A Week of Quick Gluten-free Lunchboxes with Nairn’s

My older two absolutely love taking a lunchbox to school, so when Nairn’s asked me whether I wanted to create some content focusing on gluten-free lunchbox heroes, I immediately thought I could come up with a week of quick gluten-free lunchboxes featuring some of their products. Let me tell you a bit more about those lunchbox essentials before I share our five lunchboxes from last week with you. 

Gluten Free Oatcakes

We love Nairn’s products and we’ve been eating their oatcakes for years. I first started buying them for Jumpy, who would have them plain for snack pretty much every day, then her little sister started stealing them from her. Since then, it’s been one of their snacks of choice, and they love them dipped in houmous. I tried them too and it turns out they’re perfect with smelly French cheese! I love the fact they come in small packs. It means they always stay fresh. 

Nairn’s gluten-free oatcakes are high in fibre and they don’t contain GM ingredients, nuts or added sugars. The latter was very important to me as lots of gluten-free products contain an awful lot of added sugar. 

You can find the oatcakes in most supermarkets. Even our Tesco Metro and Little Waitrose stock them. 

Gluten Free Choc Chip Astro Bites

The lady from Nairn’s who contacted me remembered me from last year’s Allergy & Free From Show. They had the Gluten Free Astro Bites mini biscuits for sale (and sampling!) that weekend. We’d not yet managed to find them in our local supermarket and I was so excited I almost hugged the lady on the stand. Jumpy loved them so much she asked me to use all my change on them! 

My four have been having them regularly ever since and I might (or might not – you will never know!) have been stealing a pack here and there. They’re really delicious and more importantly, they don’t ‘taste gluten-free’ (gluten-free biscuits too often have a gritty or pasty texture in my experience). They also contain 40% less sugar than the average children’s biscuit.

My four have a sweet tooth and I’m slowly but surely reducing the amount of sugar and free sugar they consume, so their teeth stay healthy and the snack they have has some nutritional value. It doesn’t mean they don’t have treats here and there, but I want to make sure the snacks they have every day are not sugar-laden biscuits. 

The small Astro Bites biscuits also contain no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. Now that’s my kind of snack! These days, I find them on my local Sainsbury’s. 

Gluten Free Chunky Biscuit Breaks

When I received my little parcel of Nairn’s goodies, I discovered their gluten-free Chunky Breakfast Breaks. I’m so glad that Nairn’s have developed this recipe, as before her negative challenge to wheat, my little lady was always desperate to try the oval-shaped breakfast biscuits I sometimes had with my coffee.

Nairn’s biscuit breaks are really moreish and they’re made from wholegrain gluten-free oats. They contain at least 35% less sugar than the average gluten-free sweet biscuit. They also come in handy pouches of two, which is an ideal portion for snacks or lunchboxes. They are high in fibre, with no GM ingredients, hydrogenated fats, artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. At the moment, you can find them in Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and ASDA and you can also find a Blueberry and Raspberry version.  

Sandwich-free Lunchboxes

Most mums I know don’t share my love of lunchbox-making but I have to say I find it reassuring to see exactly what they leave the house with food-wise and what they come back with. Let’s just say that Jumpy is not a fan of vegetables these days. 

My two very rarely have a sandwich as the main bulk of their lunch. Instead, they tend to have things like this:

  • leftover quiche
  • oatcakes and cheese
  • pitta and houmous / coleslaw / tzatziki
  • wraps
  • leftover chicken or gammon strips with mayo
  • vegetables and dips
  • saucisson or chorizo
  • boiled eggs

Why my children pack their own lunchboxes most days:

They love it when I make their lunchboxes and don’t tell them what’s in there. It’s the surprise element they like I guess, but most of the time, I make sure they get involved in the process. They empty their lunchboxes and water bottles as soon as they come back from school and start packing their lunch for the next day, refill their water bottles and put them in the fridge. It’s a small task, but one I find essential as they are focusing on their own nutrition and hydration every day. It also gives them ownership over what goes into their bodies.

Lunchbox Tip

They take charge of their nutrition for lunch, with a quick check before it goes in the fridge. They know they need a portion of fruit, one of veg as well as grains, protein and dairy and we work around that.

I want them to enjoy their food and understand what their bodies need to function properly. To make it easier for them, I invested in Yumbox lunchboxes a few years ago. Check my friend Grace’s shop, EatsAmazing, where I get all my lunchbox bits and bobs. 

The lunchbox fits the perfect amount of fruit, vegetables, grains, protein and dairy a well as a dip. Because it is labelled, they know what they need as well as the quantity needed. 

I wouldn’t want them to leave the house at 18, 20 or 30 (who knows?) and not know how to feed themselves.

 

With no further ado, here is what my children ate last week:

A Week of Quick Gluten-free Lunchboxes with Nairn’s

Here are the five lunchboxes they had last week. They’re all completely gluten-free (I always use ‘The Free From Fairy’ flour for gluten-free bakes).

Some of them were made almost entirely of leftovers from the lunch we had at home for Beanie’s birthday. Once we’d run out of leftovers, I laid out lots of things they could pick for their lunchboxes. 

Monday

Note about Boursin: “All six tasty flavors of Boursin Cheese are Orthodox Union Kosher, vegetarian, and not know to contain gluten. However, due to possible cross contamination from our suppliers, we cannot claim to be gluten free.”

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Check these other informative blog posts about lunchboxes:

Lunchbox Ideas to Help You Eat More Fruit & Veg

No Fuss Gluten-Free Vegan Lunchboxes – Ideas & Tips

What should I put in my child’s lunchbox?

