta salad the next day. I like to mix in some Pure Food pesto with the pasta & chicken strips – its fast and really tasty.

But if the aul ham sandwich is really the winner in your house then make it a good one – bake a dry cure ham from O’Neill’s or Rosscarberry or Crowes Farm (they do an easy carve one) and slice it nice & thick on a soft buttered Blaa. Not only will you be saving – you’ll get loads out of it (depending on size & how thickly sliced!) but you’re also avoiding that unappetising reformed, processed stuff.

Water is the preference for drinks in our house but eldest has a sweet tooth so although we avoid the fizzy stuff I do add a little flavour with Mr. Jeffares Blackcurrant or Naturally Cordial so at least I know they are not full of artificial colours and flavours.

And so, to treats…I used to get homemade buns & cake in my lunch box but like I said I’m really not that imaginative of a cook and I don’t think apple tart every day would cut it! Flahavans Flapjacks are a winner and a wonder, packed full of good stuff and a great bundle of satiety when the hunger pangs hit. For that sweet tooth, I find some Soul of Crete chocolate tahini or Nutterly Nutritious almond butter on crackers or breadsticks are a great alternative to biscuits. Almonds really are a superfood - Dr. Coys do a chocolate covered nut and Nutmost Himalayan salt/Tamari flavoured are really moreish.

Yoghurts are another good option, full of calcium and probiotics if you choose well. Knockeen, Killowen, Glenisk, Glenilen and Velvet Cloud are a few you should check out.

Not forgetting the fruit, lots of local berries still in season but we’re counting down the days for the first harvest of Irish apples from Ballycross, Richard Galvin and Lucy Walsh – honestly was there ever a more perfect lunchbox food?!

So that’s my go to list for the lunches in this house, hardly comprehensive but I hope it’s given you some ideas on how to mix it up add some interest to the school bag. Now I’m off to hunt in cupboards for the top of those boxes last seen some time circa June!

  • Shines Wild Irish Tuna in Olive Oil 111g

    Shines Wild Irish Tuna in Olive Oil 111g

    Shines Wild Irish Tuna in Olive Oil.

    High in omega 3 and gluten free.

    Living and working in Ireland’s premier fishing port for the last 30 years has led us to discover Ireland’s best kept secret. Albacore tuna. Our family’s love for this fish has driven us to source Irish caught Albacore tuna. We know you will enjoy this new taste experience as much as we do. Once tasted, always loved.

    €3.85

  • Shines Wild Yellowfin Tuna Olive Oil 111g

    Shines Wild Yellowfin Tuna Olive Oil 111g

    Shines Wild Yellowfin Tuna in Olive Oil.

    High in omega 3 and gluten free.

    Living and working in Ireland’s premier fishing port for the last 30 years has led us to discover Ireland’s best kept secret. Albacore tuna. Our family’s love for this fish has driven us to source Irish caught Albacore tuna. We know you will enjoy this new taste experience as much as we do. Once tasted, always loved.

    €3.35

  • The Happy Pear Pea Shoots 50g

    The Happy Pear Pea Shoots 50g

    Why Eat Pea Shoots?

    These mighty lads will bring life and vitality. They are a powerful superfood! Great in salads, on sandwiches, or for juicing.

    €2.15

  • Mezze Hummus Masabkha 120g

    Mezze Hummus Masabkha 120g

    A chunky chickpea hummus made with sesame seed paste and lemon juice. 

    Dip, dollop....spread the love.

    No additives, gluten free, vegan.

    €3.50

  • Laragh Stuart Beetroot Dill & Creme Fraiche Soup 600ml

    Laragh Stuart Beetroot Dill & Creme Fraiche Soup 600ml

    This soup is a smooth blend of fresh beetroot with fresh dill & a hint of creme fraiche. The tartness of the balsamic brings out the beetroot flavour & the caraway adds to its uniqueness. It is very nutritious and a great way to develop a tate for fresh beets which are so healthy but often not a part of peoples diet. Prepare to buy fresh beets in your next shopping.

    * GLUTEN FREE.
    * NO ARTIFIIAL PRESERVATIVES.
    * NO ADDITIVES OF ANY KIND.
    * MICROWAVABLE CONTAINER.  

    €3.50

  • Laragh Stuart Moroccan Vegetable Soup 600ml

    Laragh Stuart Moroccan Vegetable Soup 600ml

    This is a vegetable soup  with our special blend of spices bringing all the moroccan flavours & a hint of freshly squeezed lemon juice to bring freshness. It is a hearty soup which can be a healthy meal replacement. This is our most popular soup and people have often called us to find out our recipe.

