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Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts: Reader Request: Kids Lunch Ideas

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Reader Request: Kids Lunch Ideas

I received an email from a reader last week asking to do a post on ideas for kids lunches.  My first thought was, really?  I am not the person to ask. I struggle with this every day!  But that being said, I figure there are a lot of Mom's out there with this dilemma right now.  Summer break, kids home, needing to come up with lunch ideas.  So why not create a post, and let you the readers help me!  I have 1 boy who is 6 years old and very picky.  So our lunches are very basic! I have a few good ideas, and I have done some research to help.  But who better than other Mom's to throw out their great ideas!

A few staples to get you through lunch
   -  Yogurt (squeeze, containers, etc.)
   -  Cheese (shredded, string, cubes, etc.)
   -  Tortillas
   -  Lunch Meat
   -  Fruit (Banana's, strawberries, apples, grapes etc.)
   -  Peanut Butter (assuming no nut allergies)
   -  Bread (sliced bread, hot dog buns, hamburger buns, tortilla's)

Pizza!  What kid doesn't love pizza.  Here are a few quick, easy, healthy ways to do pizza for lunch
   -   English Muffin Crust
   -   Tortilla Crust
   -   Pillsbury Biscuit Crust
 Just top with sauce, cheese and your favorite toppings.  Bake to melt the cheese and crisp the crust!

Lunchables! Make your Own!  My son loves the idea of lunchables everytime he is at the store, but he never eats them.  Why?  They are kind of gross!
   -  Sliced Cheese - Buy the big chunks of it, and cut slices
   -  Meat (You can get the deli to cut it thicker for you)
   -  Crackers
  Put it all on a plate, and let me create what they want with it!

Quesadilla's!  My son just likes cheese in his, but you can add whatever veggies or meat your kids like. I use my sandwich press to get it crispy, but a saute pan will work just as well.

Sandwiches!  This is obvious, but it can be boring!
   -  Use hot dog buns.  My son thinks it is just like Subway when we do that
   -  Nutella is a great sub for peanut butter (and they think they are getting a huge treat).
   -  Use Cream cheese and strawberries
   -  Pita's can be more fun that just bread!
   -  Make it into a wrap using a tortilla
   -  Toast a Waffle - great alternative to regular bread.

Hot Dogs! It is summer afterall!
   -  Wrap Pillsbury Cresent Rolls around a hot dog and bake
   -  If you have time check out this recipe for Pretzel Dogs- AWESOME!!! 
   -  Make your own Corn Dogs at home
   -  Slice up hot dogs and put it in Mac n' Cheese

   -  I make extra mini burgers, slightly under cook them, and then freeze them.  They are great to pull from the freezer, and reheat for a quick lunch

One thing to remember - it doesn't have to be a put together formal meal.  Peanut butter and apple slices, a slice of cheese, and yogurt is a great lunch.  You have all the key elements to keep your child full - protein, fiber, fruit, calcium, etc. 

Disney's Family Fun site has some really fun ideas for lunches and snacks

Please, let me know what you feed your kids for lunch!

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At June 15, 2011 at 6:58 AM , Blogger Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said...

Great post! My daughter was very picky, and your idea yogurt was how I got protein into her lunches :)

At June 15, 2011 at 1:55 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great ideas! All my children have flown the coop and are having babies of their own, but I love your ideas!

At June 15, 2011 at 4:35 PM , Blogger Apron Appeal said...

It's a scary one to try for the first time, but you may just love it. hot dogs with mashed potatoes and shredded cheese. Stick it in the oven until the hot dog is warm and the cheese is melted. This was one of my favorites growing up. Not exactly the most healthy, can't always win them all.

And don't forget Pitas unlike tortillas, whatever you put into the "pocket" stays in so it's easier for kids to eat.

At June 15, 2011 at 4:46 PM , Blogger Pam said...

Great lunch ideas!

At June 15, 2011 at 5:22 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fabulous ideas - this will keep me in lunches for a while! Jut found your blog - it's lovely - I'm sigining up to follow you!

At June 15, 2011 at 5:26 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

I love this post! Great ideas! I have 3 kids myself and Im always trying to figure out new lunch ideas : )

At June 15, 2011 at 7:01 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not a mother, but I would eat all this stuff lol. I know tons of moms who are very busy on a daily basis who would enjoy this much, I will definitely pass this post on to them, thanks for sharing! =]

At June 15, 2011 at 8:29 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

I'm mom to a 5 year-old and I think you've done a great job covering the options. The only one I would add would be a container of cut up vegetables and a batch of ranch dressing for dipping. We go through a lot of carrots and celery that way. :)

At June 15, 2011 at 8:41 PM , Blogger Sandra said...

Fantastic idea..very well put together!

At June 15, 2011 at 11:23 PM , Blogger Ally Lynn said...

These are such great ideas. I don't have kids, but I'll definitely be keeping these in mind for myself!!

At June 16, 2011 at 2:13 AM , Blogger Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

My kids still don't need lunch yet but this is a good list to keep for the near future! Thank you for writing up the list!

At June 16, 2011 at 2:20 AM , Blogger My Little Space said...

Thanks for sharing the list. It's a great info that I can share with some others too. Have a lovely day, Erin.

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