Love that lunchbox!

  • Tracy
  • 11/10/2013 2:20 pm
  • Cook

In 2005, nutritionist Jenny Tschiesche’s heart sank when she discovered that despite her best efforts to wean her daughter on a healthy diet of freshly cooked, puréed vegetables; her little girl was simply a fussy eater.
Ultimate Children's Breakfast Bar

Ultimate Children’s Breakfast Bar

In 2009 when facing the prospect of packing a school lunchbox, she was reminded of those fussy eating days when her daughter told her… “But I don’t like sandwiches Mummy.”

I know that many parents, including myself, face a similar challenge every morning.  Even if their children do like sandwiches – as it is all too easy to slip into the habit of packing the same 2 or 3 (if you are lucky) sandwich varieties and accompaniments day in, day out.

Luckily, being a nutritionist, Jenny was able to think creatively about how best to overcome her daughters limited food choices, and now her children have varied, appealing and delicious lunchbox foods every day – mainly by getting them involved in making things to include in their boxes!

Jenny has also made a huge success of sharing her wisdom with other Mums and Dads by setting up, the go-to resource for fun, healthy and delicious lunchbox ideas, recipes and menu plans for adults and children. Her award-winning book ‘Not Just Sandwiches – 5 ways to improve your child’s lunchbox’ is proving a Godsend to parents. Jenny now works with schools, sports teams and businesses to improve their food choices and resulting health.

We’ve pinched a couple of her ideas below, but please do check out more at


The Ultimate Children’s Breakfast Bar (pictured above)

With wholegrain oats and no refined sugar these bars will keep them going for several hours so when eaten at lunchtime they are great to keep them going through after school clubs and to avoid the familiar cry of ‘I’m starving as soon as they get home from school.

Of course they are also a great idea at breakfast time if you are lucky enough to have children who get up late (or if you do) and find it hard to squeeze in time for cereals and toast.


a heaped half cup or 95g dried apricots (preferably unsulphured)

2 small bananas, peeled

2 cups or 180g oats (we used gluten free)

2 tbsp ground flaxseeds

2 tbsp almond nut butter (you could use tahini as an nut free alternative but it wouldn’t taste as sweet)

1 tsp lemon juice

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

pinch of nutmeg

pinch of salt


Finely chop the apricots or whizz in a food processor.

Add the banana and mash the apricots with the banana

Add all the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Pour into a small baking tray lined with cling film and leave enough to cover the mix.

Press until flat and about 1/4 inch thick. Cover and freeze for 45 minutes-1 hour

Cut into about 10 bars then return to the freezer.

If eating for breakfast then remove from the freezer upon waking. If for lunch put the frozen bar next to the cold pack in the lunchbox to keep it cool but allow it to defrost a little by the time your child eats it.


Lunchbox doctor Cherry Ball-Dozer

Cherry Ball-Dozers

Cherry Ball Dozers – A Sleep Inducing Dessert!

Here Jenny has combined her knowledge of the functional role food can play with some great flavour combinations to come up with a suitable sleep-inducing dessert.  The sleep inducing effect isn’t immediate so it can still be put in a lunchbox without running the risk of your children dozing off before bedtime.

The science behind the recipe comes from a study published in December 2009 in “The European e-Journal of Clinical and Nutritional Metabolism” which found that twice-daily supplementation with dried cherries led to longer sleep time at night. Also, there is evidence that the dried cherries also improved sleep quality. Specifically, the participants displayed less physical activity while sleeping.

Furthermore almonds are rich in both tryptophan and nerve-calming magnesium. Both have been shown to help improve sleep. Guess what the two main ingredients of this sleep-inducing dessert are? Dried cherries and almonds.  So here’s how you make them…


100g dried cherries soaked in warm (not boiling water) for two hours

200g blanched almonds

2 tbsp ground flaxseeds

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon


Drain the cherries and put them into your food processor with all the other ingredients.

Whizz or pulse to combine the ingredients. The mixture should now stick together.

Form into balls and then place in the fridge for two hours before eating.

Find more great recipes and suggestions at -

Leave a Reply