Mum reveals five easy packed lunches which will tempt even the fussiest of eaters

A SINGLE mum has proved to be a real wise owl by turning fruit and vegetables into quirky creations that appeal to her kids and help to persuade them to eat more healthily.

Grace Hall, left, mum to Samuel, 13, and Alexander, eight, includes two or three of the recommended five a day in their lunchboxes for school, along with fibre-rich bread and snacks.

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Grace Hall gives her ideas for healthy and fun school lunches your kids will loveCredit: DANIEL LEWIS

The 39-year-old food blogger from Eastleigh, Hants, says: “As adults, we go to restaurants and we eat with our eyes. The same applies to children.

“These meals are full of vitamins and nutrients and simple to make too.”

Today Grace lifts the lid on five of her school lunchbox surprises . . . one for each day of the week.

Edible books

You can make the 'book cover's from tortilla wraps!

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You can make the ‘book cover’s from tortilla wraps!

YOU NEED:

For the book:
2 slices of wholemeal bread
Sandwich filling of your choice
1 tortilla wrap
Food writer pens
For the owl:
1 mini Babybel cheese
2 candy eyeballs
Other:
¼ large carrot
Strawberries
Blueberries
¼ yellow pepper

STEPS:

  1. Cut “book covers” from tortilla wraps for the sandwich.
  2. Decorate with food writer pens.
  3. Make owl wings and nose from wax of Babybel.
  4. Stick on edible eyes.

Pirate wrap

Food pens are great ways to decorate your children's grub

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Food pens are great ways to decorate your children’s grub

YOU NEED:

For the map:
1 tortilla wrap
½ tbsp tomato puree
Handful of grated mozzarella
Food writer pens (£10.86, Amazon, pictured right)

Other:
1 easy-peel orange
½ carrot
1 mini yellow pepper
Handful of jelly tots

STEPS:

  1. Put tomato puree and mozzarella on tortilla, dry fry lightly and then fold in half.
  2. Decorate them with food writer pens.
  3. Use a knife to cut across orange and make octopus legs.

Owl sandwich

A sliced Babybel makes the perfect eyes for the owl

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A sliced Babybel makes the perfect eyes for the owl

YOU NEED:

2 slices of wholemeal bread
Sandwich filling of your choice
1 mini Babybel cheese
2 blueberries
¼ large carrot
¼ cucumber
Lettuce leaves
Strawberries
Handful of chocolate beans

STEPS:

  1. Cut a semi-circle from the top of the sandwich so it looks like pointy owl ears.
  2. Slice Babybel in half and add blueberries for eyes.
  3. Cut a triangle of carrot for the beak.

Lunch kebabs

Lunch kebabs are a fun addition to your children's lunchboxes

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Lunch kebabs are a fun addition to your children’s lunchboxes

YOU NEED:

For the kebabs:
1 slice of wholemeal bread
¼ cucumber
1 slice of cheese
1 slice of ham
Plastic skewers (£3.50 for four, eatsamazing.co.uk, pictured right)
Other:
Cherry tomatoes
1 small carrot
1 kiwi fruit
Handful of raspberries

STEPS:

  1. Cut bread, cucumber, cheese and ham into squares.
  2. Thread on to 3 skewers with blunt ends.
  3. Cut the kiwi fruit in half using a zig-zag pattern.

Rainbow unicorn

The unicorn can be made with a cutter

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The unicorn can be made with a cutter

YOU NEED:

For the unicorn:
2 slices of bread
1 slice of cheese or sandwich filling of your choice
Lunch Punch unicorn sandwich cutter (£9.95, eatsamazing.co.uk, pictured below)
Other:
Mixed raw carrot, pepper and cucumber vegetable sticks
Mixed blueberries, green grapes, raspberries and orange segments
Handful of popcorn
2 marshmallows

STEPS:

  1. Make a unicorn sandwich with cutter.
  2. Fill a compartment with a handful of fibre-rich popcorn.

Grace’s tips

LET THE KIDS PICK: I get my children to pick out some fruit or vegetables they want specifically for their lunches when we are in the supermarket. If they choose something, they are more likely to eat it.

GET THEM INVOLVED: Getting the children involved in the creative side themselves can have a massive effect on fussy eating. Again, if they made something, they are much more inclined to eat it.

FORGET EXCESS PACKAGING: Bento-style lunches where you put all of the food into one box are an easy way to pack the foods. It is really simple – and eco-friendly too because there’s minimal packaging.

KEEP LUNCHES BALANCED: I try to include at least two of the five a day as a minimum in every lunch, with a balance of different food groups in there – vegetables, carbs, fruit, dairy and protein.

Savvy mom of three shares her best hacks for speeding up busy school mornings including how to make lunches in minutes

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