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.
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.
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
- 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.
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.
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.”
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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