“What’s for lunch?”…….sound familiar?
Children start asking this question from a very young age. When my girls where pre-schoolers and toddlers, it was difficult coming up with new and interesting ways to present lunch both at home and as a packed lunch box for when we were out. Today I am going to reminisce and think back to what I used to dish up to my kids a few years ago. Actually, now that I think about it, they still enjoy these things for lunch in their lunch boxes and at home even now, a good ten years down the track.
Of course you can make the obvious: sandwiches or bread rolls or wraps. Some kids love them and some hate them. You can toast them to jazz them up (make jaffles). In the summer, salad sandwiches are also good.
The Lunch List
Here is a list of other ideas you might want to keep on hand for when your mind goes blank at 11.55am:
- Pizza muffins. Slice open English muffins and top with tomato paste and your favourite pizza toppings. Grill until cheese is melted and golden.
- Baked potatoes. If you have thought of this early enough you can cook your potatoes in the oven, but I often cheat and wrap each potato in cling wrap, then put them on a plate and microwave until soft. Simply unwrap, cut open and top with sour cream and other things like grated carrot, chopped tomatoes, grated cheese, etc.
- Meat pies or pasties. I keep a variety of these in the freezers for those cold days when that’s really gonna hit the spot. Either put in the oven or microwave first then crisp up in the oven if you are short on time.
- Potato wedges. Either pre-packaged (frozen) or cut up your own potatoes into wedges, toss in oil and salt and bake in a hot oven. You must have these with sour cream!
- Soup. Some kids love soup, others hate it. If yours love it, then I encourage you to boil up lots of veggies in chicken stock, then blitz until smooth. This is so healthy and very easy to make. Otherwise, there is always the cup-a-soups that you buy. Sometimes kids will try soup if it is served in a cup rather than a bowl – I know!
- Alphaghetti or tinned spaghetti or baked beans. This is super quick and you can serve it warmed up on toast. Lots of mess and lots of yum.
- Sausage rolls. I have listed this one separately to the meat pies and pasties because you can’t compare home-made sausage rolls with anything store bought. I also sneak in some grated veggies and you can freeze them to be used whenever the hunger pangs strike.
- Macaroni cheese. Usually I make a simple white sauce, add cheese and the cooked pasta and there you have it. My recipe for it is over here.
- Hot dogs. Frankfurts from the shops are full of preservatives, I realise this, but they still deserve a place on the lunch menu because they are so delicious! Hot dogs are a very rare feast in our house, usually reserved for parties (as cocktail frankfurts) but I still had to put them here. Serve in bread or hot dog rolls.
- 2-Min noodles. These have always been a favourite in our house. Either eat them plain, or grate cheese on them (I like to add a bit of tomato sauce too). However you like them, they are great because they only take 2 minutes to cook.
- Salads. Be creative and make up a quick pasta or rice salad. Use up some salad veggies from the fridge and it can be different every single day. Hard boiled eggs are a great addition. With or without dressing.
- Mini quiches. You can make quiches in muffin tins. These freeze well and are great for Kinder/school lunches or to take to the park.
- Eggs on Toast. Boil them, poach them, scramble them, fry them. Cut your toast into soldiers for dipping or serve the egg on the toast (can also top with cheese). Kids love this and it’s a good nutritious lunch. Add avocado or mushrooms or spinach if you can get away with it.
- Leftovers. Leftovers always look disgusting when you first take them out of the fridge, but once reheated, the smell of yumminess fills the air and they can taste so good. Especially something like last night’s lasagne. Don’t throw out the leftovers, enjoy them again for lunch.
Well, that’s my list of simple lunches I have had from when our kids were little, but we actually still eat these things for lunch now. Print out this blog post and stick it on the fridge or on the inside of your pantry door for quick reference. You might like to make up your own list of lunches your kids love or things you’d like to try. Vary the menu so they don’t get tired of vegemite on toast every day.
Enjoy your lunch!