    * GLUTEN FREE.
    * NO ARTIFIIAL PRESERVATIVES.
    * NO ADDITIVES OF ANY KIND.
    * MICROWAVABLE CONTAINER. 

    €3.50

  • Laragh Stuart Thai Broccoli Soup 600ml

    Laragh Stuart Thai Broccoli Soup 600ml

    This is a smooth Thai flavoured Broccoli soup. It has a creamy consistency and hint of coconut flavour along with the added spiciness of fresh ginger , lemongrass & chilli. Made to be enjoyed !

    * GLUTEN FREE.
    * NO ARTIFIIAL PRESERVATIVES.
    * NO ADDITIVES OF ANY KIND.
    * MICROWAVABLE CONTAINER.       

    €3.50

  • Pure Food Company Spinach & Basil Pesto 180g

    Pure Food Company Spinach & Basil Pesto 180g

    A pure, vibrant pesto made with fresh fragrant basil, spinach and lemon juice. 

    €4.95

  • Pure Food Company Rocket & Garlic Pesto 180g

    Pure Food Company Rocket & Garlic Pesto 180g

    A pure, vibrant pesto made with fresh rocket and flavoursome garlic. 

    €4.95

  • Pure Food Company Sundried Tomato & Basil Pesto 180g

    Pure Food Company Sundried Tomato & Basil Pesto 180g

    A pure, rich pesto made with sweet sundried tomatoes & flavoursome basil leaves. 

    €4.95

  • Mr Jeffares Irish Blackcurrant Cordial

    Mr Jeffares Irish Blackcurrant Cordial

    Awarded 2 Stars at the Great Taste Awards 2016

    The Jeffares family have been growing blackcurrants in Wexford for three generations. Des tells us .... 'Here at Ballyskelly Farm we only those varieties that produce the purest juice and natural sweetness, cultivated with care, and a little help from our favourable climate. Now we've bottled it for you to enjoy'.

    Blackcurrants are rich in nature's goodness. Pound for pound they contain three times more vitamin C than oranges. They are also a source of anthrocyanins and antioxidants as well as vitamins A and B. Mr Jeffares Irish blackcurrant cordial has no added sugar. This pure juice is is accentuated by an extract of stevia rebaudians. Also called sweetleaf. Stevia is enjoyed worldwide as a calorie free natural sugar alternative.

    €5.99

  • Naturally Cordial Aromatic Lemon Cordial 500ml

    Naturally Cordial Aromatic Lemon Cordial 500ml

    Naturally Cordial is made from whole fruit to a traditional recipe and then pasteurised. Based in Co. Wexford, we use local fruit from our neighbours and friends, along with organic citrus fruit, to make our original cordials.

    Dilute to taste by adding still or sparkling water. We suggest using 50ml of cordial with 200ml of water. Try adding mint, ginger or slices of fresh fruit and pour over ice. In winter, add cloves, star anise or other spices and drink hot. 

    €6.00

  • Naturally Cordial Lemon & Lime Cordial 500ml

    Naturally Cordial Lemon & Lime Cordial 500ml

    Naturally Cordial is made from whole fruit to a traditional recipe and then pasteurised. Based in Co. Wexford, we use local fruit from our neighbours and friends, along with organic citrus fruit, to make our original cordials.

    Dilute to taste by adding still or sparkling water. We suggest using 50ml of cordial with 200ml of water. Try adding mint, ginger or slices of fresh fruit and pour over ice. In winter, add cloves, star anise or other spices and drink hot. 

    €6.00

  • Naturally Cordial Lemon & Raspberry Cordial 500ml

    Naturally Cordial Lemon & Raspberry Cordial 500ml

    Naturally Cordial is made from whole fruit to a traditional recipe and then pasteurised. Based in Co. Wexford, we use local fruit from our neighbours and friends, along with organic citrus fruit, to make our original cordials.

     

    Dilute to taste by adding still or sparkling water. We suggest using 50ml of cordial with 200ml of water. Try adding mint, ginger or slices of fresh fruit and pour over ice. In winter, add cloves, star anise or other spices and drink hot. 

    €6.00

  • Naturally Cordial Orange & Lemon Cordial 500ml

    Naturally Cordial Orange & Lemon Cordial 500ml

    Naturally Cordial is made from whole fruit to a traditional recipe and then pasteurised. Based in Co. Wexford, we use local fruit from our neighbours and friends, along with organic citrus fruit, to make our original cordials.

    Dilute to taste by adding still or sparkling water. We suggest using 50ml of cordial with 200ml of water. Try adding mint, ginger or slices of fresh fruit and pour over ice. In winter, add cloves, star anise or other spices and drink hot. 

