Back to school: Mum Vicky talks packed lunches for the whole family
"We use the WW app to plan ahead and make healthy packed lunches every day"
I should probably introduce myself before celebrating the children going back to school, shouldn't I?! I'm Vicky aka @the_mumtum_diaries, a 38-year-old mum of two. My daughter Amy is 12, my son Oli is 9, and not forgetting my husband Neil.
Getting the family on board
I've been a WW member since February 2016, and a massive part of my journey has been getting the whole family on board with healthy eating. As far as my husband is concerned, well – he pretty much eats what is given to him!
However, the children are a different story. Amy is a relatively fussy eater; she likes everything plain with no sauces or dressings involved. If I let her, she’d live on plain pasta! Oli is pretty good with food as long as it doesn't involve fruit or vegetables – a typical boy!
“We use the WW app for inspiration”
Lunchtimes used to be a bit of struggle for us. Now, we make packed lunches, which not only gives us control over what we eat but also saves pennies.
Planning is key, so before the weekly shop I ask the kids the sit down and write a list of foods they’d like to see in their lunch box that week, often using the WW app for inspiration.
Once I’ve eradicated all the crisps and chocolate bars (!) I head to the shops, where I also stock up on and freeze things like wraps and Warburton Thins.
Getting the kids involved
Getting Amy and Oli involved in making their lunch has been a great way to make them more conscious about the things they eat. I’ve found that they’re more likely to try new foods when they’ve seen them and prepped them themselves.
I also turn lunchtime into a game where possible – notably who can get the most fruit into their lunch box. A bit of sibling rivalry works in my favour sometimes!
Packed lunches for work
Neil and I also take packed lunches to work. I work in an office and don't actually have a lunch break, so I tend to snack at my desk throughout the day.
I keep pots of ZeroPoint™ foods to hand such as boiled eggs (I’m not always the most popular person in the office!) and homemade hummus or salsa to have with cucumber.
My husband works on the road a lot of the time, so to avoid him stopping at service stations and grabbing a burger, I make lunch for him too.
On a Sunday while the roast is cooking, I like to use the time to get ahead making up frittatas, egg muffins and cereal bars. Anything that’s easy to grab and go!
My top tip: keep lunches interesting
The most important thing I’ve discovered is to keep lunches interesting. If I'm serving up the same old ham sandwich day in day out, we get bored – and that’s when we reach for biscuits or crisps!
This is especially true for Amy, who has the lure of the secondary school canteen every lunchtime, which as far as I can tell just serves chips and pizza.
I try to keep lunch boxes as colourful and as eye-catching as possible, so the kids actually want to eat the rainbow of foods that are waiting for them.