Nairn’s Top Tips for No Fuss-Lunchboxes

For many, back to school means back to packed lunches. We know it can be a challenging task to keep your children’s lunch new, exciting and healthy but Nairn’s has some simple suggestions to make boring lunchboxes and soggy sandwiches a thing of the past, inspiring your children to eat a healthy, balanced lunch, that tickles the taste buds too!

Being in the classroom can be tiring, so make sure you pack slow release energy snacks to keep your kids going throughout the school day. Protein-fuelled toppings and snacks combined with low-sugar carbohydrate based oatcakes provide the perfect lunchbox treat, supplying your little ones with the essential nutrients they need to be top of the class!

 Top Tips

Get your kids involved in packing their lunch, try baking Nairn’s Banana Oat Cupcakes with Streusel topping and Salted Caramel drizzle.
Portion sizes are important to give your kids energy. The piece of fruit should be no larger than the palm of your child’s hand.
A colourful lunchbox makes for a happy child. Packing a rainbow of colours ensures your child will be receiving all the nutrients needed.
Try not to use food as a reward, why not use the cooking process as the reward and make Christine Bailey’s Roasted Pumpkin and Chickpea Spread.
High fibre and starchy carbs should make up a whole third of your child’s lunchbox –Nairn’s Oatcakes are perfect for this part!
A bit of this and a bit of that, include a protein like eggs, meat, chicken or even lentils and hummus. Be sure to also include a bit of calcium for strong bones – yogurt and cheese is great for this!
Small snacks kids can keep in their pencil cases are great to keep them going in the classroom. Hiding a pack of Nairn’s Oatcakes will be sure to make their friends jealous!
Mix it up, different toppings, dips and spreads to go with the Nairn’s Oatcakes will make sure the lunchboxes come home empty every day.

These four delicious toppings are sure to empty their lunchboxes and fill up their bellies, they may even get them excited to be going back to school!

 Recipes

Christine Bailey’s Roasted Pumpkin and Chickpea Spread – A nutritious protein packed spread, it makes a delicious alternativ This is a wonderful seasonal recipe. Creamy and protein packed, this spread tastes incredibly indulgent yet contains no cream or dairy products. It makes a delicious alternative to shop bought dips and everyday hummus, and makes a sensational topping on Nairn’s Gluten Free Oatcakes or Nairn’s Sweet Red Pepper Oatcakes. It’s also a great party dip to accompany Nairn’s Oaty Bakes. Roasting the pumpkin really intensifies its nutty, sweet flavour and creates an amazing soft texture that blends beautifully with the chickpeas and tahini. If pumpkin is not available, use butternut squash.
Preparation time: 5 minutes Cooking Time:  40 minutes  Enough for 12 oatcakes
Ingredients
200g / 7oz pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and cut into large wedges
3 garlic cloves, unpeeled, left whole
2tsp honey
2tbsp olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt
1 x 400g / 14oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1tbsp tahini
Juice of ½ lemon
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4
Place the pumpkin and garlic in a shallow roasting tin.  Toss with the honey and 1tbsp olive oil and season with black pepper and salt.
Bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until tender. Allow to cool.
Peel the garlic cloves and place with the pumpkin in a food processor.
Add the remaining ingredients except the coriander to the food processor and process until smooth. Add the coriander leaves and pulse to combine. Season with black pepper and salt to taste
Spread on oatcakes to serve.

Nutritional Analysis Per tablespoon of dip (30g)  Calories 41kcal Protein 1.4g Total fat 2.6g of which saturates 0.4g
Carbohydrates 2.9g of which sugars 0.9g

