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Thursday, 1 September 2011

Disney and Annabel Karmel - The Ultimate Packed Lunch Event


Disney recently teamed up with bestselling children’s food author Annabel Karmel, to create the Ultimate Packed Lunch for children heading back to school in September. I blagged an invite attended an event in central London that included a roundtable discussion, with several other Mum bloggers and representatives from various magazines, about ways to make packed lunches interesting, fun and healthy for children.  We then had a cookery workshop where Annabel created two tasty savoury wraps and Mickey Mouse-shaped carrot, apple and sultana muffins.


I met the lovely Kate from Wit Wit Woo at St Pancras Station and we had our own car (OMGness!) to take my Mum and children to the Atheneum Hotel hotel where Disney had set up a holding pen playroom for our children, and tea on tap for my Mum, whilst we were at the event. 

The event itself took place at La Cucina Caldesi Cookery School which is attached to a cafe. Needless to say the much needed coffee was superb!  I got to meet the very fab and lovely Danielle from Blog By Baby, Pippa from A Mothers Ramblings and Tracy from White Lily Green.  

The representatives from Disney were all very welcoming and friendly and Annabel herself was happy to have a good chat to us all.  It was really well organised and we all felt really comfortable and at ease, which to be honest isn't always the case at PR events.  I thoroughly enjoyed the event, not to mention the food! LOL

Anyway, back to details of the event.  There were loads of fabulous tips and hints that came out of the discussion and were suggested by us Mums as well as some from Annabel herself.  She said "Kids want maximum time in the playground so they want a lunchbox which is easy to eat, as well as tasting great and looking good.”  I couldn't agree more!

Some of the best tips to come out of the roundtable discussion were:

Most children will leave food that takes a lot of effort to eat. Why not give them clementines already peeled and covered with plastic wrap, cut kiwifruit in half and let them scoop out the flesh with a teaspoon, or give them grapes and berries in small containers that are easy to open.

However healthy food is, it won’t get eaten unless it’s tasty and appealing to your child.  Simple touches can make all the difference like cutting sandwiches into character shapes using cookie cutters (try some Disney favourites like Mickey Mouse!) or threading fruit onto a straw to make a fresh fruit skewer.

Sandwiches don’t need to be boring!  There are so many different types of carbohydrate available. Try giving pitta pockets with tuna, sweetcorn and a touch of mayonnaise, tortilla wraps with cooked chicken, avocado, shredded lettuce and tomato, mini baguettes with ham and cheese or pita pockets with tuna salad. To prevent sandwiches getting squashed, store them in a small plastic container in your child’s lunchbox and make fillings the night before to save time.

There are other carbs that make a welcome change from sandwiches.  Try a pasta salad and mix in some cherry tomatoes and spring onion - this can be made the night before. Children are naturally curious, so sharing food as a family at dinner will introduce them to new food and flavours, which can also then be used in their lunchbox the next day like Spanish omelette or marinated chicken drumsticks.


It was a fab event and we all received lunchboxes, with packed lunches inside, to take home to our children.  We also got to take away the delicious wraps and muffins that we made with Annabel. I'm ashamed to admit they only lasted about 5 minutes in the lunchboxes once we were dropped back to the train station as they were swiftly devoured with great enthusiasm.


Many thanks to Disney and Annabel Karmel for a fab event and great campaign!




 

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