Running out of inspiration for lunches? Lunches are probably the hardest meal to be creative with, and it is so easy to open a can of Spaghetti-Os. Let Menus4Moms’ list of lunch ideas motivate you to get back to a healthier mealtime.
If you bake bread, your kids might enjoy a brunch or lunch of French toast on when the bread is fresh. You can designate at least one loaf for French toast and one loaf for sandwiches, which are always better on fresh baked bread. If your recipe makes several loaves, you can freeze any extra loaves. When thawing bread, the key is to leave it sealed in the packaging until it is completely thawed and it will retain all of the original moisture. If you open the packaging before the bread has thawed, it tends to dry out.
Our fishing expedition on Flathead Lake this summer was comical. Despite our best efforts, we were unable to catch anything, even though the boat next to us was reeling in fish every time we looked! Clearly, there was something we weren’t doing right. As a man from the next boat yelled over to us, “What kind of bait are you using?” a crazy thought entered into my mind: Feeding children is a lot like fishing – you have to have the right lure, or they won’t bite! Packing desirable school lunches is a lot like the fine art of selecting an appealing lure while fishing. Try some of these stress-free strategies for packing lunches that are healthy for your kids and the environment. They’ll be sure to bite! Ask your kids what they will enjoy. Remember that if they don’t like certain foods at home, they won’t like them at school either! Ask for their input before loading their lunch box. Just because they liked something today doesn’t mean that they will like it again tomorrow. Keep in mind that your children don’t have much time to eat…so pack foods in small portions that are easy to eat, so they have time left to play. Don’t be lured into buying prepackaged lunches, which are high in fat, sugar, salt and calories, are much more expensive, and produce tons of unnecessary garbage. Let your child help you select a cool lead-free and reusable lunch bag or lunch box. Pick up a few reusable containers that will fit inside – this will prevent food from leaking and getting smashed, and will help you avoid using disposable items like plastic bags and foil. Pack a reusable drink container instead of juice boxes, juice pouches, cans, and disposable plastic bottles. Instead of packing a paper napkin, use a cloth one (baby wash cloths, or cut up old t-shirts work great for this!) Pack stainless-steel utensils instead of using disposable plastics. Buy in bulk instead of purchasing pre-packaged items. This will save you money, and you can reuse or recycle the containers at home. Whenever possible, pack lunches the night before. Why add more stress to your morning routine? Here are a variety of ideas for some fun and interesting lunches. Don’t forget to include fruits or vegetables, protein and whole grains every day. Sandwich Alternatives: Instead of sliced bread, try rice or whole grain crackers, whole wheat pita bread, whole grain bagels ... [Read More...]
For parents, providing your kids with healthy, nutritional lunches that they find interesting can be quite a challenge. The “if it is good for you then it must be boring” mentality makes this particularly challenging and you have such favorites as lollies, sweets and fizzy drinks to compete with. Don’t despair, it can be done and here are 13 alternatives to get you started. Instead of… High fat savoury biscuits — why not try Plain dry crackers, rice cakes, corn thins or Scottish oatcakes. Raw carrots or celery cut into small pieces are also an excellent choice Pies, pastry or sausage rolls — why not try Meat or cheese sandwiches or pasta with mince beef sauces (you can buy wheat/gluten free bread and pasta if required). Tuna and sweetcorn. Brown rice (or white) with tuna and roasted vegetables. Falafel (Lebanese delicacy made from chick peas). Processed meats such as frankfurters, salami or other — why not try Mince burger (home made), lentil burgers or bean burgers. Leftovers from main meals. Quality ham (e.g. Virginia) or cooked bacon, which has been grilled, and the fat/rind removed. Quality sausages that are mostly meat and not too fatty (gluten free sausages are a great alternative if you can find them). Biscuits (cream filled or chocolate) — why not try Crackers or plain sweet biscuits, oatcakes, rice crackers or rice cakes. You can make these interesting by having different topics like tuna and sweet corn or avocado (too much avocado may be regarded as fattening). Chocolate / candy bars – why not try Cheese cubes or dried fruit or yogurt with fresh fruit to add to it. Dairy products may make you feel bloated, so sheep’s or goat’s yogurt make a great alternative to cows yogurt and have a different texture and taste. They are less bulky and easier to digest). Muesli bars and breakfast bars (these are often full of sugar and preservatives) — why not try Fresh fruit such as grapes, melon cubes, oranges or mandarins/satsumas. Nut muesli bars (check the ingredients first though). 7. Cordial or fizzy drinks — why not try Water is the best option to add to any lunch box. Dairy, soy or rice milk are also good alternatives. Chocolate spreads — why not try Sesame seed spread (tahini). Humus. Dip such as yogurt, avocado or one that you make yourself, dipping for example, pita bread or cut up vegetables. Lollies / sweets — why not try Dried fruit, nuts and raisins. Make a nibbles bag with a variety of nuts and dried fruit and add sesame, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Chips / crisps or hot chips — why not try Hot homemade soups with the addition of sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds. Pecan nuts, almonds and flax seed are all great snacks as they are high in essential fatty acids and are best eaten raw (cooking them can destroy the essential fatty acid component). The best way to encourage your children to eat these is to add them to soups as an alternative to croutons and to sprinkle them on yogurt and cereal/muesli in the ... [Read More...]
