5 Lunchbox Ideas for the Uninspired Mom

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Photo: Courtesy of S'well

If the new term has barely started and you’re already struggling to think of lunchbox ideas that your kids will actually eat, don’t panic. Goodness teamed up with Waitrose & Partners to bring you five quick and easy recipe and snack ideas that are both healthy and fun for your kids. 

15-Minute Pitta Pizzas

Photo: Courtesy Waitrose & Partners

Total time: 15 minutes
Serves: 6

6 white pittas
200g vine ripened tomato salsa
250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp olives, plus 1 tbsp oil from the jar
100g pack Italian cooked beef ham
150g grated mozzarella
Basil leaves, to garnish

Preheat the oven to 220ºC (or gas mark 7).
Place the pitta breads on a large baking sheet and spoon over the salsa.
Toss together the sliced mushrooms, olives, and oil from the jar. Spoon on top of the salsa.
Tear the beef ham and sprinkle over, then finally scatter the cheese on top.
Bake for ten minutes until the cheese has melted and the pizzas are heated through.
Garnish with basil leaves.

Pepper and Pesto Pasta Salad

Photo: Courtesy of Waitrose & Partners

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4

300g dried pasta
77g diced beef bacon
45g basil pesto
400g chickpeas, drained, and rinsed
280g jar of chargrilled peppers in olive oil, drained and very roughly chopped
Basil leaves, to garnish

Cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling water for ten to 12 minutes until tender.
Meanwhile, gently cook the beef bacon in a small non-stick frying pan for five minutes until crisp and lightly browned.
Drain the pasta and cool under running water.
Toss with the beef bacon, pesto, chickpeas, and peppers.
Scatter over the basil leaves and a good grinding of black pepper to serve.

Spinach and Cheese Quesadillas

Photo: Courtesy of Waitrose & Partners

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes

250g spinach
175g mature English grated cheddar
8 flour tortillas
150g frozen petit pois, defrosted
1 large red onion, sliced
10g coriander
1 tbsp olive oil
200g tub tomato salsa

Preheat the oven to 150ºC (or gas mark 2).
Whiz the spinach in a processor until finely chopped, then mix it with the cheese.
Spoon this mixture over half of each tortilla. Scatter with the peas, onion, and coriander, including stalks.
Fold over the tortillas and press down to seal; brush with some oil.
Cook the folded tortillas in batches.
Heat a griddle or frying pan on a medium heat and cook the tortillas oiled-side down for three minutes until crisp.
Brush the uncooked sides with some oil, flip over, and cook for two minutes.
Cut into wedges to serve. 

BLT Double Decker

Photo: Courtesy of Waitrose & Partners

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes

2 eggs
4 beef bacon
1 tbsp half-fat mayonnaise
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tub lettuce
6 slices wholemeal bread
2 curly lettuce leaves
1 tomato, sliced

Cook the eggs in a pan of boiling water for eight minutes, then drain, cool, and shell them.
Meanwhile, grill the beef bacon for three minutes on each side until cooked through and browned.
Chop the eggs roughly, then mash together with the mayonnaise and mustard using a fork. Stir in the lettuce.
Lightly toast the bread and place a lettuce leaf on two of the slices, top with the tomato and the grilled beef bacon.
Spread the egg mayonnaise onto two slices of the toast and place on top of the bacon.
Finally, place the remaining two slices of toast on top.
Secure with cocktail sticks, then cut each sandwich diagonally in half. 

Chicken, Sweetcorn, and Avocado Wrap

Photo: Courtesy of Waitrose & Partners

6 chicken thigh fillets
Umami paste
2 tsp olive oil
200g frozen sweetcorn
4 white wrap breads
1 heart Romaine lettuce, shredded
1 avocado, stoned, peeled, and cubed
4 tbsp natural yogurt or soured cream

Preheat the oven to 200°C (or gas mark 6).
Make slashes across the flesh of the chicken thighs with a sharp knife and rub the umami paste over the chicken.
Place it in a small roasting tin, drizzle with the olive oil, and season.
Roast for 30 to 35 minutes until the juices run clear (with no pink meat), stirring the sweetcorn into the pan for the last ten minutes.
Warm a ridged grill pan or non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Cook each wrap (one at a time) for one minute on each side, then remove.
Scatter over the shredded lettuce and cubed avocado.
Cut the chicken into slices and mix into the drained sweetcorn, then arrange over the wraps and spoon on the yogurt or soured cream.
Wrap up and place in your kid’s lunchbox.

Waitrose & Partners exports products to more than 50 countries worldwide and has eight shops that operate under license in the Middle East.
Dubai: The Dubai Mall, Dubai Marina Mall, Al Thania
Abu Dhabi: Eastern Mangroves, Saadiyat Beach Community, Etihad Tower, Al Zeina, and Sun & Sky Reem Island