You Are What You Eat: Back To School Lunches

Yes, it is that time of year again – the return of uniforms, homework, trying to get kids to eat their breakfast and wondering what to put in the lunch box today, that they will both enjoy and eat. 

Did you know we make an average 2562 lunchboxes per child in your lifetime? 

This week, I joined Kieran to chat about all things Back to School and my favourite family staple recipes. 

Bento Boxes 

I have been a fan of the bento lunchboxes for years, it is such a popular and visually appealing way to pack a balanced and diverse lunch, often with compartments to keep different foods separate and fresh.  Dividing the sections into sandwiches/wrap/bagels then dairy including yoghurt and cheese, sliced fruits and veg, rice cakes, and crackers.  

Meal Planning & Batch Cooking

As a mom of 3 little ones, I need to be prepared. For us to have enough food to get through the week and have variety and interest in our meals, I need to sit down and plan what meals we will have. This process can be done quickly but is very valuable as it allows us to eat better while easing the mental load and the financial burden. I always like to do a little stock take of what I have in the pantry or the freezer first, and this means I can use up what I have before I buy more or include it in the plan. I aim to set aside a couple of hours each Sunday to organise prep and set us all up for the week, organise dinners and double batch it for the lunchbox the next day. 

Cook One, Eat Twice

As a busy family, this is a rule I live by. Batch cook meals, store them in the freezer, double up a batch of muffins or granola and get creative with leftovers.

Newstalk Back to School Lunches 

Listen to my weekly food chat with Kieran Cuddihy on Newstalk.

Eat with the seasons.

Not only will your fruit and vegetables taste better and be cheaper, but they are also more nutrient-dense. The supermarkets usually have special, super-saver deals on seasonal fruit each week, so keep an eye out for these. In the Autumn I love to include fresh blackberries, pears, apples and even tinned fruits!

Lunch Rotation 

Rotating the contents of your child’s lunchbox can help keep their meals exciting and nutritious,

Get Creative with Presentation

Use cookie cutters to shape sandwiches or fruits into fun shapes or arrange food attractively in the lunchbox to make it visually appealing.

Involve Your Child

Encourage your child to participate and help in selecting and preparing lunchbox items. This can make them more excited and proud about their lunches.

Mix up textures and flavours

Include a variety of textures (crunchy, creamy, chewy) and flavours (sweet, savoury, tangy) to make meals more interesting.

3-2-1 Soup

Creamy, wholesome and nourishing, this is the perfect soup for all the family.
Check out this recipe
Aisling Larkin 321 soup

Treacle Brown Bread

wholesome, nourishing and downright delicious
Check out this recipe
Treacle Brown Bread Aisling Larkin wlrfm

Strawberry Chia Jam

A new take on a comfort food.
Check out this recipe
chia jam brown bread wlrfm


Creamy, wholesome and nourishing, the perfect 'every time' snack
Check out this recipe
Hummus modern lifestyle food Aisling Larkin

Chocolate Malt Granola

Rich chocolatey crunchy goodness, paired with blood oranges, blueberries and plant-based coconut yoghurt, perfect for breakfast or snacking
Check out this recipe
Chocolate Malt Granola with blood oranges, blueberries and plant-based coconut yogurt aisling larkin granola

Chickpea, Sweet Potato & Roast Red Pepper Rolls

These little vegan sausage rolls are packed full of flavour with a sweet potato and chickpea filling, great lunch box addition or afternoon snack.
Check out this recipe
Chickpea, Sweet Potato & Roast Red Pepper Rolls Aisling Larkin modern lifestyle food six O clock show

Oat Flapjacks

Plain and simple these are a lunchbox saviour
Check out this recipe
Aisling Larkin oat flapjacks
Aisling Signature