Lunch & Breakfast

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Quick & Easy Lunch Ideas

Unread post by mlhom4him »

schelean wrote:With the school year quickly approaching, I am in need of some new ideas for a quick and easy lunch each day. I am thinking others could also benefit. I am hoping many of you will chime in with your great ideas!

Here is one to start us off:
I cut lunch meat (turkey or ham) and cheese into thin strips and roll it into into a crescent roll and bake. I also serve any type of fruit we have on hand. It is not the healthiest but my kids enjoy it!
Thank you for posting this thread! This topic was on my list of things To Do to prep for the coming year so it is a big help to me. :) I will say that I am fortunate that I have a daughter with a pretty well defined palette for such a young age!

Scrambled eggs and toast
Quinoa salad which consists of room temperature quinoa, can of beans (black or kidney) drained and rinsed, can of corn, chopped up avocado, tomato and cucumber if available, a little olive oil, garlic powder and salt and pepper with chunked cheese, chopped black olives and some chopped up turkey. Super easy to mix up early in the week and eat off it for several meals.
Lentil soup
Chicken and rice soup

That is all that I can think of right now but looking forward to seeing what others have to say!

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Re: Quick & Easy Lunch Ideas

Unread post by mlangley »

I think I will make this a part of school and let my children plan the menu and shopping list with supervision, of course! We each could take a week and have a month done. when to incorporate it - I'm thinking on Saturday planning day.
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Re: Quick & Easy Lunch Ideas

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

I cook big supper meals and save leftovers for lunch the next day at least 3-4 times each week. I try to always have ready-to-go protein available, then we just have to add fresh veggies, fruit and nuts.
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Re: Quick & Easy Lunch Ideas

Unread post by Yodergoat »

We also tend to have leftovers from supper for lunch, often made into a broiled sandwich (for me) and just eaten by Gail.

I also keep tortillas and cheese on hand for making "cheese roll-ups" for Gail. Sprinkle shredded cheese on a tortilla, microwave for a few seconds until melted, then roll up. I often will take supper leftovers and put them on a tortilla with cheese for a quesadilla, too.

We eat lots of soup here, not canned but homemade. I will make the broth from meat scraps and bones maybe once a week, then keep the broth on hand just for drinking broth (we love broth here) or to quickly add some small noodles that will cook quickly, maybe even adding some leftover meat or vegetables.

I try to keep carrots and apples available to eat along with whatever we're having.

Postby Yodergoat » Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:12 am
Oh, yes, until someone else mentioned them, I had forgotten how much we like boiled eggs around here! A cold lunch with boiled eggs, carrot sticks, some shreeded cheese and little tiny sweet pickles is good. And it doesn't heat up the kitchen if you boil the eggs ahead of time and keep them on hand. My girl likes to have a little shredded cheddar or parmesan (off a block) in a bowl with her meals, which is fine with me because she is otherwise not a dairy eater.
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Re: Quick & Easy Lunch Ideas

Unread post by 4monkeyz »

We tend to eat quite a few sandwiches, maybe a hot lunch once a week....Our eating habits got way crazy this summer so one of my new focuses is on getting us back to good eats. I am going to try to get lunch prepped the night before and then I found these square clear lunch boxes in Target's $1 section which will hold each child's sandwich and other lunch items. Love it. They can easily grab their square from the fridge for a quick lunch. My other thought was if I have any last minute doctor trips or ER visits I can grab their food/water bottles and not be trying to think of all the little things in that moment. I have also pre-made and frozen PB & J which my two littlest love to eat frozen or toasted! The hard part is dealing with baggies - washing/drying can be a hassle. Love all the lunch ideas so far! I might have to try some and freshen things up here!! :)
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Re: Quick & Easy Lunch Ideas

Unread post by romans8x28 »

I was thinking the other day that we needed a thread like this! We usually don't have enough leftovers for Dh to take them in his lunch and us to have enough.

Quesadillas-Shredded Cheese on a Tortilla, folded in half and cooked on the griddle
Tortilla/English Muffin/Bagel Pizzas-Put sauce, cheese, and other toppings on one of those "breads"
Peanut Butter Tortillas-Spread peanut butter on half a tortilla and fold in half
Hot Dogs
Homemade Lunchables-lunchmeat, cheese, crackers
Meatless Spaghetti-any kind of noodle & spaghetti sauce
Noodle Soup-extra fine egg noodles cooked in water/bouillon cubes

Then we'll also have cottage cheese, fruits, veggies and/or whatever else is on hand.
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Re: Quick & Easy Lunch Ideas

Unread post by mommaklee »

Love reading everyone's ideas.
Some of mine are:
Butter Noodles (any pasta with a sprinkle of garlic, some butter, and parmesean cheese-it's one of my kids' favorites)
Beanie Weanies (sliced hot dogs in baked beans, I use Busch's Country Style- I had this a lot as a kid in daycare, it's a gross, institutional food that I love and now my kids love it too)
Homemade bread with PB & J or honey
Chicken Nuggets or Fish sticks with tater tots or french fries (cheaper than happy meals, and everybody's still happy, my 8yo can make this himself)

We also keep other stuff handy like applesauce, canned fruit, baby carrots, and Capri Sun to perk up lunch.

BTW, love the idea about pre-making lunch and the part about it helping with unexpected trips out!

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Re: Quick & Easy Lunch Ideas

Unread post by jasntas »

mommaklee, your 'butter noodles' sound like my 'garlic pasta parmesan'. :) Any kind of noodles (bowtie is a fav here), butter, garlic salt and parmesan cheese. I also usually finely chop up and add veggies such as broccoli and cauliflower. Gotta get those veggies in there somewhere. ;) This is a favorite around here as well and one that everyone agrees on. :-)

I have also found that if you include the kids in the meal prep they are more likely to like and eat what's been made.
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Re: Quick & Easy Lunch Ideas

Unread post by CaseyVG »

We're always in a lunch rut too! I tend to gravitate towards sandwiches, either lunch meat or pb & j. I like tuna and egg salad, but my kids don't so much. Sometimes I use a tortilla instead of bread for my son and I. We have fish sticks and chicken nuggets occasionally too. One thing no ones mentioned yet is tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches! This is the only soup my kids will eat! (I know it's weird, it's the only one I wouldn't eat when I was a kid). My son loves mac and cheese too, but he rarely gets it. And we usually have fruit, yogurt, or cottage cheese on the side. I like leftovers, but my kids don't. If they didn't eat cereal or oatmeal for breakfast, sometimes I'll let them have it for lunch. For oatmeal, I mix a flavored packet with at least 1/2 cup plain quick oats, otherwise my son could eat 3 packets! I can't use all quick oats though, we won't eat it even if I add sugar and fruit... That's all I can think of for now, I'll be watching this thread!

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Re: Quick & Easy Lunch Ideas

Unread post by Buttercup78 »

We also do the "cheese roll-ups" when we're low on groceries. If I have refried beans on hand, I will add that on them. PB&J with fruit, canned soup, leftovers (especially spaghetti). They love "buttered noodles" as someone else mentioned. Right now my kids make their own lunch (well, the older 7yo and 9yo take turns making for everyone) since I am not feeling great. They can make a meal out of chips and salsa some days too.
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Re: Quick & Easy Lunch Ideas

Unread post by HeyChelle »

Leftovers with veggies and fresh fruit. I cook a big dinner every night and plan for leftovers.
Or raw veggies with some grilled chicken or steaks is quick.
Tuna salad over greens.
And green smoothies and gazpacho towards the end of the week when the fresh fruit and veggies aren't looking so pretty, but are still good.
I try to wash and slice up peppers, carrots, broccoli, etc, at the beginning of the week so it's ready for snacks and lunches.

We rarely eat grains or processed food, so the above is normal lunch for us.
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Re: Quick & Easy Lunch Ideas

Unread post by unitlovinmama »

I have discovered almost anything can go in a quesadilla and my kids will eat it! Tortillas are inexpensive and I always keep them on hand, as well as huge bags of shredded cheese. I puree a can of white beans with half a block of cream cheese, spread some on a tortilla, top with shredded cheese and any other things I have on hand (turkey pepperoni is their favorite) and cook it in a skillet with cooking spray or oil. Leftover vegetables or meat from supper, scrambled eggs etc. go great inside. I never get complaints.


