Easy lunches for kids and parents alike!
With all parents do to get everyone out of the door in the mornings, packing lunches can be a hassle. But what if you could assemble everyone’s lunches at the same time, from the same basic ingredients?
Here are 10 great lunch ideas from around the blogosphere, from precooked corn dog bites to sandwich sushi, and even food-allergy friendly options. All of these recipes can be tweaked to please both parent and child palates.
Mini corn dog bites
Melissa, author of the blog Bless this Mess, offers this super-easy corn dog muffin recipe. We love that this is made from Jiffy corn muffin mix and can be baked up ahead of time for a quick packed lunch.
Although the kids will love the hot dogs in these, grown-ups might want something a bit more sophisticated. Simple substitute your favorite gourmet sausage for the hot dogs in half of the muffins for the parents’ lunches.
Candy Girl, author of the Bent on Better Lunches blog says she’s not just making lunch, she’s making memories! For a fun, themed lunch, she made Green Eggs ‘n’ Ham Salad sandwiches. The brand Wholly Guacamole comes in several flavors from spicy to mild and even chunky or smooth textures. The variety makes it easy to make Green Eggs and Ham salad according to both parent and child palates.
Egg, dairy and nut-free chicken salad
Keely McGuire is used to packing lunches for herself and her daughter because both have food intolerances and allergies. On her blog, she offers this lovely egg-free, dairy-free, gluten-free and nut-free Mommy + Me lunch option. The chicken salad is packed with gluten-free crackers for her daughter and stuffed into little tomatoes for mom. See the post for the details.
Southwest turkey wrap
This jazzy wrap can be modified for both parent and child. We love that the Thrifty Jinxy blog uses corn tortillas because that adds whole grains to the mix. Follow the recipe for the grown-up’s lunch, and for the kiddos, leave out the chipotle pepper and substitute regular cheese instead of pepper jack for a toned-down taste.
Nutella waffle sandwich bites
Kids love toaster waffles for breakfast, so why not incorporate waffles into the lunch box? Felicia of the Go Grow Go blog made these fun Nutella sandwich bites for her son. These are even super-easy because you use frozen toaster waffles. For an adult twist on these bites, skip the jelly and use your favorite nutty spread in place of the Nutella.
Ludicrous Mama, author of the Biting the Hand that Feeds You blog, came up with this ingenious “Pizzables” lunch idea. She packs up cut-up crust along with toppings and sauce for spreading. Kiddos can then assemble and eat their own little pizzas. Use pre-made pizza crusts, or even pita bread for the base. Check out her instructions for the kid lunch and then for mom’s, change up the ingredients. Maybe pesto or hummus instead of tomato sauce, and a selection of cut-up veggies or spicy turkey pepperoni for Mom.
Toasted cheese lunch
The Biting the Hand That Feeds You blog brings it again with this delicious toasted goat cheese sandwich. She says that the key to packing toasted cheese sandwiches without them becoming soggy messes is in allowing them to cool completely before packing. She made both Mom's and daughter’s sandwiches with goat cheese, but kids might enjoy regular old American or cheddar. See her post for full instructions.
Smoked salmon lunch
Keeley McGuire made this delicious Mommy + Me lunch from smoked salmon. Her daughter had a cream cheese and salmon on a gluten-free bagel and mom had her salmon with fresh veggies in a lettuce wrap. A lettuce wrap is a great option for an adult lunch, simply make your preferred sandwich on bread for the kids and substitute lettuce for carb-counting adults. Check out her blog post to see how she did it, and for tips on adapting this idea for different food allergies.
Sun butter/apple butter quesadilla
I know my kids will eat just about anything if it’s cooked up in a quesadilla. This fun, nontraditional lunch idea is another gem from Keeley McGuire. To accommodate her daughter’s nut and gluten-free diet, she used a gluten-free tortilla to make a sunbutter/apple butter quesadilla. For mom, or if you don’t have nut allergies, this could easily be replicated as a PB&J or a use another yummy type of nut butter.
Are the kids and adults tired of sandwiches? Sometimes just changing the look and the way a food is eaten can make all the difference. Follow the detailed instructions on this blog post from Bent on Better Lunches to make sandwich spirals or sushi! “Sushi” filling are limited only by your imagination; try tuna salad, egg salad, ham and cheese or just plain old PB&J. Pack it up with chopsticks and even a side of dipping sauce for a fun lunch!