Healthy Lunchbox Ideas for Busy Parents

50 Quick & Easy Healthy Snacks for Fussy Eaters

Here are a couple more about nutrition:

What’s Hiding in the Kids’ Snacks?

Easy Healthy Snacks for Children

 

What are your lunchbox essentials?

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Nairn’s but all opinions and photos are my own. 

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28 Comments

  1. 06/10/2018 / 8:16 am

    I needed this inspiration, Beth’s lunchboxes are getting more and more like cardboard and crisps! Uninspired and unpalatable! Not seen the Astro Bites, will have to check stock lists to see where they are locally, these would be the perfect home-time snack to keep her blood sugar levels in check before dinner.

    • Mel
      Author
      07/10/2018 / 8:52 pm

      These little snacks are really delicious but I sometimes struggle to find them. Sainsbury’s seems to be the place 🙂

  2. 06/10/2018 / 9:16 am

    Wow they look delicious! My kids would happily come to your house for lunchbox making. Ours are boring and I hate the job!!

    • Mel
      Author
      07/10/2018 / 8:51 pm

      How about letting them make their own lunchboxes?

  3. 08/10/2018 / 11:03 am

    I will be certainly stealing some of these ideas they look so good. I often get stuck in a lunch box rut, wondering what to put in. These are delicious and healthy.

    • Mel
      Author
      08/10/2018 / 11:15 am

      Thanks lovely! I think we all get stuck in a rut from time to time but I think my children’s enthusiasm for lunchboxes really helps 🙂

  4. 08/10/2018 / 12:39 pm

    Such great ideas! We live off the Nairns Gluten Free Oatcakes and Biscuit Breaks and quite frankly they are a lifesaver not only for lunches but also snack times too in this house.

    • Mel
      Author
      08/10/2018 / 1:28 pm

      I have to say I love a mini cheese feast with Nairn’s oatcakes when I’m working 🙂

  5. 08/10/2018 / 2:54 pm

    These look amazing! I love those Nairns astro bites. I can never seem to find them anymore though. I must have a search online as the kids do love them x

    • Mel
      Author
      08/10/2018 / 7:04 pm

      Sainsbury’s is the only supermarket where I find them these days.

  6. 08/10/2018 / 6:47 pm

    Oo yummy! These all look and sound so appetising and I like that Nairns now do ‘on-the-go’ gluten free products – so convenient 🙂

    • Mel
      Author
      08/10/2018 / 7:04 pm

      I love them: so easy to put together a picnic or a pack lunch 🙂

  7. 09/10/2018 / 3:25 pm

    I wish you would make my lunches for me. I love getting inspiration for lunch options otherwise they tend to fall into a boring samey routine x

    • Mel
      Author
      10/10/2018 / 9:54 am

      I love it too when I see what others put in lunchboxes. There’s inspiration everywhere!

  8. 09/10/2018 / 7:30 pm

    I love all of your ideas!!! We’ve just found out after years of issues that myself and my daughter can’t have gluten so its amazing to find some new lunchbox inspiration for her. We also have a Yumbox and also bought it from Eats Amazing. They make making lunches so much easier and also fun for kids to pack them too! x

    • Mel
      Author
      10/10/2018 / 9:57 am

      Oh little poppet! I hope that now you’re excluding gluten, the issues disappear. It’s awful when your little one is not feeling well. I have lots of GF recipes on the blog. x

  9. 09/10/2018 / 7:54 pm

    Yes! We love their oat cakes, but didn’t realise how many other products they made. I will have to keep an eye out. It’s great you’ve put together such beautiful, colourful and inviting lunches. Yum!

    • Mel
      Author
      10/10/2018 / 9:54 am

      I used to buy the oatcakes only as well, but the little biscuits are so good. I was so happy when I first found them!

  10. Wendy
    09/10/2018 / 8:11 pm

    I have never heard of Nairns but I do like the idea of introducing some gluten free snacks into our diet. I love that your kids get involved in making their lunchboxes up! Some really great suggestions here for lunchboxes too, I’m pretty bad at just chucking in a sandwich, some fruit and a yogurt!xx

    • Mel
      Author
      10/10/2018 / 9:55 am

      There’s nothing wrong with a sandwich, fruit and a yoghurt but mine don’t really eat sandwiches so I have to be a bit creative.

  11. 10/10/2018 / 10:02 am

    I am not familiar with Nairns but lovely you lunchbox ideas, brings back memories of when i was young and mom going all out on lunch boxes

    • Mel
      Author
      10/10/2018 / 10:25 am

      Look out for them: their oatcakes are so good with cheese 🙂

  12. 14/10/2018 / 2:23 pm

    Man, I wish my lunchboxes had looked like that when I was going to school. They’re full of colour and variety. What kid wouldn’t want to open surprise boxes like them. They all look delicious and I’d be more than happy to eat any one of those lunches myself!

    • Mel
      Author
      16/10/2018 / 2:17 pm

      You know what? It feels like a surprise to them whenever I make their lunchboxes for them 🙂

  13. 14/10/2018 / 8:46 pm

    We so miss Nairn’s now we live in Sweden. They were fab for us as vegans and gluten free people

    • Mel
      Author
      16/10/2018 / 2:16 pm

      It’s the kind of staple I take to France with us every time we go (along with tea bags and Marmite)!

  14. 15/10/2018 / 4:38 pm

    Oh wow I am loving these lovely lunch boxes. home made, scrummy and look a fab lunch time treat, much better than a sandwich sandwich for sure xx

    • Mel
      Author
      16/10/2018 / 2:15 pm

      For the first time in weeks, they had sandwiches in their lunchbox today and I can’t tell you the moaning it caused this morning 🙂

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