There are two types of student’s ones who enjoy a home cooked meal and ones who prefer cafeteria food. I was guilty of the latter, but it all came down to one thing, I wanted what my friends were having. In this case, cafeteria food was the ‘in thing’, and I for one wanted in. I remember always telling my mother I prefer to eat lunch at school and then watching the disappointment creep upon her face as she caved and handed me £4. In my defence, I just wanted to be like my friends. As a parent now, I can understand why those words can be heartbreaking and lead you to think something could be wrong with your own cooking. So today I am here to provide three tasty lunch ideas, foods your child may recognise from the school menu but still appreciate for its home-cooked value.
Meat & Cheese
The good old meat and cheese with some pretzels and an apple have and most likely will always be a lunch favourite, and it is easy to make and doesn’t take up much time. If your child is a vegetarian opt for a cheese and tomato/avocado sandwich instead or if your child has food allergies, forget the bread and cheese altogether and make a meat and veggie (pinwheel) roll up. This classic meal has so make options that you can really curate your own combinations, and it can turn into a fun home activity and teach your child/children early cooking lessons.
A mini pasta salad mixed with your child’s favourite vegetables is another quick meal that is filling and full of nutrients. There is protein from meat or an egg (just be sure to boil and peel the egg the night before, so the scent is not as strong), grain from the pasta, and vegetables provide added vitamins and minerals. Add a fruit-cup and trail mix to finish off the meal.
Pita Pockets can be filled with just about anything. You can pair it with orange slices and crisps to create a hearty yet straightforward meal and like the classic meat and cheese can make any child happy, and it is quick to prepare, so there is no need to worry about a mountain of dishes to clean after. This meal only requires a few utensils and some creativity, and as always include your child, so they can use their minds to create a meal that they will want to eat.
Preparing lunches can be hard, but when we involve our children, it can become a more comfortable, fun experience. My three lunch ideas may seem like a lot of work, and you may be saying how could I possibly do that for one child let alone two or three. The above are only suggestions, you can literally make your child’s lunch anything as long as there is variety and it looks appetising and lacks a strong scent (no one wants to open up a liverwurst and cheese sandwich). I typically use a three-compartment Bento Box so that none of the food touches and it adds to the element of surprise as my child will not have a clue what I have decided to place in each section. Be sure to include your child in all the kitchen fun. It can be an excellent introductory culinary course for them, and you can kill two birds by also showing them how to sanitise and clean the kitchen after. Give it a try and let me know what you think.
Note: Children are more susceptible to allergies, please adhere to the school’s rules and caution on what to include in your child’s lunch. This blog claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners.