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12 July 2011

Easy lunch ideas.

My friend Erica brought up the dreaded subject of lunch today.  I don't know about you, but I have a hard time figuring out what to make for lunch.  When school starts, the problem multiplies by 10.  I don't want to take the time to make an elaborate lunch on any day, but especially not in the middle of school. 

Here are some ideas that I use for lunches:

PB & Banana with carrot sticks and dip- a more healthy twist on an old favorite.
Chicken nuggets and fruit - I make these up in big batches & freeze to use later. 
Corn dog muffins with apples & PB.
Fruit plate and yogurt.
Taco salad - this is just lettuce with Italian dressing, topped with corn chips, taco meat and veggies.  They love this one.
Pizza bagels and fruit - this one is a throwback to my high school days with Mazza's pizza buns.  It's just bagels with a little sauce, cheese & pepperoni thrown under the broiler for a minute or two. 
Cheese or bean & cheese quesadilla with PB celery.
Mac & cheese and fruit.
Beans & rice - whatever beans I have cooked over rice with a little cheese sprinkled on top.
Grilled cheese sandwiches with soup.

My most useful idea is to use the cheapo Ziploc divided containers for make ahead lunches.  Think "Lunchables", but cheaper and hopefully healthier.

Leftover pizza, strawberries and pretzels.

I like to use leftovers for these.  It's easier to make a little extra to use for lunches than to make a whole new meal the next day. 

My last lazy lunch idea involves my small crock pot.  In Winter, I've been known to use my crock pot to warm up soup or chili that I've frozen or even make canned soup in the crock pot.  I know, it's not like it takes a ton of time to make canned soup, but if it's doing it's thing on low in the kitchen then all I have to do is add some crackers and pour it into bowls.  No big deal.  I start it before the kids wake up and it's just right for lunch.  I do try to thaw any frozen soups first or start it on high as soon as I get up.

Hopefully I've given you a few new ideas to try.  If you have any great standby lunches, be sure to leave a comment.


Erica said...

Thanks Charli. I had forgotten about bagel pizzas and quesadillas. I have used whole wheat English muffins for pizzas too. I have actually prepared them and frozen them. I had frozen pizzas that were much healthier. I guess my pregnant brain forgot how quick and easy those are. :) My kids also like chicken and egg salad sandwiches. For the chicken salad I just open a can of chicken, add salt/pepper, dill weed, and mayo. We also do alot of turkey lunch meat. Unfortunately my kids won't eat peanut butter. It drives me crazy because its quick and healthy. I like your "lunchable" idea. I'm thinking when school starts I may make a few of those ahead of time (with or without leftovers) so that lunch will be even quicker. In the past I've had Isaiah pack a few snacks before we started school. He seems to want something to snack on every hour and that way I didn't have to waste time finding something. Maybe I will try preparing snacks and lunch the night before just as if he were leaving the house for school. It would really save time in the school day. Thanks for your ideas!!

Charli said...

Josh is the same way with school snacking. I actually put a snack in his workboxes after handwriting, so he doesn't take all day finishing it. I usually fill up my "lunchables" after dinner when I'm cleaning up. Then they're ready to go in the fridge. We do chicken salad too....I totally forgot about that one.