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Re: Quick & Easy Lunch Ideas

Unread post by psalm126mama »

On Wednesdays my children eat banana sandwiches. It's peanut butter, banana, and cinnamon sprinkled on top of the banana. If you're using sliced bread then cut the banana in half then cut each half lengthwise. 3 slices horizontal and the 4th slice vertical fits perfect on a square piece of bread.

Or if I have leftover hot dog buns I apply peanut butter to bun then just lay the banana in there and sprinkle with cinnamon. A banana dog, if you like.

I keep applesauce, yogurt, canned fruit (they prefer it cold), & grapes in a drawer in my fridge.

Oh and boiled eggs - my children enjoy them as snacks or as a side dish to lunch.
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Re: Quick & Easy Lunch Ideas

Unread post by lea_lpz »

We were using sneaky chef for awhile around here which had some fun ideas for lunches kids would enjoy, if you feel like getting fancy! She had ideas for adding veggie purées to even convience foods kids like for lunch, like Mac 'n cheese, spaghetti o's, pork 'n beans, tuna fish sandwiches, etc. as well as homemade from scratch lunches. Anyhow, I am out of purées and haven't been cooking much lately with my stove because it has been so hot over the summer. Maybe start trying it in the evenings. when I have time I'll post some recipes from sneaky chef that my kids (and hubby & I) enjoy that are really neat, like mac n' cheese muffins, pizza muffins, etc. A lot of fun ones, even ways to make ahead your own convenience frozen food when you have time, like fish sticks,chicken nuggets, tator tots, and frozen crustless sandwiches, all with a "nutritional boost" ;)

We do the typical easy quick lunches, like:
Mac n cheese
Chicken nuggets
Fish sticks
Tator tots
Sweet potato fries
Spaghetti O's
Beef Mini Ravioli's
Canned soups (in the winter)
I will stock this in my pantry / freezer for quick lunches

We do left overs a lot. I might make a pot of soup or chili beans from scratch in winter. My kids will eat pbj, turkey and cheese, grilled cheese, and tuna sandwiches, and also quesadillas.

I add fresh fruit, steamed veggies, salad or raw veggies with ranch to any of these lunches.

we like hard boiled eggs at our house too and I will make a couple extra and keep them in the fridge for snacks. We also keep fresh fruit, veggies and ranch for dipping, and salad on hand. For snacks, we usually have a steady supply of grahm crackers, keebler multigrain club crackers, granola bars, raisins in little boxes, apple sauce, cereal bars, goldfish, trail mix, beef jerky, sun chips (only with sandwich lunches, after sandwich, fruit, and veggies are eaten :) ) cheese sticks, and yogurt. Typically we drink juice or milk from home, but I do keep a supply of Costco chocolate milk boxes and Honest Kids juice so that we can toss that in a picnic lunch for when we are going to do a fun field trip or a bunch of errands. For the same purpose, I do get those little frozen pbj sandwiches, but again, for when we go places, otherwise I make them myself, have them drink water at home between meals and snacks, milk and juice with meals and snacks.

other lunches they like:
egg salad sandwiches with fruit, a pickle, and carrot sticks with ranch for dipping
multigrain crackers, cheese, salami, pickles and sliced up apples (make your own lunchable)
banana nut bread with nutella, yogurt, and fresh fruit salad
bagels with cream cheese, hard boiled egg, cheese stick, fruit

In winter....
veggie and lentil soup
homemade abc chicken and veggie noodle soup
turkey chili w/ corn bread
chicken and vegetable casserole inspired. Planning a weekly menu from sneaky chef for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, deserts and am going to start saving them on my computer so I can have a ready planned menu and just check to see if I got what I far on the list, pizza bagels and tuna noodles are on my lunch menu. Forgot to mention, the sneaky chef fitness has some fun ideas for preschool / younger elementary school kids for P.E. and family fitness, family healthy eating examples.
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