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Is it even October if you haven’t picked a pumpkin? Pushing a wheelbarrow around a field in search of the perfect pumpkin is one of the things on my family’s agenda this half term, as well as a few other spooky-themed days out.

In an effort to stay on track with my weight loss (and to keep costs down!) we’ll be taking packed lunches – and I’m tasked with conjuring child-friendly, healthy, filling, warming, transportable, lunchbox fillers. 😵 Sounds scary but it’s easy with Food Optimising! Here are some of our packed lunch ideas for your half term adventures:

Packed lunch ideas: All treat!

Taco-shell muffins

Whoever discovered these crafty quiche containers is a genius! Fill mini soft tortilla cases filled with whisked eggs, cottage cheese and chopped veg (peppers/mushrooms/tomatoes) and then cooked until golden = healthy packed lunch muffins.

Slimming World members can check Syn values of their favourite tortillas using our online food search tool or the Slimming World barcode scanner.

Pasta bean salad

This salad, also known as ‘rainbow pasta’ (to keep things kid-friendly!) is one of the easiest packed lunch ideas going. Mix cooked, cooled pasta, sweetcorn, red kidney beans, halved cherry tomatoes, and chopped spring onions with a drizzle of fat free vinaigrette and voila! Add chunks of ready-cooked chicken for a meaty version.

Warm packed lunch ideas: No tricks!


It was a real novelty when I brought along a flask to our last National Trust trip! The kids loved having their very own cup of soup to dip their sandwiches in. Our favourite is leek and potato, and this is a lovely chunky version, perfect for a crisp autumn day out.

Lovely leftovers

Invest in a wide-necked flask or heat-preserving container, and the possibilities are endless. Last night’s dinners are today’s filling packed lunch! These warming dishes are perfect for warding off that ghoul-ish autumn chill:

Are you heading out this half term? We’d love to see pics of your spook-tastic family trips – including your packed lunch ideas.

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