OK y’all…what kind of stuff do you do for lunch in your house, besides sandwiches or leftovers?? We have a very small freezer, so making stuff ahead to have on hand for lunch wouldn’t work for us, I often need to use the crock-pot for dinner so crock-pot lunches are out, and I am in school part time this year AND homeschooling, so time is a premium. (And sometimes hubby is the one who is at home to get lunch together.) We don’t really have any dietary restrictions, but try to avoid processed/packaged foods as much as possible. Help! Seriously need some fresh inspiration here.
Thanks for any ideas….
I have a two week lunch rotation, Monday through Friday. Here’s a few things besides the sandwiches and leftovers that are on the list.
-baked potatoes with all the fixings
-cheese quesadillas ( add whatever you like before heating)
-grilled cheese with tomato soup ( add avocado with the cheese for variety)
-mac and cheese (I have a healthier recipe, if you want it, pm me)
-sloppy joes (I have a healthier recipe for this too that uses pureed veggies)
-taquitos (use chicken,cheese, and whatever you like and roll in tortillas, my kids like to dip them in sour cream)
-snack day ( I have a big platter of veggies like carrots, celery (etc), veggie dip or hummus, chips or crackers, and sliced fruit )
Hope this gives you some inspiration. Can’t wait to see what others have on their list too!
I like to make eggs! We have chickens though so it’s a good quick stand by. Otherwise we do PB&J, Apples & PB, smoothies (vegi or fruit), fruit bowls, what simple home mentioned are also good ones.
Speaking of eggs, my kids enjoy egg salad, usually on sandwich bread. Yum!
I just follow the better mom’s breakfast and lunch schedule. I was so tired of cereal or oatmeal for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch, but I just had no idea what else to do. Then I found this site! It’s a life saver! http://www.thebettermom.com/2012/04/bi-weekly-meal-plan-for-april-%E2%80%93-may/
We do a rotation, too, mixed up occasionally with leftovers (since I live with piranha in human form, we don’t have many leftovers LOL) We have a finger food day, a soup day, a salad day, a sandwich day, and a breakfast-food day. We do occasionally make changes–this plan we’ve been doing a few months.
Crock-pots are useful enough that maybe it’d be worth getting one smaller one for lunches.
Also have you ever tried once-a-month cooking? I often made up a set of meals (didn’t usually do the WHOLE thing, just two or three meals, several servings’ worth) when I was working part-time, then all we had to do was defrost and heat.
I try to make enough at dinnertime for leftovers, as that’s the kids favorite lunch. We do tons of eggs as well, fried, scrambled, sandwiches, deviled, etc.
Today we’re doing an easy black bean soup (2 cans undrained black beans, leftover rice, 1 c chicken broth, 1/2-3/4 c picante, a bit of chili powder, cumin and oregano); soups are always a hit here.
Other ideas my kids like:
– pizza english muffins;
– hummus with crackers or veggies;
– fried rice made with leftover rice and vegs, soy sauce and sesame oil, and eggs scrambled in
– chili dip made with 2 c chili, 1 can refried beans, and cream cheese and grated cheddar for those who can do dairy, heated ’til warmed through and served with tortilla chips.
My kids love homemade bean burritos – I can make up a big batch of refried beans and keep it in the fridge and they will eat bean burritos all week long LOL. It is healthy and cheap so I don’t mind if they eat the same thing over and over… Actually you can vary it by eating the beans with tortilla chips as bean dip, sometimes we roll the burritos a different way, my ds8 loves it when I put beans between two tortillas then cut shapes out of it with a cookie cutter – he calls that “bean cookies.” He is a self professed vegetarian so he eats a lot of beans…
tuna fish and crackers or corn chips or favorite chips. Sometimes a variation makes it seem special. Ants on a log, (peanut butter on celery with raisins on top) if your not familiar. Homemade tomato soup with Macaroni in it. Sometimes I substitute it with alphabet or “O” noodles. I usually take two or three small 8 oz cans of tomato sauce and add 1/2 a teaspoon of prego to make it taste great. Taste just like canned soup. I will also add garlic powder and basil, sometimes salt and pepper. Some may use a little sweetener but we don’t. Sometimes we just ditch the soup and make macaroni and add parmasian cheese or a garlic and olive oil (clear sauce).
Sometimes we just make rice and add eggs and bacon from breakfast. We also do bean wraps, PB & J on a tortilla shell. Sometimes we also have an over abundance of eggs and have a Egg sandwich on tortilla shell. Left over chicken, turkey , egg wraps ect… Large potatoe or sweet Potatoe fries. And my daughter loves yogurt so we just doctor it up with fruit, cinnamon, granola, ect…Sometimes we even make speghetti.
This is on top of what all the other above have already mentioned. I sure would love to here more. I think one of our favorites is Macaroni in the Tomato soup. It goes farther and gives you something to bite into. Very good!
hope this helps. :) Blessings!
Sometimes I will make a batch of soup that is just for lunch. I have to send lunch with my hubby too, so soup is really easy to heat up
in the morning and stick in a thermos. Then the kids and I have at least two days’ worth of lunch that takes 10 min to heat up on the stove (we don’t use a microwave). Similar to what others mentioned, we have “snack lunches”. These are various foods all together on a plate: nuts, fruit, cheese, raw veggies, boiled eggs, little bits of leftovers. We had smoothies for lunch today: frozen strawberries, 1 banana, 1/4 cup raw kefir, coconut water, kombucha, 1/2 a beet, handful of spinach, 1 avocado, and 1/4 cup melted coconut oil. That is a complete meal in my opinion! And only took 5 min! It’s really easy to boil a box of rice noodles at the beginning of the week and eat spaghetti or Alfredo a couple of days. The best way I have found to reheat spaghetti is to store the noodles in the fridge without sauce, then place in a colander and run under hot water for 20 seconds. The noodles unstick from each other and get warm but aren’t cooked any further. Keep some sauce made up to reheat on the stove. Tacos or nachos are always a hit.
I’m sure I could think of more…at the naturopath’s office right now,
waiting for our appt time.
I didn’t read the other answers, but I suggest grabbing a second crock pot!! Maybe keep an eye out for a sale or one at a yard sale this summer, but if you like cooking with one then I say get another.
We love using our rice cooker.
Lunches here vary a bit, but not a lot:
peanut butter and jelly or apple butter
homemade muffins and cheese
bean with bacon soup
grilled cheese (with soup…lol)
I am always looking for new ideas for easy lunches as i work full time and home school! A lot of these ideas I already do, but I can add a couple. My kids like home made lunchables with crackers and cheese and lunch meat or tuna salad. Taco salad; I have to use a whole head of lettuce as it seems my seven year old boy has two hollow legs! I also do breakfast for lunch some times as they have to eat a lot of cereal for breakfast (not my choice but that’s the way it has to be for now) and one of our favorites is fried leftover boiled potatoes with a couple of eggs scrambled in them at the end.
These are very good suggestions, and I have been needing to find something better lately since peanut butter almost doubled in price. My substitutions haven’t been very healthy, but I find myself reading the above thinking that my kids would think most of those are great appetizers! They eat soooo much, hubby is 6’4″ and very thin with high metabolism, my kids are the same way, very tall and thin, and always hungry. They can really put away the food, (most of them eat 2-3 pb and j sandwiches, their fruit, and oyster crackers and are still hungry:(, so finding cheaper, filling options is hard. For those above that do snack plates, soup, salad, smoothies, etc, do you find that fills them up enough? We hardly ever have leftovers between the children and my husband! Not to mention two of us are gluten free, so that adds a little to the challenge as well. Thanks!
We like to have soup once or twice a week for lunch, and my daughter likes to make soup for Sunday dinner sometimes, so I get her to make a huge pot so we can have it available for lunches. If it’s a cream soup, we like to put shredded cheese on top. We have some fruit along with the soup.
Yeah, I hear you about the peanut butter. And you can’t get the small jar anymore because they made it–what, about 4 ounces now?!! Seriously, I just about flipped out recently when I saw the price and the fact that it’s now less than an 18-ounce jar. Oh, and I love how some of the brands say on the label, “New look, same great peanut taste!”
Do they think we are stupid? Do they think we’ll be so distracted by their cute new label that we won’t notice we’re paying more money for less product??? “Hi, I’m Harriet Half-Wit, and I just looove _______ brand peanut butter!”
Okay…..I’ll pick up my soapbox and go home now…..
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