Here’s what you need to know about lunchboxes and COVID-19

    Back to school lunchbox COVID-19 Ireland September Easy Food

    If your child is heading back to school next week and you’re wondering what the craic is with packed lunches, here’s the official answer from the Irish government.

    “Your child can bring a lunchbox/water bottle to school, but they should be the only person to handle these items during the school day and should not share or swap their lunch with other children. This aligns with regular good practice to protect children with allergies from accidental exposure to allergens such as nuts.”

    The website goes on to clarify that the COVID-19 coronavirus can survive for longer on hard surfaces (such as lunchboxes and water bottles) in comparison to fabrics, so it’s very important to clean them after every use. “These items should only be used by one child and should be cleaned daily with regular household cleaning products.”

    Need some inspiration for getting back into the swing of things? Build a balanced lunchbox with our easy tips here, figure out new ways to deal with picky eaters here, or read on for some of our favourite lunchbox fillers…

    Make little break special with a healthy, fruit-based snack that feels like a treat. Try these strawberry and oat cereal bars, or sneak some veggies with these sweet potato and blueberry muffins.

    Sweet_potato_muffins Easy Food
    Providing fruit, veggies and fibre, these are sure to keep them going till lunchtime.

    For more of a savoury snack, these chicken, cheese and sweetcorn pastry rolls are sure to go down a storm.

    Chicken cheese sweetcorn pastry rolls - Easy Food
    Just add some salad, a piece of fruit or some veggie sticks to make these more of a main lunch.

    Soup is a great option as the weather starts to grow colder, and is a clever way to get more veggies in, too. This leek and potato option is full of goodness, while the chicken noodle soup below is the ultimate comfort food.

    Because a warm soup belly makes everything better.

    For the main meal, these shredded BBQ chicken sloppy Joes are an ideal way to leverage leftover chicken into tomorrow’s lunch. For a meat-free option, try the veggie-packed frittata slices below — just add some brown bread or a wholemeal roll on the side for a filling lunch that’s sure to keep them full until hometime.

    Veggie-packed frittata Easy Food
    Protein? Check. Fresh veggies? Check.

    For plenty more packed lunch inspiration, check out the latest edition of Easy Food, available now in shops and online with Readly.

    Easy Food September 2020 issue 150 front cover

    What will you be making for your kids’ return to school? Let us know by tagging us on our social media, we love to see what you’re cooking!