Disclosure: This blog post was commissioned by Capri-Sun. I was compensated for my time, however all opinions are my own.
Today I'm delighted to officially announce and launch a project that I have spent a lot of time working on recently - the #PackedLunchLove campaign in collaboration with Capri-Sun Fruit Crush Pouches.
I've been working with Capri-Sun Fruit Crush to help mums that would like to liven up their lunch boxes by providing a series of simple yet effective lunchbox life ‘hacks’, which you can read further down this post. I've also developed five creative new lunch box ideas which are designed to wow kids while being quick to make, cost effective and nutritious. Whether you’ve got five minutes or ten, you'll find a fun lunch box to suit you here!
A new study* by Capri-Sun Fruit Crush has revealed that mums put an amazing amount of work into their packed lunches – the average mum spends a day and a half a year (37 hours) planning and making packed lunches and over half (56%) believe the lunchbox is an extension of home
However, Capri-Sun Fruit Crush research reveals that despite putting in so much time and love to their children’s packed lunches, more than eight in 10 mums still feel theirs could be better.
As you'll know if you're a regular reader of the Eats Amazing blog, I strongly believe that making exciting lunchboxes doesn’t have to be complicated or take a lot of time. If you'd like to make your lunchboxes more varied and fun, you don’t need to make huge changes or spend any extra time making them, as a few simple tweaks or ‘hacks’ can transform a lunch into something special in a matter of minutes.
Below you'll find my top 10 Lunchbox Life 'Hacks', which can make a big difference to their appearance and how kids respond to them:
- Vegetables such as peas still in their pods (eaten raw), mini peppers or purple carrots make really fun lunch box foods.
- Change up the bread you use for sandwiches – pitta breads, tortilla wraps, bagels, English muffins, baguettes and even naan bread all make great alternatives.
- Cut sandwiches into fun shapes with cookie cutters or even play-dough cutters!
- Add grated vegetables such as carrot or beetroot to sandwiches to help reach their 5 a day
- Kids love food on a stick! Make ‘kebabs’ with pieces of bread, ham, cheese, cherry tomatoes and crunchy veggies like peppers or cucumber, or for dessert use brightly coloured fruit to make a rainbow.
- Cut food into bite-size pieces – children love picking at bits and pieces and are more likely to eat more that way. Start with simple cubes or sticks or try cutting food into fun shapes using mini cutters.
- Use reusable silicone cupcake or muffin cases to divide up a simple lunch box and hold portions of food. They help with portion control and can add a bright splash of extra colour to a lunch box too.
- With a bit of imagination you can easily turn your leftovers into fun and creative lunches. Turn a jacket potato half into a fun boat with a cocktail stick and ham sail, add pairs of eyes cut from cheese to a pasta salad or cut fun shapes from crunchy veggies such as carrots and peppers and hide them in leftover rice to make an edible treasure hunt!
- Decorate food with cake decorations (cupcake picks are fun and reusable too!) for an instant fun lunch.
- Capri-Sun Fruit Crush is a great drink to add to lunchboxes – kids love it as it’s great tasting juice, but it’s also 100% schools compliant, so it’s good for mums too!
Below you'll find the five new lunches that I have created for Capri Sun Fruit Crush. You can click on each photo to find the full instructions and step by step photos for making each lunch. I've also provided approximate time frames to give you an idea of how long each lunch takes to make - as you'll see there is a lunch to suit every timetable!
5 Minute Dinosaur Lunch
7 Minute Funny Face Lunch
10 Minute Back to School Lunch
10 Minute Autumn Lunch
15 Minute Celebration Lunch
Here's a little more information about Capri Sun Fruit Crush Pouches and why I am happy to support this campaign:
I put a lot of thought into creating healthy lunch boxes for my children, and hope to inspire others to do the same. Since starting the Eats Amazing blog three years ago I’ve seen the subject coming up time and time again, with our schools and government focusing on the content of lunch boxes and encouraging parents to improve the nutritional content of them as much as possible. Capri-Sun’s Fruit Crush range is a yummy blend of 75% fruit juice with spring water, meaning it is 100% compliant with UK schools and meets government guidelines for food and drinks in schools in England, Scotland and Wales. The juice drinks also contain no artificial colours, sweeteners or preservatives, a massive plus point as far as I'm concerned!
When packing lunchboxes, there can often be a trade-off between putting in what you know your child will eat and what’s good for them. There isn’t a trade off with Capri-Sun Fruit Crush as kids love it, and as it contains nothing but fruit juice and spring water, with no hidden nasties, mums do too! You can find out more information about Capri-Sun Fruit Crush over on the Capri-Sun website.
Safety note: Knives should only be used by parents/guardians, or by supervised older children when safe. Take care to show children equipment and decorations pictured are non-edible.
*The research mentioned in this post was carried out by Opinium on behalf of Capri-Sun between 17th July and 22nd July 2015 of 1,088 UK mothers of children aged 4-11 who make a packed lunch for their children.
If you enjoyed this post and would like some more packed lunch inspiration, head over to the creative bento lunches section here on the Eats Amazing blog where you’ll find over 450 fun packed lunch ideas, enough to keep you going all the year around!
If you’re a Pinterest user, I’d love you to pin this post! You could also pop over and follow my lunch themed Pinterest boards for lots more fun and healthy lunch box ideas for kids; Kids Lunch Box Ideas & Packed Lunch Ideas.