By the time noon rolls around, my children are ready for a filling, nutritious lunch. I notice a visible improvement in their mood and productivity when I’ve taken the time to plan and execute a GOOD lunch. Lunch, however, can often turn into a boring peanut butter and jelly rut in our home.
With a little creativity you can add some interest (and possibly excitement) to your children’s lunch time. These meals are favorites in our house, and they are quick and easy to prepare.
My oldest (11) can prepare each of these meals on her own. Not only does this alleviate some of mom’s burden, but it also gives her a sense of contribution and accomplishment. What a valuable life lesson it is to plan, fix, and serve a meal.
Here are our favorite lunch recipes:
Spread bagel halves on a foil lined baking sheet. Top with pizza sauce, cheese, and desired toppings. Broil for 2-3 minutes. Easy lunch!
Peanut Butter, Graham Crackers, and Applesauce
This is a childhood favorite. Spread peanut butter between two graham cracker halves to make a sandwich. Dip in applesauce. Yum! Serve with fresh fruit and you have a nutritious lunch.
Once you start fixing smoothies you will begin to feel confident experimenting with different concoctions. Our favorites are the Cinnapear Smoothie, “Sneaky” Spinach Smoothie, and the Blueberry with Banana Flaxseed Smoothie.
Get whole wheat tortillas and offer a variety of ingredients to roll inside: ham, turkey, veggies, and yes… if you have a peanut butter and jelly lover… you can make a pb&j rollup, too! Dress the rollups with your child’s favorite dressing and you’re done.
How do you serve lunch? Sometimes serving lunch on different dishes (why not use your good China for fun?) makes it more interesting.
How about a picnic on the family room floor? What about packing your lunch and going to a local park? What about actually packing your child’s lunch in a lunch box (even if you’re not going anywhere?)… lunch can be more surprising when you have to take it out of a cute lunch box!
Once you have a nutritious and filling lunch ready, pick a good book to read aloud to your children. Make this a lunch time tradition. You will find that your children will be asking “Is it time to eat lunch yet?”