Constantly thinking of new recipes and lunch ideas for kids can be daunting, especially if you have children who are fussy eaters and always seem to come home with a full lunch box. As a parent, this is no doubt something you can relate to, but by following these handy tips you can transform lunchtime prep from dreadful to delightful.
- Good old mac ‘n cheese – with a twist
Mac ‘n cheese is an all-time favourite; you’ll struggle to find a little human who doesn’t enjoy it. Although it scores highly as comfort food, it isn’t perhaps the healthiest meal in the world. Try ditching the cheese sauce in favour of a vegan sweet potato sauce that’s packed with nutrients and flavour, and is every bit as deliciously creamy as the mac ‘n cheese your kids know and love.
Ingredients for the vegan sauce:
1.5 cups sweet potato
1 cup cashews
⅓ cup milk
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
Spices (salt, pepper, paprika, garlic)
Cook the pasta, add the sauce, sprinkle some bread crumbs on top and bake – easy cheesy!
- Egg veggie muffins
Muffins for lunch! Why not? After all, they’re a healthy treat your kids will love! Better still, these are the easiest muffins you’ll ever whip up. Your base will include eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Whisk the ingredients together in a bowl, then get creative when it comes to the veggie elements: broccoli, spinach, peppers and mushrooms all work well. Then add some cheese – cheddar or feta are good options. You can also add protein, in the form of either ham or bacon. Mix your chosen ingredients well and pour into a muffin tray. Bake until the egg is cooked through and the tops are golden and crispy.
- DIY quesadilla
Making a quesadilla is very similar to making a grilled cheese sandwich: super quick, easy and delicious. But these are not your average quesadillas – these are DIY quesadillas AKA the fun version! All you need is a pack of small flour tortillas, fillings and the sauce of your choice. Letting your kids pick three toppings and a sauce is a great way to make them either want to join you in the kitchen or get them super excited to eat their lunch when the bell rings. Tip! Make a big batch and freeze the extras, then heat up one for each kid just before leaving on the morning school run.
- Bagel pizzas
The hard part about making pizza is getting the dough fluffy yet crunchy – ain’t nobody got time for that! That’s where bagel pizzas come in – the bagel essentially becomes your premade dough or pizza base. All you need to do now is add tomato sauce, cheese and your children’s favourite pizza toppings (or whatever you have left in your fridge, we won’t tell). Pop in the microwave or oven until the cheese has melted.
There you have it! Four easy recipes to make your kids’ school lunches much more exciting.