My boys love their school lunches and get so excited when they peep into their box before school and see something they like. Most children are creatures of habit and welcome familiar foods as part of their diet, but I find it is important to vary these items every so often, to keep little ones interested in their lunch. If I am introducing a new snack to the school lunch box I will always try it at home first. Sometimes encouragement is needed when offering something different. If a child won't eat it at home there is little chance of them tucking into it at school.
For good concentration it is vital to have items in the lunch box that not only leave children full but also nourishes them. There are so many prepared and pre packed lunch box items for sale that are naturally very tempting, as they are so convenient. However there is a price for this convenience, that being the addition of much unnecessary sugar to a child's diet, not to mention how expensive these products prove to be over the year.
A nice alternative to a sandwich or wrap can be quiche or a slice of a Spanish Tortilla. They are equally as good cold as they are hot making them a perfect option for a packed lunch. This recipe makes six slices so it can be made for a mid-week tea and use what ever is leftover for lunch the next day. The main ingredient in Spanish Tortillas are eggs, which makes them a fantastic choice for the school goers. Eggs can be classed as a super food due to their high levels of vitamins and minerals. They are especially high in Iron, which is crucial for a healthy body and mind, it maintains a robust health while encouraging better levels of concentration.
This is one lunchbox snack that my little men love!
Potato & Chorizo Tortilla
80g Spanish chorizo sausages, cut into 1cm thick slices or cubes of smoked bacon
4 small potatoes, par-boiled and cut into cubes
1/2 red onion, finely sliced
6 large free-range/organic eggs, slightly beaten together
freshly ground black pepper
50g cheddar cheese, grated
1. Heat a 20cm ovenproof frying pan. Add the butter, and once it's foaming add the chorizo slices, potato cubes and red onion. Toss them around, so as they all become coated with the butter. Fry for about 10 minutes, occasionally stirring.
3. Once everything is lightly golden and crisp, pour over the lightly beaten eggs mixture and seson with a little freshly ground pepper. Then sprinkle over the cheese.
4. Leave the pan on a low heat for 2 minutes, before placing in the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes, when the tortilla will be cooked through and the cheese will be bubbling.
5. Cut into six and remove from the pan. Eat straight away, with a green salad, or allow to fully cool before packing away for lunch.
Photos & styling by Nessa Robins.
This article featured in the Aug/Sep issue of Easy Parenting.