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Lovely lunches for kids

Need advice on what to feed children at home? M&S senior nutritionist Laura is on hand to share some hints and tips

M&S Food kids' breakfast and lunch planner

At M&S, we're supporting families by offering a £5 top-up to the government's £15 school meals vouchers, allowing children to enjoy nutritious breakfasts and lunches at home during the week.

To help you prepare simple, tasty and balanced food for kids at home, our senior nutritionist Laura Street has created a special breakfast and lunch planner which includes five days of easy-to-prepare breakfasts and lunches which feed two children. You can get all the great-quality M&S ingredients – enough for two kids – in store for just £20. There are lots of easy, kid-approved ideas, from 'three bears pear porridge' to tasty tortilla pizzas, plus handy hints and tips to help you cut down on prep time and food waste.

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Why is healthy eating important?

Eating a balanced diet helps to keep children healthy, gives them energy and enables them to concentrate on school work and to be alert.

Although we’re facing challenging times, it’s worth trying to create a few healthy habits where you can – and hopefully these tips and recipe ideas will help you do just that. If you’re at home more, small adjustments repeated each day can really stick after a while. But the main thing is not to be too hard on yourself – some days, getting out of bed can feel like a big achievement! The 80/20 rule is a good one to keep in mind – if you can encourage children to eat a balanced diet around 80% of the time, you’re on to a winner.

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Laura’s top five tips

Whatever age your child is, role-modelling has a big impact on eating habits. While many of us are at home, we have a unique chance to sit and eat together for at least one meal a day, so use the opportunity to display the kind of eating behaviours you’d like to see in your child. Whether it’s leaving devices elsewhere while we eat, or chomping up all our greens, it’s interesting to see how once we start doing things ourselves, they soon copy.

Get kids involved – if they help prepare meals, they’ll take pride in the food, and will be more likely to tuck in.

Try making fruit and veggies the topic of your dinnertime conversation. Discuss which you’ve eaten that day, and how you plan to fit in your five-a-day tomorrow

Most schools talk about the environment and food waste – strike up a conversation to see what knowledge your child has, and if they have any creative recipe ideas to use up leftovers.

Get creative! Presentation has a big impact, so make food as appealing and varied as you can – kids will enjoy helping, too.

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Super sandwiches

You can’t beat a good old sandwich for a quick and easy lunch. Buying bread from M&S means you’re getting more sunshine in your sarnies – all of our pre-packed bread and rolls contain vitamin D, which we usually soak up naturally from the sun. Two slices contain 12% of our recommended daily allowance. Try these easy filling ideas:

  • Blitz cooked beetroot into a homemade dip. Spread over bread then fill with sliced ham and tomatoes.
  • Top toasted bread with nut butter and sliced banana.
  • Layer shredded lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, beetroot and yellow peppers for a rainbow veggie sandwich.
  • Mix a tin of tuna with a little natural yoghurt and some tinned sweetcorn. Use to fill two slices of bread.

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