Home Healthy Eating Ocado Shares Playful Packed Lunch Recipes for Kids School Meals

Ocado Shares Playful Packed Lunch Recipes for Kids School Meals

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As the summer holiday comes to a close, a new school term awaits children across the UK, and parents are starting to prepare for their return. 

With searches for “easy meal prep recipes” up by 110% and ‘kids packed lunch ideas’ also seeing a 150% increase in the past 30 days, chefs at Ocado have shared healthy and fun lunchbox recipe ideas for people to try out in September.

From cute Japanese-inspired picture sandwiches to eggs that look like chickens, houmous-stuffed peppers, and nutritious chicken and red pepper mini pittas served alongside playful and exciting sides – see the six delicious recipes below. 

Picture sandwiches 

Searches for “easy lunch box sandwich ideas” have seen a 33% increase in the past 12 months, and Ocado’s unique and artistic picture sandwiches are perfect for the ultimate crowd-pleasing children’s lunch snack. 

Ingredients

  • Four slices bread
  • One tbsp mayonnaise or butter
  • One slice cheese
  • One slice ham

Method

  • Spread the bread with mayonnaise or butter and place a slice of cheese on one and a slice of ham on another.
  • Take the remaining two pieces of bread and use a knife or small biscuit cutter to cut four ‘windows’ out of each slice (cut any shape you like, but make sure it’s smaller than 3cm; to make a bear, as we have, cut a circle, then carve out the ears with a knife). Pop these slices on the ham and cheese so the fillings show through.
  • Trim the crusts off the sandwiches and cut each into four. Don’t waste the cut-out pieces of bread – fry them in butter and serve with a sprinkling of cinnamon powder and sugar.

Chicken and red pepper pittas with tomato yoghurt sauce 

Halved pitta bread stuffed with sliced roasted chicken, sweet red peppers and crunchy gem lettuce is a winner – especially when paired with a healthy tomato yoghurt sauce. Perfect for those searching for a “quick pitta bread recipe with yoghurt”, which has seen a 67% increase in the past 12 months. 

Ingredients

  • Two white or brown mini pitta breads, halved
  • 50g plain yoghurt
  • Two tsp tomato ketchup
  • One little gem lettuce, separated into individual leaves
  • ½ red pepper, deseeded and white pitch removed, cut into thin strips
  • 60g sliced roasted chicken breast

Method

  • Lightly toast the pitta bread in the toaster, then set aside. Mix the yoghurt and tomato ketchup in a small bowl, then season with pepper. Set aside.
  • Spread 1 tsp of the sauce in each pitta half. Layer in a gem lettuce leaf, folded in half if needed, a few strips of red pepper and a few chicken slices. Finish with a drizzle of the remaining sauce.
  • Pack the pitta sandwiches into the lunchbox upright, stacked tightly against one another. Alternatively, wrap in a food-safe wrap to ensure the pitta sandwiches hold their delicious fillings until lunchtime.

Cockerel eggs

With searches for “boiled eggs lunchbox ideas” seeing a 133% increase over the last year, eggs are becoming a go-to choice as a lunchtime snack. Ocado has the perfect adorable solution with this Japanese bento box-inspired boiled eggs dressed up as cockerels. 

Ingredients

  • One egg 
  • ¼ carrot 
  • Two black sesame seeds 

Method 

  1. Pop the egg in boiling water for 10 mins. Remove, cool, then peel. Slice five mm off the flattest end of the egg to make a base so the cockerel can stand up.
  2. Peel the carrot and cut off a two-mm slice, then cut out a triangle (five mm long on each side) for a beak. To attach the beak to the egg, use a knife to make a horizontal incision, and slide the triangle in.
  3. To make the cockerel’s cockscomb, cut another carrot slice into a half-moon and cut a zigzag shape on the outer edge; make an incision on top of the egg and slide in the carrot piece. (Leave the cockscomb off if you’d rather make a chick!)
  4. Add black sesame seeds as eyes, pressing them lightly into the egg.

Houmous-stuffed piccarella peppers 

Houmous-stuffed anything is a great idea, but it works especially well with sweet, crunchy piccarella peppers. A popular side packed with favour, searches for “bell pepper houmous recipes” have seen an 80% increase in the past 12 months. 

Ingredients

  • Three mini piccarella peppers
  • 40g houmous

Method

  1. Cut the peppers in half lengthways, remove the stems and scrape out the seeds and white pithy bits using a teaspoon.
  2. Using a teaspoon, divide the houmous between the peppers and smooth over using the back of the spoon to ensure the houmous stays neatly inside. Pack the peppers tightly into your lunchbox, ensuring they’re secure.

Banana strawberry muffins 

For parents looking for “healthy muffins for kids”, which has seen a 250% increase in searches in the last 30 days, these banana strawberry muffins work perfectly as a lunchbox snack for little ones who don’t enjoy eating fruit in its raw form, as they will still be getting two of their five a day. 

Ingredients

  • Three bananas, the more ripe, the better
  • 25g honey
  • 80g apple sauce
  • Two eggs
  • One tsp vanilla extract
  • 120g plain flour
  • 100g wholemeal flour
  • One tsp baking soda
  • One tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 120g strawberries, roughly chopped into small pieces

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/gas mark five. Place 12 paper muffin cases in a 12-hole muffin tin and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mash the bananas well. Mix well with the honey, apple sauce, eggs, and vanilla extract.
  • Mix the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in another smaller bowl. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and stir to combine thoroughly. Add in the chopped strawberries and stir well.
  • Divide the mixture evenly between the 12 paper muffin cases and bake in the oven for 15–20 mins until risen and golden. Transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely before packing them into the lunch boxes.

Strawberries with choco-vanilla yoghurt dip

Sweet strawberries and chocolate are a match made in heaven, and the vanilla yoghurt adds even more goodness and flavour to this tasty lunchbox snack, perfect for the 2,400 people searching for “yoghurt dessert recipes” each month.

Ingredients

  • One tsp cocoa powder
  • 50g vanilla yoghurt
  • 60g strawberries, hulled and halved

Method 

  • In a small bowl, stir the cocoa powder into the yoghurt until smooth and well combined. Transfer to a small airtight container to pack into the lunchbox with the strawberries, and this deliciously healthy snack is ready for dipping come lunchtime.

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