Making school packed lunches is one of those jobs that I really don’t enjoy. Apart from having to do them for Master C’s pre-school lunch club I’ve luckily avoided them until now. Universal Free Infant School meals meant that whilst Little Miss C was in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 she had a school meal each day, and if she didn’t like the hot options she could opt for a school prepared packed lunch – all nutritionally balanced, as worked out by the catering company that the school uses. It made my life much simpler.
This September saw LMC start in Year 3 at the local Junior School and with that came the choice of school lunches or packed lunches and it seems that a side effect of Universal Free Infant School Meals is that you have a child that is desperate to take a lunchbox to school by Year 3. I was really hoping that she would choose to have a hot lunch from the school menu (coincidentally from the same catering company that her Infant School used – so I know she liked all the options) but no, she was determined to have a packed lunch every day, hence me running round at 7am in a morning trying to find a mix of healthy things to put in there for a child that seems to be more and more of a fussy eater each day!
It was perfect timing therefore to be asked to take part in the BritMums Chilean Easy Peelers challenge. One thing that school meals and school snacks provided by the County Council has led to, is LMC at least being prepared to try a wide range of fruit. I can therefore get away with tucking a piece in her lunchbox everyday and she normally eats with without any complaint. It’s easy enough to throw in an apple, but when it comes to having to chop up grapes or a melon in a morning I have to admit that it can be a bit of a faff. This is where Chilean easy peelers are fab. All I need to do is pop one in her lunchbox in a morning. No prep required. They are then so easy to peel that she can do it herself at lunchtime, without needing one of the school MSAs to help her.
Easy peelers are also a great source of water – it makes up about 87% of each one. Whilst her school always encourages LMC to have a water bottle and keep drinking from it during the school day, I have to admit that I’m not sure how often she actually stops to do so, especially in her lunch break. I therefore know that if there’s a Chilean easy peeler in her lunchbox it is another way of keeping her hydrated, especially on a warm day where she’s doing lots of running about.
As well as being full of water, easy peelers are also low in calories, fat and a good provider of vitamins and minerals. For children they help to provide them with fibre, folate, vitamin C, potassium, calcium and magnesium. Working from home I’ve got in an awful habit of wandering into the kitchen and finding a biscuit of piece of cake to eat far too often during the working day. Luckily a bowl of Chilean easy peelers strategically placed in front of the biscuit tin has also helped me not pile on the calories quite so much.
Chilean easy peelers make a great addition to a school lunch box, but they are also a fantastic, easy and healthy snack for all the family. It’s no surprise therefore that there has been a year on year growth of 32% in tonnes sold in the UK. Last season over 2000 tonnes of Chilean mandarins were sold and it is thought that this year that number will be even bigger. They are available in supermarkets from September to November, really making it possible to add that taste of summer to school lunch boxes.
Disclaimer: This post is an entry for the BritMums #ChileanEAsyPeelers Challenge, sponsored by the Chilean Ciutrus Committee.