Some kids are happy to eat whatever mom tosses in the bag. A good sandwich, cup or fruit and a juice box will work wonders for a grade school child.
It is important to remember that if your child is a picky eater, that can be considered quite normal and overtime kids taste-buds change and their desire to try new things broadens.
Packing your child a nutritious lunch can help them stay alert at school and healthy. The fight to get a child to eat their lunch can be overwhelming and create anxiety.
Here are a few simple lunch ideas that can help make your morning a little easier and give your child a good meal. Please note that most of these meals also include a snack size bag of cheese crackers, mini pretzels, or a few chips. Feel free to add whatever you like to these meals. Decent suggestions are based on my four-year-old who just started preschool this year. These are the meals that I have been preparing throughout the year once I figured out what made him happy. Check these out for some ideas of your own.
5 Simple Delicious Lunch Ideas
Cheese Quesadilla: These are very easy to make. You just need two flour tortilla shells browned them in the skillet and then add cheese of your choice. I like to use Colby Jack cheese because it has a variety of mild cheese is that my son likes. Once your tortilla shells are browned on both sides, you’ve added your cheese and everything is melted go ahead and put them in 1/4 pieces . You can go ahead and add a small container of salsa or guacamole depending on your child’s taste.
Mini raviolis: I know some moms may not like that but canned Chef Boyardee raviolis go a long way. If you have a small child that does not like to eat sandwiches for lunch I can of ravioli in the cabinet is a perfect back up lunch. You will need to have a thermal that will keep it warm. Go ahead and in the morning heat up the ravioli in the microwave and add it to the thermal.It is quick simple and your child will love it. You can add frozen strawberries to the side or blueberries. I do this often with my son because by lunchtime the berries have thawed out and they are nice and cold and ready to be enjoyed.
Spaghetti With Homemade Sauce: OK so some mornings I am running late and we don’t have anything left for him to take. This is when I turned to my trusty pasta with homemade sauce. I have time in the morning to put on a very small pot of spaghetti noodles and make a little bit of homemade sauce from a can of tomato paste.It may sound difficult but it really is not. You can boil the noodles while you are dressing your child. Noodles general generally take about seven to nine minutes to cook, but when you have such a small amount it is even faster. For the tomato pace you want to add about 2 tablespoons of tomato paste and water until it is a smooth consistency at a little oregano salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder. You can add a tiny pinch of sugar to cut the bitterness of the tomato paste. Please note that the sugar is optional. Add this to your child thermal sprinkle with a little cheese and, viola, lunch is ready. I generally serve this with Ritz crackers and a side of orange slices or a cup of peaches. My son loves apples, so a few apple slices are good too.
Easy For On The Go
Chicken nuggets: Most kids love a delicious chicken nugget. Lunchtime should be no different. There are so many companies that sell frozen chicken nuggets they have them in the shapes of dinosaurs and animals and just regular nuggets. Add it back to your next grocery list and in the morning heat 4-6 nuggets for your child in the oven, microwave, or toaster oven ( they tend to be a little crispier if you heat them in the oven or toaster oven just in FYI). However if you are pressed for time the microwave is definitely an option. Go ahead and add your child’s favorite dipping sauce some examples are honey mustard salad dressing, ranch dressing, and barbecue sauce. Catch up as always a hit so grab your small container and squeeze a little to go. This can be served with a side of cooked broccoli or carrots depending on what your child likes.
Jelly Sandwich Triangles: I know this one is a little weird but it works perfect for my son. Many schools have a no peanut policy so there’s no peanut butter allowed at my kids school. Instead of a PB&J, I make him a jelly sandwich with grape jelly, that’s his favorite and bread. (Strawberry jam works too). Cut the sandwich into triangles and everything is great. For this I like to add two breakfast sausages. You know the little link sausages that you simply heat and serve. I will add a side of yogurt and fruit for a side.
Make Lunchtime Special
So as you can see, lunch doesn’t have to be difficult but it does have to be something that your child will eat. These simple lunch ideas make life easy. As a mother I worry when my son’s lunch box comes back with all of his food or the majority of his meal. If I were to send him to school with a ham sandwich it will come back, he probably would eat only meat and send back the bread or depending on how he feels he may eat just the bread.
Lunch is about giving your child things they enjoy eating and making it fun. My son has a short lunchtime. So there’s no need for me to pack his bag with so many extra things that he won’t have the time to eat. The school provide snacks and milk so there is no reason for me to give extra things. If your child needs more or is older go ahead and add a few more items to the lunch.
From time to time I will add up a cookie or two, fruit snacks or a small brownie. That may happen once or twice a month. But I try to reduce the amount of sugar that I sent to school with him.
I hope you found these ideas helpful and is always remember to subscribe to my newsletter and follow me on Facebook Twitter and Instagram.