In a few weeks’ time it is Working Parents Day (September 16) which is there to celebrate those parents who work hard all year to provide for their families.
During the 20th century, women in Britain faced a complete change in their lives as more and more of them worked, alongside raising a family. Some through choice, some through necessity.
After the Second World War, there were few nurseries, after-school or holiday care for older children was practically non-existent, compared to now, when most families have access to both nurseries and after-school clubs for their children. In the 1940s and 50s, much rested in the hands of older family members or friendly neighbours or close friends when working class women went out to work. Most were not in a position to hire a nanny or an au pair or a housekeeper.
Today many parents have no choice but to work often due to the cost of living and meeting the costs of a mortgage or rent. House prices have risen dramatically and this is just one reason why both parents have to work. This month a report came out which listed just how unaffordable housing in the UK is compared with the salaries many earn. Here’s just one story about it.
When parents are time poor, anything which can give them back some time can be valued. One of the jobs for parents when children are at school is to prepare their lunchboxes, possibly alongside their own packed lunch for work.
This can be tricky enough at most times, because many children are choosy eaters, and if you have several children in the household, you can rarely prepare the same for everyone.
If your children have food allergies, this can take even longer to organise, and especially if you have more than one child and have to prepare several lunchboxes.
When one child has allergies, this means their meal has to be prepared separately, so as to ensure there is no cross contamination with any other unsafe foods being prepared in the kitchen.
Here at Creative Nature, we know that in a family of multiple children where one has allergies, it’s more sensible and practical if the whole family eat allergen free when at home.
Here are a few healthy lunchbox tips:
Involve the children in preparing their lunches too, if you have time. Some of these can be prepared beforehand, and others on the day. Try at least to do what you can the evening before so it’s not all one big rush first thing in the day. Who wants to feel grumpy before the working day starts? Or feeling like you’ve done a day’s work before you even clock on?
Using gluten-free bread/wraps/pasta & non-dairy alternates.
- Wholegrain wraps or sandwiches with protein and lots of colourful salads
- Homemade pasta salads, with lots of vegetables
- Homemade pizza made with low fat cheese and vegetables
- Mini meatballs (or a meat free alternative) , pasta and cherry tomatoes
- Sushi or rice paper rolls
- Fruit or vegetable-based muffins
- Vegetables sticks with hummus, cream cheese or salsa
- Cheese and crackers
- Fresh fruits
Why not try lunch on a stick? :
This is really a deconstructed sandwich, minus the bread.
Use cake lollipop sticks rather than skewers for safety.
- Cucumber slices cut into fun shapes, with mini food cutters (hearts, stars etc)
- Meat slices
- Grape tomatoes
- Or other preferred ingredients.
Alternate the different foods, skewering them onto the pop stick.
Mini Chia & Mulberry Muffins
- 400g Creative Nature Chia & Mulberry Muffin Mix
- 4 large eggs (or 5tbsp Chia Seeds + 15tbsp water for vegan recipe)
- 200g butter (or dairy free spread for vegan recipe)
- 5ml vanilla essence
- Mini muffin cases
How to make the vegan version:
- In a food processor or pestle & mortar, grind the Chia Seeds until fine. Mix in a bowl with the water and leave to sit for 5 mins, or until gloopy.
- Preheat oven to 150 c/300 f/ Gas Mark 2
- Add all of the ingredients to a mixing bowl and beat together until smooth (start of slowly so the flour doesn’t go everywhere!).
- Spoon the mix into muffin or cupcake cases (we use silicon moulded for best results)
- Bake for 25 mins or until golden brown, then remove and enjoy warm.
Shop our Organic Chia & Mulberry Muffin Mix here.
If you as a parent, also have food allergies, why not try some of the same things for your packed lunch!
Why not order some lunchbox snacks today !!!