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Mar 29, 2012 04:50 PM

help with lunch

Okay, so basically the problem is that with summer vacation looming (and 3 kids to feed) I find myself in a rut where the lunch menu is concerned. Dinner is not a problem as it's almost always the only meal my entire family eats at home, However lunch is baffling.....I'm getting tired of the old standby's ramen, canned soups, sandwiches, mac and cheese,. I would like to add a few more things to the repretoire...(sp?)
I would prefer things that are relatively easy.....few ingredients, and healthy but "kid friendly" Also a note: My children are not necessarily of the picky variety. Hope that helps!!!

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  1. "Good-wiches" are a favorite around here. Pitas stuffed with leftover steamed broccoli, sauteed onions for those who want, and bbq sauce. Seriously good stuff!

    Salads, cottage cheese and fruit, fruit kabobs, fried rice, falafel. Any of this helping?

    1 Reply
    1. re: tzurriz

      Every one of these....thank you. Especially pitas with broccoli and onions.....they won't do cottage cheese but everything else would be a go

    2. Here are some things that have always worked with my kids who are now 13 & 16:

      I buy the "truly handmade" flour tortillas from Trader Joe's for quesadillas...grated cheddar or Monterey Jack, throw in some cut-up, sauteed chicken breast, dot with salsa especial also from TJ's, voila, best quesadilla kids ever had : )

      Then there's tacos with corn tortillas (usually go to local Mexican market but found pretty decent ones recently in Tia Rosa (white corn) at Target.

      I also make Pillsbury crescent rolls filled with sauteed ground meat, bit of grated cheese, & dollop of Maggi hot & sweet sauce**. Of course you can experiment with anything here...chocolate chips & bananas, grated mozzarella w/ marinara, etc. **I'm sure it will work with a spicy ketchup or something to that effect.

      Chicken/pineapple teriyaki meatballs from Costco...I cut it up smaller, heat up in pan, then stuff in toasted, slightly hollowed out sweet French roll, add shredded carrots, cucumbers, cilantro then drizzle with Asian sweet chilli 13 & 15 yr olds go crazy for this.

      Oh, also skewered caprese salad or in sweet French roll.

      1. My stepdaughter LOVES pickle roll-ups for lunch. Take a few pickle spears, wrap with your choice of lunch meat. Quick and easy.

        1. There's a huge range of salads. Garden salads, Greek salad, pasta salads, noodle salads, tuna salad, chicken salad, bean salad, chickpea salad, caprese.

          Veggie sticks with dip - dips like hummus are healthy on their own, and if you use yoghurt as a base, you get something that's much lower in fat and calories than your typical mayo or cream cheese based dips. They'll keep for a while too.

          Toasted open face sandwiches for variety.

          Eggs are great for lunch - omlette, fried eggs, scrambled eggs, poached eggs, hard-boiled eggs.

          Have breakfast for lunch, with pancakes, sausage or bacon and fruit.

          Get chicken breasts on sale, cut them into bite sized pieces, and saute with a bit of olive oil on medium heat until well browned. Serve with dipping sauces (ranch or Caesar dressing, honey mustard, plain mustard, ketchup) as a healthier varient on chicken nuggets.

          1 Reply
          1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

            These are all amazingly good ideas, some sound like they can even be rolled over for dinner menus. Especially the pickle roll up idea. They might have a hard time keeping mom off of those. Thank you so much everybody.

          2. my FAVORITE as a kid was sliced tomato, sliced cheddar cheese, and maybe a sliced meat of some kind, drizzled with Italian Cheese Dressing.

            egg boats -- hard boiled eggs, sliced in half longways, the yolk mashed with mayo and whatever else they like, put back into the white, and topped with a sail (a toothpick with a paper sail attached)

            quinoa/veggie pancakes -- cooked quinoa or quinoa flakes, mixed with a little egg, veggies, and binder and pan seared or baked

            baked or pan seared salmon croquettes with some mashed potatoes or soup (and ketchup for me)

            noodles with butter and parmesan (and leftover veggies if around)

            mini pizzas -- make a batch of pizza dough and portion into small balls to keep in the fridge/freezer; take out as needed. each kid can decorate/top his/her own. (alternately, bagel or toaster muffin pizzas are good too)

            Mexican strata (freezes well, pre-portion it if so) - layer sour cream, tortillas, cheeses (jack, cheddar), cooked chicken, salsa or tomatoes, green chiles or scallions if tolerated... just layer in any way you like, over and over then bake til bubbly

            Inner Tubes -- scoop bagels, give the middles to the dog or reserve for later use. toast the shells, make tuna sandwich. layer some cheese in half of the toasted shells and let melt for a sec. fill with tuna salad. top with a slice of tomato and the empty bagel halves.

            stuffed baked potatoes - or just topped baked potatoes... baked em, scoop em, mash as desired, refill and top with veggies, chicken, sauce, etc. (if you're in the mood, you can bake a second time...)

            good luck... hope something helps...

            2 Replies
            1. re: Emme

              First of all I haven't been on here much since posting, second I want to thank all of you for the suggestions. As of this moment we are low on food and income so it's good old canned soup for the next few days. As soon as I go the store I am going to try most of these recipes....Excited to see how the kids (even the big ones) will like them....I will keep y'all posted and thanks again.

              1. re: lilpixy

                When money's tight, you can get busy using up that last egg and the veg. remnants in a fried rice or noodle dish.