How to make healthy and nutritious kids’ lunchboxes on a budget

With winter setting in and energy bills increasing, time-poor parents are leaking money in the kitchen by spending more than planned on school packed lunches, with up to a fifth being thrown away at the end of the day.

To help parents reduce costs and make the most of leftovers and foods you’ve already cooked, FLORA has partnered with nutritionist Rob Hobson to give tips on how to repurpose lunchbox or dinner leftovers and make interesting snacks, ensuring they are nutritious and cost-effective.

Rob says: “Nutrition plays a vital role in the growth and development of children, and what you choose to pack in their lunchbox can ensure these needs are met. This doesn’t necessarily mean having to plan new meals each day and continually buy more food to cook from scratch, as tasty and nutritious food can be made using leftovers of meals you’ve already cooked.

“Stretching the house budget can lead to time-poor parents and reduced food budgets, which can impact children’s nutrition if not thought about. 12% of parents asked admitted they’d considered cutting out fresh fruit to save money, but this can easily be replaced with more budget friendly frozen equivalents. For parents looking to reduce the number of products they buy, FLORA is also a great alternative to dairy butter and cooking oil and can be used for spreading, cooking, baking and frying.

“There are also many ways to create healthy meals on a budget and help save time. Using leftovers from dinner, making small switches like dairy butter to FLORA and batch cooking for the week are some of the ways to help parents. Incorporating spreads like FLORA will also help save money, add extra flavour to meals, and ensure healthy fats like Omegas 3 and 6 are in your child’s diet to support normal growth, development, and cholesterol levels.”

Cost-effective lunchbox snacks:

• Fruity flapjacks
Flapjacks are great as a slow energy release snack – perfect for little ones and a little afternoon pick me up. Try making your own using FLORA’s recipe, all that is needed to mix with FLORA 100% Natural Ingredients are oats and dried fruits which can be bought in bulk to help save on costs, with a little brown sugar and golden syrup. These sweet treats can be made in batches and stored for a week and are a fraction of the price of shop-bought bars. For more FLORA recipes, visit here.

• Healthier crisps
Bagels and flour tortillas that are on their way out can be cut, brushed with melted FLORA 100% Natural Ingredients, grilled, and seasoned with salt and dried spices to create healthier crisps. Top tip: Look for special offers on bread that can be frozen for future use.

• Pop the corn
Popcorn is a great snack for children and the most cost-effective way to make this is to purchase corn kernels and make the popcorn at home. Melt a small serving of FLORA 100% Natural Ingredients and pour on top – it’s a great way to incorporate flavour whilst ensuring your children take in Omegas 3 & 6.

Fun ways to turn leftovers into packed lunchbox items:

• Smash the mash
Leftover mashed potato and other veggies can be used to make tasty patties. Place everything in a bowl, add some grated cheese, then form into small patties and fry in a pan with melted FLORA 100% Natural Ingredients until crisp.

• Roll on arancini balls
For when parents have spare time, or perhaps want to make preparing lunch a family activity, leftover risotto can be turned into arancini balls, which can be stored in the fridge for a day. Roll a small handful of the leftover risotto with some cheese (mozzarella if there’s some available) and dip the balls in beaten egg, then cover in breadcrumbs (which can be made from stale bread and stored in the freezer). Melt a little FLORA 100% Natural Ingredients in the pan and fry until crisp, then set aside to cool.

For more information on FLORA’s products, please visit: and to find more recipes using FLORA and leftover foods, follow the campaign on Instagram with the hashtag #FloraGoesFurther

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