Providing our precious ones with a healthy packed lunch can sometimes be such a challenge – everywhere we look in the supermarket there are buy one get one free crisps, ‘healthy’ snack bars etc etc. It is so tempting to stock up under the false premise of an easy life. The truth is, however, that these overly processed lunchtime foods create a quick sugar rush that soon crashes and can leave your children irritable and hungry when they come home.
Now, I am not saying that these products should always be avoided – I certainly do include them in my children’s diet. But the key is to balance them with whole, fresh foods. And this doesn’t have to be boring! You can create some great ‘treats’ at a fraction of the cost of many packaged foods so that no-one feels like they are missing out
So, here is a really quick, easy and cheap sweet favourite of mine that you can prepare ahead to help to make sure that your little ones are getting all the nutrients they need whilst at school. This, along with the slow release of energy from the oats, will keep them motivated and their tummies happy until long after home-time.
200g rolled oats
50g dried fruits (I use cherries or raisins)
2 tbsp desiccated coconut
1tsp vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas
tbsp linseeds – optional
1. Pre heat your oven to 160 degrees
2. Combine all of the ingredients, apart for the linseeds, in a bowl and mix well.
3. Roll in to 8-10 balls, lay them out on a baking tray then flatten them (you can make them as thick or as thin as you like, I like mine a bit thicker).
4. Put them in the oven for 10-20 minutes (depending on how thick they are) and then take out to cool.
5. Once cool, keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days – not that they ever last that long in my household 🙂