Spill the beans... on cheap, nutritious back to school lunchboxes

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  • freyasmum
    freyasmum Posts: 20,597 Forumite
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    I mean to add for the liquid component, dd has plain water. On warmer days, I half-freeze the bottles and it helps keep the box cooler for longer.
    jellyhead wrote: »
    If you complained he'd probably be told not to do it. My son was told off last year for complaining about the smell of people's lunchboxes (he really hates cheese). 1 parent complained to school, and when the teacher mentioned it 2 other children said he'd done it to them too.

    He'd tried to deal with it himself by moving away from the people who eat cheese every day, but he didn't do it subtly, he told his best friend that he was wasn't going to sit with her because her sandwiches smell :(

    Teacher's son might be a horrrid child, but he might have special needs that mean his nose is too sensitive and he truly hates certain smells. He still needs to be told to deal with it in a way that doesn't make others feel uncomfortable though.

    For some reason when I was pregnant I hated the smell of cheese, and even walking down the isle where they were enclosed in packets made me heave.

    Thank you for your reply. I'm sorry, he's six; I actually think he's using 'stinking' to mean 'different' because he doesn't complain when she has the same fillings on a sandwich. God knows what he'd do with himself if she were to have cous cous or hummus! :D

    Your poor boy :( I too have a strong sense of smell (and, subsequently, taste) and know what it's like being able to smell something when no one else can and they look at you like YOU'RE the one who's a bit daft :undecided

    I doubt I'd complain, I think it's a case of teaching her to ignore him.
  • Fire_Fox
    Fire_Fox Posts: 26,026 Forumite
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    edited 2 September 2012 at 1:38PM
    Thanks for the lunch ideas Fire Fox. I'm well past the school dinner stage but I'll try and use your list as inspiration for my work lunches. I either skip lunch altogether, just snack on some fruit, or go out and get a supermarket/Boots sandwich that bores me to death now after 20-odd years of work lunches.

    I try and take stuff in sometimes and it's always so much nicer, I just need to get into the habit of planning for it, buying the stuff, and then making sure I act on those good intentions instead of food sitting in the fridge for 2 weeks then thrown away.

    I'm going shopping today - I'm going to make myself a lunch plan and list first for the week, and stick to it. Much more MSE!

    Don't take notes (just coins) or cards to work except on days you need them to purchase a travel card or petrol, freeze your debit card if you need to. Take a route in the morning or at lunchtime that avoids Boots, vending machines and so on. Make it easy to eat healthier, cheaper foods BUT ALSO make it difficult to eat expensive, ready made lunches. Same system you'd use if you are trying to break bad spending habits or quit smoking! :T Don't limit yourself to fresh foods that need loads of preparation and have a short shelf life whilst you get into good habits. Go for more frozen, canned, jar and dried foods.

    Depending what you have space for maybe keep several different dried fruits, nuts or seeds, oat cakes or Ryvita in your locker or desk so there is always something to snack on. If you then just grab a pot of houmous and a carrot or some low fat soft cheese and a green apple at the supermarket/ out of the fridge you have a fairly varied meal. If there is a kitchenette at work you might store baked beans, canned chickpeas, canned sweetcorn, peanut butter, Loyd Grossman tomato/ vegetable sauce or jar roasted red peppers in vinegar at work. This gives you options for what you can grab in the morning or pick up at the supermarket to make a minimum prep meal. :cool:
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  • jellyhead wrote: »
    Yes, just find a bottle that doesn't leak. That way you can dilute it to suit - my son has his squash much weaker than the squash bottle suggests, and they can have tap water.

    Hi. Thank you for your reply. I think my son's school wants children to use a clear bottle so they can see they are drinking water (fair enough). I will put another bottle with diluted juice in his lunchbox. I worry the juice in the little cartons and squash bottles is really concentrated and once my son's is firmly hooked of them he won't want to drink anything else -let alone plain water.
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  • Fire_Fox
    Fire_Fox Posts: 26,026 Forumite
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    MoonJelly wrote: »
    Hi. Thank you for your reply. I think my son's school wants children to use a clear bottle so they can see they are drinking water (fair enough). I will put another bottle with diluted juice in his lunchbox. I worry the juice in the little cartons and squash bottles is really concentrated and once my son's is firmly hooked of them he won't want to drink anything else -let alone plain water.

