Monday, September 01, 2008

Lunch Ideas for Busy Moms

Here are some ideas for lunches:

PB & J sandwiches
Tuna sandwiches
Lunchmeat/cheese sandwiches
Grilled cheeses
~Any and all of these can be served with fruit, pretzels, chips, or yogurt~

Other ideas:

Cheese Quesidillas
Oatmeal w/ cinnamon and sugar swirled in
Homemade breaded chicken strips/nuggets/thighs, warmed up from the freezer
Baked potatoes (w/ cheese, ranch dressing, butter, salt, etc.)
Maple Granola
Fried eggs with french bread (bakeries here are just a quick walk away)
Salad (yes, my kids eat salad- it's seen as big people's food and we do cover it in ranch, so it's coveted.)
Tortillas or bagels with cream cheese
Pasta w/ homemade white sauce
Omelets (egg & cheese with some tomatoes if desired)
Rice w/ warmed up cream of chicken soup (it's delicious, I'm telling you!)
Plain rice (eaten the world over)
Rice with grated cheese on top (don't knock it till you try it)
Carrot slices ~Boiled, with butter and molasses stirred in. yum!
Broccoli florets ~Steamed with garlic
Green beans {Seriously, what's so wrong with serving a whole meal out of vegetables? Try it... after you do this a handful of times, it will be "normal" and they won't know that you're asking them to do something abnormal.}
Pancakes- I use the classic Better Homes & Gardens pancake recipe- easy and quick (and best of all, tasty)!
Dutch Puff
Ikea meatballs with rice or french fries
(a good variation is covered in BBQ sauce)

LEFTOVERS (the great secret!)
~ extra pancakes, lasagne, spaghetti, tacos, egg rolls, whatever from the night before! This is a BIGGIE in our home. It's easy-peasy to make extra of whatever you're making the night before, and then you can just heat it up the next day for lunch~

Take all your leftovers, the half-eaten bag of pretzels, the muffins that will go bad in a couple days if no one eats them, whatever fruit is in your fruit basket, etc... and put them on the counter. Give everyone one small portion of everything, make it look pretty, and serve it in a splashy way.
They'll think it's neat, *AND* you get a clean fridge and pantry.

These are just the ideas that work for our family. Please feel free to share anything that I didn't mention that you like to do for lunches... and I hope this helps!


Kristin said...

I recently posted about this same thing on my blog:

Lunch, to me, is a hard meal. You want to be filled without lots of trouble in the middle of the day!

Alison said...

Leftovers are definitely a great idea... depending on what it is, you can wrap it in a tortilla and they might not even notice it was something from last night. :) (eg, rice and beans, meat and cheese, leftover veggies mixed with scrambled eggs). Also, I sometimes serve my kids whole grain crackers, sliced or string cheese, and fruit. They are young, so it doesn't take too much to fill their little tummies, and they like having a "snack" for lunch.

OurCrazyFarm said...

We like to use a 2-week rotating lunch schedule for our 4 day homeschool. Ideally, our 10 and 12 year old can make lunch all by themselves while Mom works with the little ones. I like to keep a rubbermaid tote stocked with the boxed and canned items, and also keep a separate spot in the freezer for frozen items, allowing for no-planning of school lunches for weeks or even months at a time. If you're really efficient, you can make extra sloppy joe and freeze in several bags. The bread, tortillas, yogurt and meat freeze well, also. It saves alot of time that is otherwise used looking through the cupboards wondering "What's for lunch?"
Week 1-
M-Baked Ham and Cheese sandwiches
T-Ramen Noodle Soup
W-Macaroni and Cheese with hotdogs
Th-Egg Salad Sandwiches
Week 2-
M-Cheese Tortillas
T-Scrambled Eggs
W-Peanut Butter Sandwiches
Yogurt sticks/Applesauce
Th-Sloppy Joes

It works for us! Enjoy!Terri

Cara said...

Another fun way to serve those little bits of left overs is to have what we call, Mama's Buffet. I put everything out and let everyone pick what they want, but with the goal of eating it all up. When we finish a dish off my children love when we can sign the phrase from an old song...da, da, da, another one bites the dust! They don't know the real song, but they love singing that when a dish is empty. Silly, but another fun way to get all the leftovers eaten.


Carletta said...

I love the "fun lunch." I've heard it referred to as a "buffet" or "free for all." At our house we call it a "smorgasbord!" :)