Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Singing the Lunchtime Blues

Lunch is becoming the bane of my existence! Ok, so that's overly dramatic, but really, I feel like I have a pretty good handle on dinner ideas and breakfast is always the same, but what on earth should I feed my kids for lunch day after day.

It seems that they'd prefer to have a "favorite" every day, but you can only have mac 'n cheese or hot dogs so often with out having to turn in your mom card. Grilled cheese is also a hit, and while potentially healthier than the previous two, it's still not a nutritional goldmine.

Lunchmeats are always so salty and full of preservatives, etc. and expensive to boot, so we don't usually have them in the house since the kids only eat them once in a while even when they're around. And, it seems that by the time we return from whatever the morning activity was, I don't have the time or energy to make a whole new meal from scratch and the kids want food NOW!

I like leftovers just fine, but many times there aren't enough for all four of us, and even if there are, the kids usually won't go for something from a previous dinner the second time around. Further complicating the matter, Joshua has a peanut allergy, so all forms of peanut containing/contaminated foods are out as well...

Both kids eat fruits and veggies pretty well, but I'm at a loss for what to serve as a "main-course" at lunch. So what am I missing?? Someone must have more or better ideas on what to feed to small children for lunch five days a week that is quick, yet still reasonably healthy and economical! Or, do the rest of you struggle with this for yourself or your kids too??? Hit me with your best ideas, I'm all ears!

6 comments:

The Kampers said...

oh man, I hear you! Noah is home everyday for lunch, so it is even harder. For Forrest there's cheese sandwhiches, grilled cheese, fruit, yogurt, cheese, carrots. I don't worry too much about a "real" meal. I try to make sure it's balanced, even if it's just bits and pieces.

Christene said...

I'm with you, too. My lunches tend to be an exercise in repetition! Bruno is at school these days for lunch, so it is just Eli...but Bruno won't eat what I pack for lunch, so I've been flipping his breakfast and lunch. Anyhow, off topic. On topic, we do lunches of the standards you mentioned (mac n' cheese, grilled cheese) and our other favorites include: nachos (chips with beans, cheese, tomatoes and sour cream), tuna melts, sliced cheese and fruit (sometimes I skewer them on toothpicks if I'm feeling fancy), frozen chicken nuggets...And often enough, leftovers of whatever we had for dinner. Add a side of fruit (as my boys are not veggie boys), and I feel like they have been decently-well fed.

lifelaughsandlove said...

I struggle with this all the time. I have to admit that most days Madeline eats PB&J, and since Anthony is still fairly young I can get away with putting a piece of chicken in the microwave with some green beans and he's set.

How about quesadillas? They are quick and easy in the microwave. Do your kids like hummus? We do hummus with pita chips, and veggies with a side of fruit. Sometimes I buy a big container of chicken salad from Costco and make sandwiches with it. Hmmm, that's about all I got for now. Madeline is the pickiest eater right now, so I'm the last person who should be offering advice!

lifelaughsandlove said...

I struggle with this all the time. I have to admit that most days Madeline eats PB&J, and since Anthony is still fairly young I can get away with putting a piece of chicken in the microwave with some green beans and he's set.

How about quesadillas? They are quick and easy in the microwave. Do your kids like hummus? We do hummus with pita chips, and veggies with a side of fruit. Sometimes I buy a big container of chicken salad from Costco and make sandwiches with it. Hmmm, that's about all I got for now. Madeline is the pickiest eater right now, so I'm the last person who should be offering advice!

MikeandJen said...

i'm the same way, and levi isn't even eating a ton for lunch yet, but boy do we struggle with *what* to eat... i often just eat leftovers.... i like the quesidilla idea though. i'll be stalking this post to see if more ideas come through! :)

Joylynn said...

Do they like soups/stews? I know it could be potentially messy, but I like soups/stews because you can cook a whole lot at one time and freeze what you don't use but take it out every so often.