THINKING about school lunchboxes does not fill me with excitement. Surely there are only so many years kids are meant to eat sandwiches every day of the working week?

I was, and still am, one of the fussy ones who does not like any sort of spread, so my sarnies were often a bit dry. I am also not a cheese fan, so that ruled out Babybel or Cheese Strings.

From what I can remember of the rest of the box it consisted of crisps, chocolate, a piece of fruit and a yoghurt, to varying degrees, and my colleagues have similar recollections. Today it seems a very different matter.

My 10-year-old brother now uses his food in ‘swapsies’, so he trades what he is not keen on and gets ‘a good deal’ on the products of some other parent’s shopping trip.

If your little ones are back at school soon and they still enjoy the traditional sandwich, Staff of Life, Kendal, can supply the bread. Tin loafs come in deli rye, wholemeal and white sourdough (£1.80), and 100 per cent spelt wholemeal (£2.20), which are all good for slicing.

For fillings you could go with Westmcombe Cheese from Cartmel Cheese and Bakery - a nice Somerset cheese only a year old.

You could also try home-cooked honey-roast ham from Steadmans of Sedbergh, which is £1.50 / 100g. At Peter Hutchinson, Greenodd, there are whole Cumbrian chickens (£2.86 / kilo) and plain pork sausages (£7 / kilo) which could both be used in your butties.

All lunch boxes deserve a delicious sweet treat but often everyone’s too busy for home-baked options, so Country Harvest at Ingleton can come to the rescue with yummy as-good-as-home-made tray-bakes.

As well as being available to buy in the coffee shop, you can now also get them in the foodhal – choose from date and apricot slice, almond slice, gingerbread, chocolate brownie and millionaires shortbread (all £3.25) and chocolate dipped flapjack at £2.75. Each tray-bake will easily cut into six to eight portions. making it an excellent value option.

Scrumptious extras could also come from Greenlands Farm Village, near Carnforth, where there is a range of cakes including caramel slices, rocky road and chocolate dipped shortbreads, which on average are £1.99 for two. You will also find pork pies and sausage rolls, all local, for £1.50, there.

For the fruit section of the midday meal, Powells Greengrocers, Sedbergh, have new season Discovery apples, which are the first of the English eating apples for the year. These red and green numbers have bright flesh with a hue of pink through them. Why not pop in a Belgian Conference pear too, (£1.75 / kilo), or some Italian cherry tomatoes on the vine, 99p.

And we cannot forget the drink. Bowland Bridge Stores have a great stock of cold drinks, including Barrs original cream soda with raspberry, (49p for 330ml), and Rubicon with passionfruit (55p for 330ml). The shop also sells a range of hot and cold sandwiches, for any of you who forget to pick up your lunchbox on the way out of the house.