Jacket potatoes - a lunch time challenge for pupils

A jacket potato can suit everyone's requirements and creating your own filling can be an exciting process. Here's a great lunchtime challenge for students who are still learning from home.

With many pupils still learning from home, why not use ‘making a jacket potato for lunch’ as a fun food activity?

To support this activity and help give pupils a little inspiration, there are four new jacket potato recipes on the Food – a fact of life website.  

Potatoes are a very versatile ingredient, and can be found in lots of dishes and meals. Challenge pupils to find out about the amount of fibre they provide, especially when eaten with their skin on. They can also look at the other nutrients provided.

With no filling, potatoes are fat-free, a source of potassium and, when eaten with their skins on, are a source of fibre. A medium sized jacket potato with its skin contains around 5g of fibre, which is about 20% of the recommended daily intake for an adolescent and 25% for a primary school aged child. Fibre is important for digestive health and may increase fullness.

Lunchtime jacket challenge

Challenge your pupils to create jacket potato toppings! Start with the jacket base, then get them to use their knowledge of the Eatwell Guide to create a range of toppings.

A jacket potato can suit everyone’s requirements and creating your own filling can be an exciting process. Jacket potatoes don’t have to take a long time to prepare and cook either: Just 10 minutes in a microwave and then 20 minutes in a hot oven, for those who prefer a crispy skin.

Get pupils to create their own jacket potato recipe, considering:

  • Creativity when choosing their toppings;
  • What fillings work well together? What fillings do they know they already like best?
  • Making sure their dish is balanced; use the Eatwell guide to help. Potatoes are in the Potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and other starchy carbohydrates food group of the Eatwell guide;
  • Special dietary requirements for anyone who is sharing their lunch.

Ask pupils to write up their jacket potato recipe, listing:

  • The ingredients, with weights and measures;
  • The equipment is needed;
  • The steps involved to make the dish;
  • Any top tips that they think will be useful.

Make and enjoy your jacket potato
Try to get pictures of the finished dishes to share with the class or even on our twitter page for other schools to see.

As a follow up task, get pupils to write about their experience. Use five descriptive words to explain how their finished dish tasted, looked and smelt.  

For more information about cooking and preparing to cook, visit the cooking pages, suitable for all age groups:    
3-5 years       5-7 years       7-11 years      11-14 years      14-16 years

Additional learning with potatoes

Investigate potatoes in the Eatwell guide
Use the Eatwell Guide, the UK’s healthy eating model, to explore potatoes in the diet. Focus on the starchy carbohydrate food group. Get pupils to create healthy menus for a day or several days, which feature potatoes!

Get cooking
There are lots more potato recipes on the website on our recipe pages, which have been written for schools. Use the filters to help you search.

There’s also the www.lovepotatoes.org.uk website that features a collection of potato recipes of different dishes, cuisines and styles.

Explore where potatoes come from
We have lots of support for pupils to learn about how potatoes are grown and harvested. Here’s just a few ideas:

Older pupils might also like to visit the online nutrition analysis tool - Explore food, designed to guide pupils through analysis of a recipe, it also comes with a series of worksheets.

Finally, here are some potato top tips

  • Leave potato skins on for more of the fibre and vitamins.
  • Go for boiled, baked or mashed potato. If making roast potatoes, only use a little added fat.
  • In mashed potato, use skimmed or semi-skimmed milk.

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