Quick and Easy School Lunches for Kids

These days, it seems as if kids are always complaining about what is inside their lunch boxes. They complain so much that the idea of ‘lunch box boredom’ has become a problem of gigantic proportions for parents looking for quick and easy school lunch ideas! The usual PB&J sandwich will no longer do, nor will the hurried assortment of whatever is available in the refrigerator. However, as much as mothers would love to provide their kids with something exquisite and different every day for school, the restricting forces of time and finances often do not allow for it. Much to the collective relief of moms everywhere, there are a variety of ways to banish the lunch box blues and please even the pickiest little eaters without having to slave away in the kitchen for hours or spend more than your budget allots for school lunches. The lunch ideas listed here for quick and easy meals should do the trick:

  • Stir Fried Rice: Do your kids gobble up fried rice when your family has Chinese take out for dinner? You could easily pack a healthier (less oily) version of it by spending all of 10 minutes in the kitchen. Be assured that when you open their lunch boxes at the end of the day, you will find it cleared of almost every delicious grain! To create this healthier alternative for your kid’s school lunches, start with leftover brown rice, frozen veggies, scallions, soy sauce, and some toasted nuts. Just sauté the diced scallions and frozen vegetables (peas, carrots, beans, and corn). Then, add soy sauce, leftover brown rice, seasoning, and just a dash of water to the mixture. Stir the mix till it is heated through. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds or peanuts (or both) and there you have it! In no time, you will have a fun and healthy variation on fried rice that is ready to be packed away for your kid’s lunch.
  • Pasta BLT: Have you ever heard of this unique pasta variant of the classic BLT sandwich? If the sandwich’s popularity is anything to go by, your kids will be die-hard fans of this quick and easy lunch solution. And how much time does it take to dish out this lunch box superstar? Hardly any! Start by cooking penne pasta and following the instructions on the packet. You can do this the night before and keep it ready for preparation in the morning. Fry some bacon till its crisp and set it aside. Then, fry a few sliced cherry tomatoes and some basil leaves with salt and pepper in the bacon drippings. Add this mixture to the pasta. Sprinkle some parmesan for that extra kick of flavor before packing this quick and easy meal away for your kids’ lunch hour.
  • The American Bento: The Bento started its journey as a Japanese lunch box before it crossed oceans to become a new American favorite. Hold off on the paper bag lunch and surprise your kids with a fun and nutritious Bento box lunch with various compartments of food. Contents of a Bento box can vary greatly and often depend on how elaborate or intricate you want to get. Packing a sandwich, a boiled egg, crackers (with or without cheese spread between them), sliced veggies, a healthy dip, and a few strawberries can make up a quick and easy starter Bento box that any kid could enjoy.
  • Sandwich Central: When it comes to lunch box ideas, sandwiches can never be left too far behind. After all, a sandwich does not have to be just a PB&J or another boring and equally conventional counterpart. Remember that sandwiches are versatile and can take any shape or form you are willing to give them. For your next PB&J, substitute the jelly with Nutella spread and bananas and you have a sandwich that vanishes within seconds. Another winning sandwich combination could come from mixing sliced strawberries and cream cheese. Or, when blended, shredded vegetables, some form of aioli sauce, lettuce, cheese, and nuts usually make for a great (and healthy) sandwich spread. Give your next sandwich a twist by creating your own spread out of blending cooked barley, cream cheese, and cooked veggies.
  • Roll Up a Wrap: Here is a fuss-free and super quick lunch box idea that will keep both mother and child happy. It will also keep the little one full and ready to take on the day. Mix cream cheese, soft grated cheddar and mayo in a bowl. Dice ham, green onions, baby carrots, and cucumber into bite sized pieces and mix it in with the cheese and mayo mix. Spread this on tortillas, leaving an edge measuring half an inch on one side. Roll it up tight using plastic wrap. Try this quick and easy lunch for kids and you will find that wraps can be prepared in so many great ways.

Put on your thinking cap and get creative to change the way your kids look at lunch!

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