Old school

School lunches needn’t be bor­ing, says Rachel Allen, and a lit­tle or­gan­i­sa­tion and pre-plan­ning will go a long way. Pho­tog­ra­phy by Tony Gavin

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Life - - APPETITES -

Back-to-school time is a bit like New Year; we’re all full of good in­ten­tions and prom­ises we in­tend to ful­fil. Mine are, yet again, to stop bit­ing my nails while driv­ing (it’s the only time I ever seem to bite them) and to re­mem­ber that just be­cause I in­tend to go out for a run or hit the gym, I’m not ac­tu­ally go­ing to get any fit­ter un­less I stop pro­cras­ti­nat­ing and just do it.

This time of the year is al­ways a lit­tle bit­ter­sweet for me. I have loved the lazy morn­ings in bed and the long evenings, but my yearn­ing for rou­tine nor­mally hits at the end of Au­gust when I’ve had a whole two months of lovely but hap­haz­ard dis­or­der­li­ness in the house.

I also crave au­tumn-win­ter clothes. Give me a cash­mere scarf and boots over silky, light, sum­mery garb any day. I’m nor­mally the first one to re­joice at the chill­ier morn­ings and shorter evenings. Can­dles light­ing, red wine and log fires are my idea of bliss.

Any­way, when it comes to school lunches, we all need to shake it up ev­ery now and then. Eat­ing the same thing ev­ery day gets bor­ing, but it can also be tricky to make lunch boxes that are both tempt­ing and healthy, too. Of course, schools have clamped down a lot on the food that our chil­dren are al­lowed to bring in, and many only al­low some­thing sweet on Fri­days. I love these chewy, seedy oat, apri­cot and date bars, right. They’ve got a great bite, so they are bril­liant for our di­ges­tive sys­tems, while the oats will keep the kid­dies full of en­ergy.

Our daugh­ter, Scar­lett, loves sausage rolls, and she de­cided that these are the best school lunch, so here’s the ver­sion, far right, that she’s tak­ing to school with her this week.

These crunchy brown scones with seeds, also far right, are su­per sand­wich ma­te­rial, and when they are split, but­tered and filled with cheese and ham, they make a packed lunch fit for a lit­tle king.

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