    €6.00

  • Naturally Cordial Pink Grapefruit Cordial 500ml

    Naturally Cordial Pink Grapefruit Cordial 500ml

    Naturally Cordial is made from whole fruit to a traditional recipe and then pasteurised. Based in Co. Wexford, we use local fruit from our neighbours and friends, along with organic citrus fruit, to make our original cordials.

    Dilute to taste by adding still or sparkling water. We suggest using 50ml of cordial with 200ml of water. Try adding mint, ginger or slices of fresh fruit and pour over ice. In winter, add cloves, star anise or other spices and drink hot. 

    €6.00

  • Naturally Cordial Strawberry & Pink Grapefruit Cordial 500ml

    Naturally Cordial Strawberry & Pink Grapefruit Cordial 500ml

    Naturally Cordial is made from whole fruit to a traditional recipe and then pasteurised. Based in Co. Wexford, we use local fruit from our neighbours and friends, along with organic citrus fruit, to make our original cordials.

    Dilute to taste by adding still or sparkling water. We suggest using 50ml of cordial with 200ml of water. Try adding mint, ginger or slices of fresh fruit and pour over ice. In winter, add cloves, star anise or other spices and drink hot. 

    €6.00

  • Fiona’s Nutterly Nutritious Activated Almond & Vanilla Butter 170g

    Fiona’s Nutterly Nutritious Activated Almond & Vanilla Butter 170g

    Activated Almond & Vanilla which again is unrivalled in terms of the taste and texture. It's a raw product with the almonds being soaked and dehydrated as opposed to traditional roasting. I use organic vanilla pod to give it a lovely balanced sweetness.

    €6.65

  • Fiona’s Nutterly Nutritious Almond Butter 170g

    Fiona’s Nutterly Nutritious Almond Butter 170g

    A silky smooth blend of deep roasted almonds with a pinch of Irish sea salt to enhance the flavour. That's it!

    €6.15

  • Fiona’s Nutterly Nutritious Pecan & Date Butter 170g

    Fiona’s Nutterly Nutritious Pecan & Date Butter 170g

    A crunchy blend of lightly toasted pecans with the sweet but subtle addition of Medjoul Dates. It's like a healthy Pecan Pie in a jar! 

    €6.55

  • Nutmost Activated Nuts Himalayan Salt Almonds 50g

    Nutmost Activated Nuts Himalayan Salt Almonds 50g

    • Optimum Nutritional Value
    • Smoother Tasting
    • Easier to Digest

    A natural mineral salt. 

    In nature, normal nuts contain enzyme inhibitors which can make them bitter and difficult to digest. At Nutmost, we soak our nuts to wash these away and bring them to the brink of germination. 

    Once the goodness within is activated, we dry them slow and low (temperature, not height) to preserve the maximum nutrients and give them a nice crunchy bite!

    €3.25

  • Nutmost Activated Nuts Tamari Flavoured Almonds 50g

    Nutmost Activated Nuts Tamari Flavoured Almonds 50g

    • Optimum Nutritional Value
    • Smoother Tasting
    • Easier to Digest

    A natural savoury seasoning. 

    In nature, normal nuts contain enzyme inhibitors which can make them bitter and difficult to digest. At Nutmost, we soak our nuts to wash these away and bring them to the brink of germination. 

    Once the goodness within is activated, we dry them slow and low (temperature, not height) to preserve the maximum nutrients and give them a nice crunchy bite!

    €3.25

  • Killowen Farm Whole Milk Yogurt Blueberry 135g

    Killowen Farm Whole Milk Yogurt Blueberry 135g

    Made with our own cows’ milk

    • One Wexford Family Farm
    • Source of natural protein
    • 100% natural live yogurt

    No additives, always natural

    €0.75

  • Killowen Farm Whole Milk Yogurt Hazelnut 135g

    Killowen Farm Whole Milk Yogurt Hazelnut 135g

    Made with our own cows’ milk

    • One Wexford Family Farm
    • Source of natural protein
    • 100% natural live yogurt

    No additives, always natural

    €0.75

  • Killowen Farm Whole Milk Yogurt Forest Fruit 135g

    Killowen Farm Whole Milk Yogurt Forest Fruit 135g

    Made with our own cows’ milk

    • One Wexford Family Farm
    • Source of natural protein
    • 100% natural live yogurt

    No additives, always natural

    €0.75

  • Killowen Farm Whole Milk Yogurt Natural 135g

    Killowen Farm Whole Milk Yogurt Natural 135g

    Made with our own cows’ milk

    • One Wexford Family Farm
    • Source of natural protein
    • 100% natural live yogurt

