After what feels like a 25-hour-long morning, you want your little one to have a nice, healthy lunch, but you also want it to be naptime…like right now. That’s why you need a few quick and easy lunch ideas always at hand. Ideally, you’d love to make something that packs a nutritional punch but is simultaneously going to work for a 2-year-old’s picky palate — even better if you can accomplish this without creating 10 new dirty dishes. Here are five perfect, non-intimidating, healthy, kid-friendly lunches that will satisfy all of these needs!
Pepperoni Pizza Pull-Aparts
This super simple lunch gives you all of the happy pizza-feels in half the time of a Dominos delivery, and for half the price! Bake up a batch of these and you’ll have a yummy, handheld, dunkable meal that is leftover-friendly too. The military momma blogger who wrote this recipe has used these homemade pizza pockets as a lunch, appetizer, and dinner. They’d also make a great treat for school-aged kids to take in their lunchbox. Just be sure to include a little container of pizza sauce.
The recipe calls for frozen yeast rolls that must be thawed before assembly. Remember to set them on a baking tray in the morning as described!
Sweet Potato Waffles
The vitamin and fiber content of these waffles alone is reason enough for having this breakfast food for lunch. Brown sugar and cinnamon accent the sweet potato flavor and provide that cozy, autumn, sweater-weather feeling. The soldier spouse, Debbie, who crafted this recipe has us cooking the potatoes in the microwave to save time — genius. You should have no trouble getting your little ones to enjoy this one. And just imagine how irresistible sweet potato waffle sticks would be! Honestly, if you can dunk anything into syrup, kiddos are bound to love it.
Chicken Bacon Ranch Lettuce Wraps
This one is perfect for all of the meal planners out there. Prepare the ingredients on a Sunday afternoon and enjoy them all week long. Crunchy bacon, savory chicken, and tangy ranch dressing are rolled up in a nice, crisp leaf of romaine lettuce. Before lunch, the kids can help assemble the wraps as a fun activity. This recipe is also easy to customize for your family’s individual tastes. By switching up the flavors with a different dressing or by adding some feta cheese, you’ve reinvented it for next week’s lunch! It’s also a great way to put your leftover rotisserie chicken to work.
Tropical Yogurt Parfaits
Do you send your kids to school with those handy 6-ounce yogurt cups? This next-level substitute provides far more nutritional value and doesn’t take much more effort. This oatmeal-meets-fruit cup combo is much more filling and satisfying, too. It’s just the thing for the parent who is too busy to be fussing around in the kitchen before lunch. Personal serving-size jars are assembled using the overnight oats technique the night before consuming. For several days afterward, they will be readily accessible in the fridge! Talk about a killer time saver. The key to making this parfait is to fill them in the correct order with the oats on the bottom. The yogurt will soak into the oats and soften them within a few hours.
Cheesy Lunch Meat Omelet
For a protein-packed lunch, look no further than the delicious medium of eggs. This omelet is super quick to cook and so fluffy, cheesy, and delicious. Make yours with gently-seasoned, well-beaten eggs, a layer of cheese, and a slice of turkey or two. Older kids can pack these in their lunch boxes for school while younger toddlers and babies can enjoy them cut-up on a high chair tray. A sneaky trick to beef up this meal’s iron content is to add some well-chopped spinach to the egg mix.
So now you see that making healthy kid-friendly lunches certainly does not have to break the bank or tie you to the kitchen for hours. So go ahead and try these recipes on your hangry little ones. May all of their lunches be wholesome, tummy-pleasing and nap-inducing!
Photo Credits: Cooking With Libby | My Hot Southern Mess | The Crunchy Crusader | Budget Bytes | Shayna Mabee
Resources: Cooking With Libby | My Hot Southern Mess | The Crunchy Crusader | Budget Bytes
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