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And here in Dunbrody, we’ve had a hectic few days here, photographing our back to school recipes and filming a few sequences to accompany them, which will hopefully give you plenty of inspiration.
We all know the importance of healthy nutritious lunches, and you can check out the recipes we covered for some lunchbox inspiration on our back to school lunchbox recipes page. One of my favourites from the shoot is grapes on skewers, a great snack at any time of the day, and a great way to incorporate one of the seven-a-day into childrens diets. There’s a recipe too for courgette and cheese scones, lovely savoury scones that can be eaten as they are, or sliced in half and filled with cream cheese and ham.
We also made some lovely crunchy cinnamon apple crisps, which are healthier than your average packet of crisps and really easy to make. Firstly you slice your apples very, very thinly. If you don’t cut them thin enough they will be mushy and soft, so it’s definitely a case of the thinner the better. I used a mandolin slicer to get nice even thin slices, but a sharp knife will work too, and don’t worry if your slices aren’t perfect, they’ll all be eaten. The secret to getting these right is to cook them for a long time over a low heat, that way you should get the perfect crisp.
For sandwiches, particularly for children in primary school, I like to make my caterpillar sandwich - a selection of sandwiches cut into a discs (using a scone cutter) and filled with a variety of fillings. I like to make the head from an apple but a tomato would work too. This is one your children will want to show off in the playground and they can have some of the sandwiches for morning break and the rest for their ‘big’ lunch break. Suitable fillings include peanut butter, ham, chicken, salad, egg, tuna - really it’s up to you, but don’t add anything that might have strong odours as this is one thing my children don’t like!
For a little treat, try my recipe for homemade oat bars. These are a handy bar to have in your larder, full of oats, seeds and dried fruit and can be eaten for breakfast (if running a little late!), lunch or just a snack. They are great fun to make too and there’s never any shortage of offers of assistance when making them.
I really believe that children will eat what they help to prepare, and whilst they may need a little nudge in the right direction with some of their choices, it’s important that they do eat during the day, so help them make the right choices.