Lady MacDonald’s Hardboiled Egg and Marmite – Kids love this combination, and it packs a protein punch. This can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch or an after school-school snack to keep your family energised throughout the day!
A perfect oatcake snack for any time of day. Enjoy at breakfast when the eggs can be hardboiled, shelled and chopped, combined with the Marmite and cream cheese. This recipe is best served with Nairn’s Fine Milled Oatcakes. Indeed, it works just as well for lunch, as an after-school snack, or for supper as a flavoursome dish to keep you naturally energised throughout the day due to the high levels of protein and oats.
The world is divided into those who love Marmite and those who loathe it, but in my experience, far more people love Marmite than loathe it!
Ingredients
This makes enough to liberally spread on 12 oatcakes.
4 large eggs
4 teaspoons Marmite
2 tubs of light soft cheese
2 oz. /50g watercress, chopped quite small (to taste)
Method
Hard boil the eggs by putting them into cold water. Bring to a rolling boil, and boil for 5 minutes. Drain off the boiling water and run cold water through the eggs in the pan for 2-3 minutes.
Roll the eggs, crushing the shell around their middle. Shell the eggs – much easier following the rolling.
Put the shelled eggs into a deep bowl and chop them, using a sharp knife.
Add the cream cheese and Marmite and continue to chop all together.
Add the chopped watercress – this must be chopped on a board, before being added to the contents of the bowl. 6. Divide the mixture evenly between 12 Nairn’s Fine Milled Oatcakes.

Christine Bailey’s Roasted Pepper and Walnut Dip– Rich, sweet and tangy this spread is delicious and full of flavour to treat your little one’s tastebuds.
Ingredients
Pinch of smoked paprika
1 garlic clove, crushed
100g / 4oz walnuts, chopped
225g / 8oz roasted red peppers (from a jar)
1 tbsp sun dried tomato puree
3 tbsp walnut oil
1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar to taste
2 tsp xylitol or ½ tsp stevia (optional)
Salt and black pepper to taste
Served on Nairn’s Oat Cracker Thins
Serves 4 Preparation time: 10 minutes
Method
Place the paprika, garlic, walnuts, peppers in a food processor or blender and process until finely chopped.
Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth.
Adjust quantity of vinegar and xylitol according to taste. Season with a little black pepper and sea salt.
Nutritional Information – per tablespoon Calories 54kcal Protein 0.8g Carbohydrates 1g of which sugars 1g Total Fat 5.2g of which saturates 0.5g

Banana Oat Cupcakes with Streusel topping and Salted Caramel drizzle – A fabulous gluten and dairy free cupcake with naturally energising oats and banana, topped with an exciting oat crunch and an optional drizzle of salted caramel! The kids will love making them too!
A fabulous gluten free and dairy free cupcake. Delicious sweet banana flavour topped with crunchy oats and a drizzle of salted caramel.
Suitable for Vegetarians, Gluten free, Dairy Free, Seed Free, Soy Free
Makes: 12
2 large eggs
100g coconut sugar or xylitol
100g coconut butter or vegan spread
1 large banana
100g Gluten-Free plain flour
50g gluten free Nairn’s porridge oats
2 tsp. baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Oat Crunch
30g coconut sugar or xylitol
50g Nairn’s gluten free porridge oats, ground up roughly in a food processor
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2tbsp melted coconut oil or vegan spread, melted
Salted Caramel
75g vegan spread
100g coconut sugar or brown sugar
2 Tbsp thick coconut milk from the top part of a can of coconut milk
1tsp Course Sea Salt.
Banana chips to decorate, optional
Method
Preheat the oven to 180ºC, gas mark 4.
Line a 12-cup muffin pan with baking liners.
To make the topping in a bowl, combine the sugar, oats and cinnamon. Pour in the oil and mix in to form crumbs. Set aside.
In a food processor beat together the eggs, sugar, oil and banana. Add the dry ingredients and beat lightly to combine.
Spoon the batter into the prepared cup cake tins until about ¾ full.  Sprinkle over a little of the oat topping.
Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out dry, about 20 minutes; let them cool completely on a wire rack.
To make the caramel, put all the ingredients in a pan and bring to the boil.  Simmer for 2-3 minutes.  Allow to cool to thicken.
Drizzle the caramel over the cupcakes to serve. Top with a banana chip is wished to decorate.
Nutritional information per cupcake Calories 281kcal, Protein 3.1g, Carbohydrates 32.2g of which sugars 20.8g, Total Fat 17.6g of which saturates 13g

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