BANANA and crisp sandwiches and fish fingers and custard are just some of the bizarre food combinations children have requested in lockdown.
Research commissioned by Aldi reveals one in three parents in Brighton lack inspiration in the kitchen when it comes to school lunches and children’s dinners.
Almost half of those surveyed also said they sometimes give up altogether and let their child choose what to eat to make life easier, which has led to some unusual concoctions – from spaghetti with Marmite to Weetabix and baked beans.
To help parents make healthy lunches on a budget, Aldi has launched Brain Booster and Veggie Variety meal plans, with the help of Harley Street and TV nutritionist Lily Soutter.
The meal plans include ideas for 15 meals for £15, and recipes are devised to maximise children’s brain power and increase their vegetable intake.
Meal ideas include rainbow pizza, which is packed with vegetables, and bean burgers with guacamole.
Lily said: “The colourful and quick meal plans we’ve created using Aldi’s vast offering aim to not only help money go further, but also provide great taste, quality and nutrition.
“For example, it is important to nourish the brain with omega 3 for concentration, memory and mood.
“The Brain Power Fish Cakes in the Brain Boosting meal plan is the perfect way to help with this.
“We know from the research that one in four parents would like to incorporate more veggies, so we were keen on a dedicated Veggie Variety plan.
“The Jam Packed Pancakes are not only delicious, but they also provide two of our five a day, while the Wild Forest Pizza is an easy way to pack in the greens.”
The research also showed that almost half of parents were keen to incorporate more vegetables to meals to help the environment, yet a quarter said they felt healthy recipes cost more to make, and a fifth said healthy meals were out of their budget.
Julie Ashfield, managing director of buying at Aldi UK, said: “Aldi’s ethos is ‘access to good quality food should be a right, not a privilege’.
“This is why we aim to provide the best possible quality and value to all our customers.
“The meal plans are designed to provide quick and easy inspiration for time-poor parents, those stuck in an inspiration rut and for those
looking to make their money go further, while being assured their child is getting the nutrition they need, thanks to Lily’s expertise and seal of approval.”
Designed to fit with the value of the National Free School Meal Vouchers, the Aldi £15 meal plans include shopping lists as well as nutritional hints and tips.
The supermarket joined the government’s Free School Meal Voucher Scheme in April last year and has also pledged to donate ten million meals to families in need in 2021, working with giving platform Neighbourly and with support of footballer and food poverty campaigner Marcus Rashford.
To get inspiration from the meal plans, visit www.aldi.co.uk/c/recipe.