The following post is from contributing writer Jen @ Forever, For Always, No Matter What
When our homeschool day is moving along nicely, it can feel like a bit of an inconvenience to stop and prepare lunch. I want my kids to have a nourishing, healthy lunch, I just don’t want to spend a ton of time preparing a big meal. Everyone is always “starving” and ready for a break, it’s just nice if it can be a relatively quick affair.
This year I have decided to assign a lunch day to each of my older kids. My boys 12 & 10 are quite capable of putting together some easy items, as well as my 8 & 9 year old daughters.
Here are a few things I will put on the meal plan each week:
Smoothies – They aren’t just for breakfast! My kids love to make these and to experiment a little bit. As long as they stick to a basic recipe they usually turn out pretty good. I have also noticed that they are much more likely to eat their own concoctions than they are mine. My basic recipe is very simple:
- 8 – 12oz of water or milk (or dairy alternative – juice is an option but be mindful it has a lot of sugar in it)
- 3/4 – 1 cup of fruit (stock up on fruit that is past its prime at the store, stick in your freezer for smoothies)
- 3-4 ice cubes if not using frozen fruit
- encourage your kids to add in some greens like spinach or kale, even a little bit is a big vitamin booster
- get creative with spices like cinnamon or ginger, a little sweetener could be added as well.
Sandwiches – I know this is a staple to most lunch weeks, but try mixing it up with wraps, grilled sandwiches (have you ever tried a grilled PB & J?), lettuce wraps, bagels, and rice cakes. My kids love bagels with a bit of cheese melted on top (stick it under the broiler for a short bit), peanut butter and banana on rice cakes, rice and beans in a tortilla, or quesadillas. Sometimes just changing up the outside of a sandwich makes the same old insides feel more fun.
Snack Lunch – Perhaps you have older kids who prefer to work through lunch so they can get their work done for the day. Try a snack lunch. Some suggestions for a snack lunch are popcorn, cut up veggies with hummus, crackers and cheese, celery and nut butter, apples and nut butter, frozen grapes with Triscuits, and more. The options are limitless!
Leftovers – I know these are scarce in a big family and what is leftover is usually not enough for the whole group for lunch, but this would work well for the younger kids when the older kids are having a snack lunch or pairing a bit of leftovers with a smoothie. The nice thing about leftovers is that they are normally very easy for kids to re-heat and serve.
What’s your favorite lunch?
Jen blogs at Forever, For Always, No Matter What. She has one amazing husband and six eclectic kids. Stop in for a visit as she blogs about their Catholic faith, homeschooling and adoption, all while trying to fit in exercise and healthy eating. Jen can also be found on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.
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