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Dipping your toe back to school

It will come as a surprise to no-one, I’m sure, that the thing I most looked forward to about going back to school was getting back into lunchbox planning.

This process usually involved excitedly raiding the pantry for tins of tuna and crackers, the fridge for cheese and veggies, and of course the fruit bowl for every piece of “nature’s candy” I could get my hands on.

Now if you read that and thought to yourself “gee, sounds like Alice must’ve had a #cleaneating childhood”, don’t get me twisted.

I was also being weaned off a significant Up’n’Go addiction (too easy to chug down as I ran for the bus) and spent every bit of shrapnel on Sunny Boyz and Zooper Doopers…

But, looking back on it now, it was the “recipes” that I’d prepared at home (which, let’s face it, weren’t exactly rocket science) that really made me excited to show off my recess goods.

My most repeated “recipes” were dips, because they were the easiest and also the easiest to share with my friends (I’d learnt to make friends through food pretty early on).

If I couldn’t find proper containers, I’d happily bring everything in old jam jars, along with an extra jar for carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes, and maybe some pita bread or crackers.

Here’re a couple of my faves, which your kiddies might like to practise in time for cracking out when they’re back to school next week (but don’t dip your toes into the bowl!):

Back to School Tuna dip:


1 hard boiled egg
1 medium tin of tuna in olive oil
good squirt of mayo
fresh coriander (optional)
2 pinches of curry powder
salt & pepper (to taste)


Mash up the ingredients in a bowl until combined (I like to keep everything quite chunky though).

Tzatziki dip:


1 small tub of natural yoghurt
1 garlic clove, crushed
zest of half a lemon
torn dill, mint & coriander (to taste)
1 lebanese cucumber, grated and drained


Combine ingredients in a bowl and season to taste (this can be made the night before, but be sure to keep in the fridge until it’s time for school, and don’t leave in the bottom of your school bag on a hot day!)

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