It’s lunch time and the kids are hungry. Take a look in your pantry for some quick and filling lunch ideas. You’ll be surprised with how many last minute meal ideas you can come up with using the various cans and bags of dry goods stashed away in your kitchen cupboards. Macaroni and Cheese Plus Grab a box of Mac & Cheese and mix and prepare it according to the package directions. To turn it into a full lunch meal, add some vegetables and meat. Here are some ideas…Add small chunks of steamed broccoli or a can of green beans or peas along with some chopped ham, hot dogs, or cubed cooked chicken. You can also brown some hamburger meat, ground turkey or sausage ahead of time and keep it in small containers in the fridge or freezer. Just reheat and add it to the cheesy noodle mixture. The same basic idea also works well with spaghetti and tomato sauce. Stuffing Soup Here’s a quick pantry lunch: Grab a box of your favorite stuffing mix and a can of soup. Mix the two and add some chopped meat (leftover chicken or sandwich meat is perfect for this) and pour the mixture into a casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until the top starts to brown. Soup and a Sandwich Since we’re talking about soup already, why not fix soup and a sandwich for lunch? Just about any combination goes well together and lunch is ready in a matter of minutes. Some personal favorites include tomato soup and grilled cheese, chicken noodle and tomato and lettuce sandwiches, and according to my kids peanut butter sandwiches go great with just about any soup. Nacho Grande Have a bag of corn chips in the pantry? Pour some in a microwavable dish, and top it with leftover chicken, diced ham, cooked sausage, veggies, olives and anything else you can find that might go well with chips. Top everything with plenty of cheese and microwave until the cheese is just melted. Serve with a side of mild salsa and sour cream for a filling lunch that only looks like a snack. Go ahead, take a look in your pantry and see what fun and fast lunch ideas you can come up with. Your kids may even come up with some of their own. Too busy to plan dinner? With the Busy Mom Menu from Menus4Moms, we plan for you. Take advantage of the Secrets of a Busy Cook and just... Print. Shop. Cook. Start your 2 week trial for just a penny » [Read More...]
It’s August and that familiar time of year when yellow school buses fill the neighborhoods. You’re back to hectic mornings, finding everyone’s books and papers and trying to get them out of the door on time… and you now have 180 lunches to make over the next 9 months if you have 1 child and 720 if you have 4 — But hey, who’s counting? I can’t help you eliminate all of the hectic morning activity, but maybe I can help you with those 720 lunches. Here are a few lunch and snack ideas from Dining On A Dime: Eat Better, Spend Less that will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. To keep drinks cold in lunch boxes, pour a small amount in the bottom of the container (not glass) and then set the cap loosely on top. Put it in the freezer overnight. The next day fill with the rest of the drink. The ice should slowly melt all day long, keeping the beverage cool. Have the kids pre-package chips and cookies in bags on the weekends. Store in a basket. Grab one out as needed for lunches. Make a large batch of puddings and gelatins on the weekends. Pour into individual containers and refrigerate. Save the catsup and mustard packets and napkins you don’t use from the fast food restaurants. Use them in lunch boxes. Puddings – sprinkle with marshmallows, coconut, nuts, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips or peanut butter chips (for chocolate pudding) or berries (in vanilla pudding) Banana, pumpkin or zucchini bread Tuna, egg or chicken salad sandwich Tuna salad and crackers Sandwiches made from last night’s dinner meat (ie. roast beef, chicken ,turkey) Pickles Ants on a log-celery with peanut butter inside and raisins on the peanut butter Hot dogs Canned fruit Carrot sticks, celery sticks or radishes with Ranch dressing Homemade granola bars or cookies Apple Oatmeal Bars Jill Cooper and Tawra Kellam are frugal living experts and the editors of http://www.LivingOnADime.com . As a single mother of two, Jill Cooper started her own business without any capital and paid off $35,000 debt in 5 years on $1,000 a month income. Tawra and her husband paid off $20,000 debt in 5 years on $22,000 a year income. Tawra and Jill are the authors of several frugal living ebooks,including Dining On A Dime, Groceries On A Dime, and Penny Pinching Mama. Too busy to plan dinner? With the Busy Mom Menu from Menus4Moms, we plan for you. Take advantage of the Secrets of a Busy Cook and just... Print. Shop. Cook. Start your 2 week trial for just a penny » [Read More...]
Running out of inspiration for lunches? Lunches are probably the hardest meal to be creative with, and it is so easy to open a can of Spaghetti-Os. Let Menus4Moms’ list of lunch ideas motivate you to get back to a healthier mealtime. If you bake bread, your kids might enjoy a brunch or lunch of French toast on when the bread is fresh. You can designate at least one loaf for French toast and one loaf for sandwiches, which are always better on fresh baked bread. If your recipe makes several loaves, you can freeze any extra loaves. When thawing bread, the key is to leave it sealed in the packaging until it is completely thawed and it will retain all of the original moisture. If you open the packaging before the bread has thawed, it tends to dry out. Too busy to plan dinner? With the Busy Mom Menu from Menus4Moms, we plan for you. Take advantage of the Secrets of a Busy Cook and just... Print. Shop. Cook. Start your 2 week trial for just a penny » [Read More...]
Here are some lunch ideas that have been contributed by moms from TheHomeSchoolMom in the Kitchen and Menus4Moms™. Items suitable for packing in an insulated lunchbox or thermos are noted with an asterisk. Too busy to plan dinner? With the Busy Mom Menu from Menus4Moms, we plan for you. Take advantage of the Secrets of a Busy Cook and just... Print. Shop. Cook. Start your 2 week trial for just a penny » [Read More...]
Too busy to plan dinner?
With the Busy Mom Menu from Menus4Moms, we plan for you. Take advantage of the Secrets of a Busy Cook and just... Print. Shop. Cook.