    Why does the school want to see they are drinking water?? I can understand carbonated drinks are not encouraged/ permitted but not milk or all juice or smoothies. I loathe water it makes me feel nauseous if I drink much of it. I use empty squash bottles to carry drinks - they rarely leak, are MSE and clear.
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  • themull1
    themull1 Posts: 4,299 Forumite
    Fire_Fox wrote: »
    Oh dear your daughter is a fussy little thing, isn't she? Why are you bothering to read a thread on nutritious lunchboxes if you are going to be so rude about the suggestions? Has your daughter inherited your appalling manners as well as your finickiness?

    Your comparison shows nothing more than ignorance. Gillian McKeith has fake qualifications and advocates highly restrictive bland diets, I have real qualifications and suggested a broad range of flavoursome foods. Normal foods that normal people have been eating for CENTURIES before branded carp came along and CENTURIES before fussy children were getting type 2 diabetes.

    I think that you've got the problem with manners. Just because someone doesn't agree with mackerel and pate? I'm sorry that i don't agree with all the foods that you have listed, but you don't have to be so rude.
  • Fire_Fox
    Fire_Fox Posts: 26,026 Forumite
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    edited 2 September 2012 at 3:27PM
    themull1 wrote: »
    I think that you've got the problem with manners. Just because someone doesn't agree with mackerel and pate? I'm sorry that i don't agree with all the foods that you have listed, but you don't have to be so rude.

    Did it occur to you that I invested quite a bit of time into typing that out? Reread your own post: every sentence was negative and dismissive, not one food or suggestion met your exacting standards. The Gillian McKeith analogy was unnecessary and offensive. The way I was raised that is finicky and is extremely bad manners.
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  • quietheart
    quietheart Posts: 1,875 Forumite
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    Thanks Fire Fox. You've given me a lot to think about.
    I have let standards slip as my kids have got older and fussier. I need to stop giving them junk even if it does upset them for a while. They'll get used to it (eventually!)
    :o
  • jellyhead
    jellyhead Posts: 21,555 Forumite
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    Fire_Fox wrote: »
    Why does the school want to see they are drinking water?? I can understand carbonated drinks are not encouraged/ permitted but not milk or all juice or smoothies. I loathe water it makes me feel nauseous if I drink much of it. I use empty squash bottles to carry drinks - they rarely leak, are MSE and clear.

    We were told it's because the kids are allowed to have their drink on the table, so if it spills they don't want anything except water in the bottles. Some people put flavoured water in the bottles.

    The year 2 teacher turned a blind eye to what was in the bottles, but they weren't allowed them on the table unless they were plain water - the children knew the rule. The teacher said she'd rather that the ones who won't drink water were drinking something rather than nothing, because experience had suggested that the children who refuse water will actually go without ... they didn't get to a point where they were so thirsty they would force themselves to drink water, they just got dehydrated, had water infections etc.

    My children drink tap water at home, but in school it's not so nice - it tastes of the plastic bottle, and even a frozen bottle of water will be lukewarm by late afternoon on a hot day. So they take weak squash, but will always choose water if it's direct from the tap or a water cooler. Personally I think if schools want to insist on water then they should let kids bring in a cup or bottle and let them use the tap.
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  • themull1
    themull1 Posts: 4,299 Forumite
    Fire_Fox wrote: »
    Did it occur to you that I invested quite a bit of time into typing that out? Reread your own post: every sentence was negative and dismissive, not one food or suggestion met your exacting standards. The Gillian McKeith analogy was unnecessary and offensive. The way I was raised that is finicky and is extremely bad manners.

    I didnt mention any of the other foods, i mentioned the mackerel and the pate, its a forum, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Just because you spent a lot of time typing it out, doesn't mean i have to agree!!
  • Fire_Fox
    Fire_Fox Posts: 26,026 Forumite
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    jellyhead wrote: »
    We were told it's because the kids are allowed to have their drink on the table, so if it spills they don't want anything except water in the bottles. Some people put flavoured water in the bottles.

    The year 2 teacher turned a blind eye to what was in the bottles, but they weren't allowed them on the table unless they were plain water - the children knew the rule. The teacher said she'd rather that the ones who won't drink water were drinking something rather than nothing, because experience had suggested that the children who refuse water will actually go without ... they didn't get to a point where they were so thirsty they would force themselves to drink water, they just got dehydrated, had water infections etc.

    My children drink tap water at home, but in school it's not so nice - it tastes of the plastic bottle, and even a frozen bottle of water will be lukewarm by late afternoon on a hot day. So they take weak squash, but will always choose water if it's direct from the tap or a water cooler. Personally I think if schools want to insist on water then they should let kids bring in a cup or bottle and let them use the tap.

    What a silly rule, there are no spill sports type bottles on the market now! I questioned it because I am in the 'will dehydrate and make myself ill' camp, plain water actually makes me feel nauseous. :o
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