So everyone across the land appears to have finally returned from their summer sojourn, be it back from Dorking or Deia, Puglia or Plymouth, with the mad scrabble for school shoes and rucksacks (is there a rucksack graveyard somewhere? Maybe next to the single socks...?) and the worry of trying to work out if you will remember how to conjure up three packed lunches  out of two Ryvita, a brown banana and some leftover Dhal…

My daughter has struggled like a true Champion with life threatening allergies all her life, and providing her with a nutritious and varied packed lunch, everyday of her schooling,was an enormous challenge. Some days it was a doddle, when the fridge was stocked and I felt enthused, other times when I had forgotten to stop and pick up ingredients, or even worse - realised I had left the shopping I bought at lunchtime, at work, and had nothing to make her.  

During the winter months, when she was always hungry, a good filling piece of packed lunch kit was a Flapjack. If I made them the night before, I would make a tray and would have to hide them until morning…A lot of sugar, but every now and then a brilliant, filling, special treat addition to a boring packed lunch… My daughter started making these herself when she was about 10, and would use the crumbly bits leftover in the pan to sprinkle over icecream...

Makes 16

300g Unsalted butter

75G Demerara sugar

120g golden syrup

250g jumbo rolled oats

200g Quick cook oats

pinch of salt

Handful of chopped, dried apricots, or raisins


1. Preheat the oven to 190c/300F if you prefer them chewy rather than crispy.

Line a 30x20cm baking tin with baking parchment.

2.Melt the butter in a small pan with sugar, syrup and a pinch of salt. Stir well to combine, then take off the heat and stir in the oats and dried fruit.

Press evenly into the tin and bake for 25 mins for chewy, 30 mins for crunchy, until set and golden.

Allow to cool completely in the tin, but cut into squares a few minutes after they come out of the oven, before they harden.