    No additives, always natural

    €0.75

  • Killowen Farm Whole Milk Yogurt Raspberry 135g

    Killowen Farm Whole Milk Yogurt Raspberry 135g

    Made with our own cows’ milk

    • One Wexford Family Farm
    • Source of natural protein
    • 100% natural live yogurt

    No additives, always natural

    €0.75

  • Killowen Farm Whole Milk Yogurt Strawberry 135g

    Killowen Farm Whole Milk Yogurt Strawberry 135g

    Made with our own cows’ milk

    • One Wexford Family Farm
    • Source of natural protein
    • 100% natural live yogurt

    No additives, always natural

    €0.75

  • Glenisk Bio Live Organic Yogurt Blueberry 4x125g

    Glenisk Bio Live Organic Yogurt Blueberry 4x125g

    • Reduced Sugar
    • Bio Live Cultures
    • Organic
    • Nothing Artificial 
    • Gluten Free
    • Reduced Lactose

    €2.75

  • Glenisk Bio Live Organic Yogurt Natural 4x125g

    Glenisk Bio Live Organic Yogurt Natural 4x125g

    • No Added Sugar
    • Bio Live Cultures
    • Organic
    • Nothing Added
    • Gluten Free

    €2.75

  • Glenisk Bio Live Organic Yogurt Raspberry 4x125g

    Glenisk Bio Live Organic Yogurt Raspberry 4x125g

    • Reduced Sugar
    • Bio Live Cultures
    • Organic
    • Nothing Artificial
    • Gluten Free
    • Reduced Lactose

    €2.75

  • Glenisk Bio Live Organic Yogurt Strawberry 4x125g

    Glenisk Bio Live Organic Yogurt Strawberry 4x125g

    • Reduced Sugar
    • Bio Live Cultures
    • Organic 
    • Nothing Artificial 
    • Gluten Free 
    • Reduced Lactose

    €2.75

  • Glenilen Farm 4 Raspberry & Natural Live Yoghurt 4X125g

    Glenilen Farm 4 Raspberry & Natural Live Yoghurt 4X125g

    Raspberry and natural live yoghurt with absolutlely no additives. Made on Alan and Valarie's farm in West Cork. It all starts with our milk... As you can imagine, this makes our cows very importnt to us. We treat them kindly, allowing them to roam, keeping them warm in winter and never ever over milking them. They in turn supply us with rich tasty milk that we use to make this yoghurt

    €2.60

  • Glenilen Farm 4 Strawberry and Natural Live Yogurt 4x125g

    Glenilen Farm 4 Strawberry and Natural Live Yogurt 4x125g

    Strawberry and natural live yoghurt with absolutlely no additives. Made on Alan and Valarie's farm in West Cork. It all starts with our milk... As you can imagine, this makes our cows very importnt to us. We treat them kindly, allowing them to roam, keeping them warm in winter and never ever over milking them. They in turn supply us with rich tasty milk that we use to make this yoghurt

    €2.60

  • Glenilen Farm Blueberry and Natural Live Yoghurt 160g

    Glenilen Farm Blueberry and Natural Live Yoghurt 160g

    Blueberry and natural live yoghurt with absolutlely no additives. Made on Alan and Valarie's farm in West Cork. It all starts with our milk... As you can imagine, this makes our cows very importnt to us. We treat them kindly, allowing them to roam, keeping them warm in winter and never ever over milking them. They in turn supply us with rich tasty milk that we use to make this yoghurt, 400g

    €1.44

  • Walsh’s Bakehouse Blaa 4 Large

    Walsh’s Bakehouse Blaa 4 Large

    Waterford Blaa Large - 4 pack

    Walsh's Bakehouse, formerly M&D Bakery, is the home of the Waterford Blaa. Three generations help make this Waterford Bakery part of the history of the Blaa.

    €2.30

  • Walsh’s Bakehouse Blaa 6 pack regular

    Walsh’s Bakehouse Blaa 6 pack regular

    Waterford Blaa Large - 6 pack regular

    Walsh's Bakehouse, formerly M&D Bakery, is the home of the Waterford Blaa. Three generations help make this Waterford Bakery part of the history of the Blaa.

     Share 

    €2.35

  • Walsh’s Bakehouse Blaa 6 pack small

    Walsh’s Bakehouse Blaa 6 pack small

    Waterford Blaa Small - 6 pack

    Walsh's Bakehouse, formerly M&D Bakery, is the home of the Waterford Blaa. Three generations help make this Waterford Bakery part of the history of the Blaa.

    €1.75

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