I need some ideas for healthy kids lunches. My kids are not big sandwich or salad fans. I always seem to fall back on the old stand-bys - hotdogs, mac and cheese, chicken nuggets. THEY love that stuff, but I feel so guilty feeding it to them. Any suggestions??
Have you tried like quesadillas- even just cheese or when I grill chicken for supper, I'll grill a couple of extra pieces and then cut it into bite size pieces and put in in the quesadilla for a chicken and cheese quesadilla.
Another idea we do is breakfast for lunch and I'll make scrambled eggs, fruit, and peanut butter toast.
I also freeze leftovers from dinner when we have quite a bit and it's freezable. For example, lasagna, or for a casserole, I'll freeze individual servings and then can pull one out for lunch.
Beef and bean burritos. My daughter is picky and will eat these if I let her make them. They are super easy and you can make them as simple or complex as you want. I just brown hamburger and put it in a bowl then add black beans and kidney beans and then cheddar cheese. You can add onion, green pepper, etc . if you like that but we stick to the beans, beef and cheese and then she gets to roll them up in tortillas and then I wrap each tortilla in tinfoil an then put them all in a ziplock and freeze them. You can then pull them out one at a time and microwave for about 2-3 min from frozen and it's a very healthy lunch. Even if they won't eat these but you will, it's a healthy lunch for you on days they only want mac and cheese!
mini pizza's on whole wheat english muffins. Any veggies they like you can put on top.
fish sticks are an alternative to chicken nuggets - not really any healthier but something different at least.
hummus and crackers or pita's or veggies to dip in it.
I freeze a lot of my leftovers in single serving dishes so they are easy to get out and quick to reheat. My daughter especially loves the black bean fiesta chili recipe I posted in peek's chili post earlier this week. I throw rice in it when I make it so it's a complete protein and it freezes really well.
slice up a red potato, throw in whatever veggies you like, sprinkle some evoo over it all and a little cheese and warm it up.
whole wheat thin spaghetti and sauce only takes 10 mins total to make - including boiling the water. Barilla came out with a whole line of mini pasta's - not whole wheat but awfully cute for cooking with!
Pasta salads and fruit salads - tons of different recipes out there on the web for something beyond the traditional ones that are loaded with mayo, cheese and meat :)
Thanks so much - This is exactly what I am looking for!! I guess a key part in this lunch stuff is planning and cooking ahead!! I work full time from home so I am usually a little rushed when lunch comes around. I am also thinking I could make something in the crock pot and put it on early in the morning on high and by lunch it will be ready. I will have to try that too!!!
I have a question about working from home for you...Do you have a sitter that watches your kids or do you work while they are home? I tried doing that and found that I just never slept because I was working at night when they went to bed and they constantly needed my attention during the day. How to you work it?
They might go for sandwiches if you got a variety of meats, cheeses, vegetables and sauces and let them design their own. How about homemade soups. I like to make a pot on the weekend and use it for lunches during the week (I also work from home but don't have the kids still at home). You can even make a quick one in the morning and use your crockpot idea - buy or make chicken stock and then chop up some veggies, leftover meat and add some seasonings. Veggies and dip plus rolled up luncheon meats could be good too. Good luck!
does anyone else have any more ideas to add to these other ones??? i'm in the same boat as the OP! i will try some of these but my kids won't even try quesadillas!!! i try to tell them it tastes better than a grilled cheese and is the same concept... but they just won't listen!!!
I am sorry it took me so long to respond to this, I am new at the forum and not exactly sure how to get around in here. Anyway, I work from home 7 am to 11 am. My kids are 9,7 and 5 so they keep themselves entertained for the few hours in the morning. Then I work from 7pm to 9pm. My hubby is home by then and he can keep an eye on them. So for now, it is working out well!
Try turkey or ham with cream cheese and rolled up tightly in a tortilla. You can add lettuce to that too.
Also try skewering pieces of fruit like strawberries, pineapple, etc. with cubes of cheese on a bamboo skewer.
Bagels and cream cheese are always popular too. You can use the mini ones or regular size.
Some other ideas are cheese and crackers, tuna and crackers or peanut butter and crackers.
Yogurt with granola to mix in. I used to buy the Gogurts and freeze them and stick in their lunch box. By the time it was lunch time it was slushy and helped keep the other items cold. I know it has more sugar than the plain yogurt but it's still better than sending cookies or candy. At least it has the calcium.
My kids liked me to put chicken noodle soup in their thermos on cold days.
Hope any of this helps!
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