Friday, August 1, 2014

Our Favorite Lunches

We sometimes struggle with variety in our meal plans.  This is mostly a problem with dinners as the kids don't seem to mind too much if we eat the same lunches all the time.  But I do know they appreciate it when I make something other than sandwiches.  So I wanted to share our standard lunches.

First, to make sure we eat enough of the right healthy stuff each day, we have a routine and aim for 5 servings of fruits and veggies (usually 2 or 3 fruit and 3 veggie).  We have a snack of fresh fruit between breakfast and lunch.  Apples and bananas are staples around here; or we might have another in-season fruit or pomegranate seeds from our freezer. 
We have fruit juice and a serving of veggie (usually whatever we have raw in the fridge- carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers) with lunch. 
Our snack before dinner consists of a serving of something like crackers and fruit (usually something easy to grab like dried fruit, apple sauce pouches, or fruit cups.)
Our final two veggie servings for the day are served with dinner.

Finally, on to our favorite lunch entrees:

1. Peanut Butter and Jelly.  Obviously.  Definitely the common fall-back.

2. Ham and Cheese Sandwiches.  I load mine with a bunch of lettuce and either put tomatoes or pickle inside or on the side. My kids hate mustard, but they love having sandwiches with mayo and barbeque sauce.

3. Pizza Crackers.  The kids love to make and eat these. Stick a plate full of them in the microwave for 15 seconds at a time until they're done. I can almost make them as fast as they get eaten!

Just layer a Ritz cracker, pizza sauce (our favorite is Contadina Pizza Squeeze because it's easier for the kids to help), pepperoni or cooked/crumbled Italian sausage, and cheese.  Cutting string cheese with kitchen shears is super easy and fast.  But I prefer to use chunks of Mini Babybels because they melt better.

4. Leftovers. One big perk of homeschooling is being able to just open the fridge and warm up whatever was left from dinner the night before. 

5. Corndogs.  One of these days I'm going to try and make my own mini corn dog muffins.  That would be really fun for the kids to help with.
(Picture and recipe found here.)

6. Little Smokie Quesadillas.  These were a free sample at Sam's Club once.  I was surprised at how much Secundus and Tertius loved them.  So they begged me to grab a recipe card and ask me to buy Little Smokies whenever they see them at the store.
(Picture taken from here.  No recipe available, but it's pretty self explanatory.)

7. Taco Bowls.  This is something my kids loved but for whatever reason, I haven't made in a really long time.  They're not huge fans of taco salad inside, but I'll fill them with things like raw veggies, string cheese, and cut up hot dogs.  It's just such a fun novelty to be able to eat your bowl when you're done.
(Picture taken from this Amazon listing.  I'm not sure if this is the same brand I own.)

What's your kids' favorite lunch during the school year?

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