Packed lunch ideas with Power NI Perks!
In week three of our packed lunch series, Ydele from Our Life At The Whitehouse is sharing how to help your kids eat their 5-a-day, all while making savings with Perks!
Getting your kids to eat five a day is not as difficult as we may think. Fruit or vegetables can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or tinned (in juice or water) and can be used in packed lunches in various ways. This week I’m giving ideas on how we can make it easier for our little ones to get their recommended amount.
Not only that but with Power NI Perks* the reward scheme that offers discounts and savings helping us as customers get more for our money. We can avail of cash-back when shopping online by clicking through from the perks account to the retailer website we can earn on the purchases we make, such as 3% cash back when you shop online at Iceland or 4% off e-vouchers for Tesco and Sainsbury's. Simply register or sign in to save at 100s of supermarkets and high street brands!
Fresh fruit can be portioned according to its size and fitted within a bento style box to make it look bright, colourful and really appetising. Whether it is strawberries, grapes, cherries, apples, pears, bananas, nectarine, melon, mango, papaya... there are lots of examples of fruit that can be divided up and easily eaten. There are some of us who prefer to eat a fruit whole, but likewise it can be encouraging to have it already cut up into tiny pieces to have together as a fresh fruit salad mix. Perhaps, consider the texture, taste and colour of fruit by putting a variety together showing all the colours of the rainbow as this can make it very tempting and often irresistible.
Habits are best established at home where they can taste and sample a variety during their meal times. Adding vegetables like grated carrot, chopped peppers or sweetcorn are easily introduced within pasta, stews and casseroles, and even on the top of a pizza. Being able to help disguise them within a meal such as using purée vegetables in soups and sauces, as well as vegetables mashed within a potato portion like parsnips and carrots is a simple and stress free approach of having your children believe they are not there at all.
Multi-tasking is one of our best skills as a parent. Perhaps by cooking a larger quantity of our food for the evening meal it can double up and be used for lunches the next day, such as our soup and stew. They are a great way of bringing in the 5-a-day focus and it’s quick and easy being able to save on your preparation time. Hot lunch options in a small flash are becoming more and more popular, especially at this time of year when our weather starts to get colder, and it’s something hot, hearty and wholesome to put into their little tummies.
Ways to make up the 5-a-day can also include dried fruit, tinned fruit, vegetables, pulses and beans, as well as incorporating smoothies or freshly squeezed fruit or vegetable juice. Within each of our local supermarkets they have a super selection of all fruit and vegetables, covering ready to eat (already pre cut into bite sizes), freshly picked options, as well as dried and tinned. However we know the cost can add up and depending on what you are buying and if it is out of season it can make it more expensive again.
There are factors we can consider that will help us budget when shopping, such as buying loose fruit and vegetables as oppose to pre packed, and also opting for the supermarkets own brand of tinned, dried, frozen fruit and vegetables.
As parents we understand the importance of 5-a-day in helping our children stay healthy and enabling them to do their very best each and every day. For more tips and tricks on keeping your littles ones happy at lunch time, check out week 1 and week 2 where I focus on how to keep their tummies full and how to deal with the fussy eaters in the family! Oh and remember to check back next week for the final blog of this series.
Ydele White - @ourlifeattthewhitehouse