As much as we love the barely sufficient, peaceful time that we get when everyone’s off to school, we dread about the chaotic mornings when your kids refuse to eat the same lunches and you are out of ideas!
Been there, done that......
It’s been a little over a year that my 3-year old has started going to pre-school and one year was enough for me to understand where the fault lies.
Children don’t get bored of the taste, in fact, they are very specific about the taste and would rather stick to one thing they love than to try other things, unlike adults. They get bored of the presentation too, you know!
The same all sandwich, banana, apple slices, strawberries, boiled egg, scrambled egg, were some choices I tried over the first two months. Most days, the lunch would come as if the lunchbox wasn’t even opened in the first place.
This made me sad BUT....?!
It was then that I had started searching for easy lunchbox ideas and came across some ultra-cute and exciting breakfasts and my-oh-my, they worked like a charm!
Let’s jump right onto the easy lunchbox ideas that can spare you a couple minutes of peace, because your little ones don't ever plan on doing so!
1. First up, mac & cheese muffins:
Pretty easy to make and definitely drool-worthy!
These muffins are healthy and taste downright amazing.
Here’s what you will need:
- 25-30 Ritz crackers, crushed
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2 tbsp. butter, melted
For filling: Mac&Cheese
- 4 oz. pasta
- 1.5 oz. store bought herb and garlic cheese spread, preferably this.
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 1 egg
- 1/4th cup milk
- 1/8th cup sour cream
- Salt to taste
- 4 tbsps. chives, finely chopped
Here’s what you need to do:
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 F and grease a muffin tray and set aside.
- Next up, mix crackers, butter, and cheese and mix well until it has incorporated, completely.
- Spoon the crust batter into muffin tins and press with a spoon, making a depression in the center and put the filled tins aside to set.
- Meanwhile, boil elbow pasta as per instructions and strain.
- Immediately, add herbs and garlic cheese spread and mix well and let it sit.
- In another bowl, whisk together egg, milk, butter, sour cream and chives. Mix until well incorporated.
- With a scoop, top the muffin tray lined with crust, with a scoopful of mac and cheese batter.
- Sprinkle some cheddar and chives on top and set to bake.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until top turns golden.
- Wait for 15 minutes before dishing them out!
Pack 2 in a lunchbox for your little one, while you could munch on the rest while sipping coffee when they are off to school!
2. Next up, Cheese-Pretzel lollipop with dip:
Perfect lunch for kids! This is the most loved and one of the easiest lunchbox ideas that I’ve come across, so far.
As we all know, kids can be very picky when it comes to eating. But one thing I know for sure is that there are a certain flavors they love and can have it anytime of the day, one such being cheese. But what they absolutely hate is the same all cheese slices or cheese sticks. Presentation is the key to getting anything into your little ones tummy.
So here is one easy lunchbox idea that is bound to make your little one grab one two, or may be half a dozen lollipops, you never know!
And did I mention it does not require any cooking?
Here’s what you will need:
- 8oz of cheddar cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 16 pretzel sticks
- Ranch dressing
- Begin by setting the cheese out of the refrigerator, until it comes to room temperature.
- Once done, insert each pretzel; stick into the cheese cube and viola there you have it. A divine cheese and pretzel lollipop!
- For dressing, you can either grab a bottle of Ranch dressing from a store. OR if you want to take the organic road, try this recipe out, you will be amazed!
Pack in the lunch box with a cupcake liner filled with ranch dip. They will love it, trust me! Actually you would love it too. Keep them in a jar or refrigerate them for a quick midnight snack.
3. Peanut butter-filled apple centers:
These are a real treat for all the children. This easy lunchbox idea works amazingly, when your little one is as picky as mine. United Tastes of America’s host recommended this lunch box idea to us and without doubt, this has become very popular amongst kids.
Here’s what you will need:
- Wash each apple to remove any dust.
- Core them, by removing the centers.
- Fill them up with 2 tbsps. of peanut butter and done!
A perfect combination of healthy, scrumptious snack.
Next, we have Pizza cups:
This utterly delicious and appetizing kid’s lunch idea is easy to prepare and comfortable to hold for tiny fingers. It is, further, topped with the right amount of saucy goodness and cheese!
Here’s what you will need to gather:
- A 12oz can of store bought, ready to cook, buttermilk biscuits (around 10)
- 1/4th cup of tomato sauce
- 10 slices of pepperoni
- 1 cup pizza cheese, shredded OR ½ cup cheddar and ½ cup mozzarella shredded
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- Pre-heat oven to 425 F.
- Grab a muffin tray and grease well.
- In a bowl, combine both tomato sauce and seasoning.
- Flatten biscuit dough and cut into 3-inch circles and set into greased muffin tray.
- Pour a spoonful of sauce on it.
- Top with pepperoni slices and cheese.
- Bake at 425 F for 15 minutes or until cheese melts and the top turns golden.
For an extra kick, add olives, corn, and pineapples for a Hawaiian themed pizza cups!
Pack these in your little one's lunch boxes with a ketchup or ranch dip. Save the leftovers for yourself, best to munch around while doing house chores!
Turkey and tortilla pinwheels:
This easy lunchbox idea is the perfect way to incorporate healthy ingredients into your little one's diet. In fact, this dish can work wonders for you too. Not only is its power-packed with energy, but tastes delish!
Here’s all that you will need to prepare this delicious treat:
- Wheat tortillas
- Turkey slices
- Spinach, chopped
- Grab a couple wheat tortillas and spread hummus on them.
- Store bought hummus would do, but if you want to make it at home, here’s a kickass recipe, my family loves devouring, every time!
- Top the hummus spread tortillas with turkey slices and sliced spinach and roll it up!
- Cut the rolls to form pinwheels and there you have it, ready within minutes.
Pack with cheese sticks or siding of fruit for an ultimate lunchbox meal!
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