Kid Pleasing Lunch Ideas

2018 Planner

Whether you are in the midst of a relaxing summer days, or school days full of carpooling and extracurricular activities, the children want to be fed.

Kid Pleasing Lunch Ideas - Apron Strings & other things

Really?! Didn’t I just feed them a few hours ago? Their drawn little faces and sunken eyes look up at me, assuring me that, yes, their internal clock stomachs are telling them it’s lunch time.

Here is a list of 10 of our favorite lunch meals. Each will prove to be quick, easy, inexpensive and satisfying for your crew. They are all kid-tested, mom-approved, in no particular order, because some days you just have to make do with what’s on hand.

1. Funny Faces – This family favorite is great for using up bits and pieces of veggies, fruits and leftovers. Take a bagel (or english muffin, slice of bread or tortilla) and cover with your favorite spread (cream cheese, peanut butter). Set out a variety of ‘building material’ like fruit and veggie slices, pieces of cheese and meat, olives and pickles, etc. You get the idea. Now let the little artists go to work! They’ll gobble down their foodie creations.

fun lunch idea - Apron Strings & other things

2. BBQ chicken sandwiches – This is a crockpot meal. I cook a whole, frozen chicken in the crockpot on low overnight. In the morning, I separate the meat from the skin and bones, pop the back into the crock with BBQ sauce and enough of the juices to keep it moist, cook on low 1 hour and turn to the warm setting to hold til lunch. This keeps very well in the freezer for meals later in the month.BBQ chicken sandwich - Apron Strings & other things

3. Quesadillas – sprinkle shredded cheddar on a tortilla, add a dash of garlic salt and heat in microwave, oven or skillet, just til cheese is melted.

Vegetable Beef Soup - Apron Strings & other things

4. Soup – Another crockpot meal. First thing in the morning, I fill crock with chicken (or beef or veggie) broth and bite-sized veggies (fresh, frozen or canned) and leftover cooked meat (chicken, beef, hamburger) and cook heat on low. The last hour before serving, add salt and other seasonings of choice, noodles or cooked rice. NOTE: Instead of the noodles you can add diced potatoes or uncooked rice with the veggies early in the day.

5. Wraps – Layer lunchmeat & cheese, leftover salad greens, tuna salad or pbj on a tortilla and roll it up. Voila! Lunch is served!

6. Leftovers – Are you seeing a theme here? I’m all for using up and making do. Try serving up last night’s leftovers in some new form or fashion.ย  ‘Fry’ the spaghetti (noodles, sauce and all) in a skillet. Melt cheese over the top of potatoes. Layer cooked chicken or ham over top a bed of salad greens. Below you can see how I took some beef from Sunday Dinner, moistened it with a little Italian salad dressing, heated it in a saucepan and served it over whole wheat toast.open-face sandwich - Apron Strings & other things

7. Snack Lunch – Give the kids a challenge. Have them search the cupboards, frig and freezer to find a food to fit specific categories. Can they find something for each of the 4 basic food groups, or 4 different colors, or 4 different shapes. We do this toward the end of the month, when Mom may have underestimated appetites in the household or we’ve had unexpected company and the larder is low again.

8. Fancy Cuts – A plain, ordinary, run-of-the-mill lunch like PB&J sandwiches (I’m sure I’ve made at least 5,000 of these in my career) becomes fun and tasty if you slice it up a different way. Cut the sandwich in little triangles instead of big rectangles, or use a large cookie cutter for a fun shape. Instead of traditional carrot sticks, make carrot discs (or use a waffle-style cutter like I did), cut an apple across the middle to reveal the star hidden in the center core. An old stand-by might just become the new favorite.

fun lunch idea for kids - Apron Strings & other things

9. pretzels – Take bread dough (make your own, use frozen dough, or even biscuit dough you pop from a tube) and let them roll out snakes and twist them up. Brush a little eggwash or milk on top and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake in a 375 oven for 8-10 minutes and serve with your favorite dipping sauces. (NOTE: Try twisting dough into fun shapes and letters)

homemade pretzels - Apron Strings & other things

ย 10. Pockets – Take bread dough (see #9) and roll out into a large rectangle. Cut into squares that are twice the size of the filling you want to put in each one. Add desired filling (egg and sausage for those pictured below) on 1/2 of each square. Fold remaining half over top of filling, fold and pinch edges. The possibilities are endless – pizza filling, taco meat & cheese, chicken with gravy & vegetables, the list goes on. I originally used this recipe at A Slob Comes Clean for inspiration

Breakfast Pockets - Apron Strings & other things

These meals are all on our summer menu, but you can find many more ideas on my Kids and Lunch Board Pinterest. Do you have a summer menu plan? What are you feeding your children this summer?

Linking this post up at Menu Plan Monday and Kids in the Kitchen and Top 10 Tuesday.

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Comments

  1. Wonderfully simple, tastefully fun meal ideas! I love the idea of making a simple crockpot soup for cooler months. I need to tuck that idea away for later in the season…along with some crusty bread and it’s a great filling meal when the snow is piling up outside. I also like to do the crockpot shredded meat sandwiches. I just bought a roast (on sale!) to do this week. (I crockpot it with a little beef stock, onions and peppers.) We’ll have Beef au Jus sandwiches (on homemade bread) one night and the 2nd beef and cheese melts (like grilled cheese but with beef, onions and peppers). Now I’m getting hungry! LOL

    • Thank you Jessy ๐Ÿ™‚
      I’m a crazy mom and actually force soup on my family even in the summer months. Not often, but it is a light yet nutritious meal in a season when we tend to eat a lot of junk food – A small bowl with sandwich or chips.
      Love your shredded beef idea, and cheese melts. I something similar and serve it over rice.
      Yes, now I’m getting hungry! Thanks for stopping in and inspiring me. Blessings!

  2. Oh, I love those mini pretzels – so cute!

  3. I will definitely have to try the pockets! I love making pretzels, though.

  4. Love the smiley face lunch! Fun ideas!

  5. i’m definitely going to check out your pinterest board. thanks for linking up to #kidsinthekitchen

  6. The pockets looks yummy, may have to try my hands on them.

    • They are good! They keep well in the freezer, so it’s just as easy to make up a big batch.
      I’m glad you stopped by, and then you for your nice compliment. Blessings!

  7. Lunches are always a challenge for me–thanks so much for the ideas!

  8. What a great list of lunch ideas! I sure know what you mean, having almost 3 teenage boys who are in the gym 5 days a week boy can they ever eat lol!! I’m not sure why I have never though to make homemade pretzels for the kids it’s such a great idea. I hope you have a blessed weekend!!

    • thanks, Nicole! Three teenaged boys? oh boy oh boy oh boy!!! I do love having teenagers in the house, but we have to stay on top of things when it comes to feeding them, don’t we? Homemade pretzels are one of my kids’ favorite lunches. And the fact that they can now make and bake them on their own makes it even more of a winner in my book – I love sitting back and watching the goings-on in the kitchen when they are all working together. Fun!
      I’m so glad you stopped by, enjoy your family today!

  9. Some excellent eco-friendly lunches here. I particularly like the funny faces. My kids would love to do that! #EncouragingHeartsandHome

  10. Great ideas – I love the one of cooking a whole chicken overnight in a crock pot. Sounds so smart and easy.

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  1. […] more!) the recipe below and freeze it in pint containers. This way I have it on hand for snacks, lunches, meals while traveling, appetizers to serve guests. I serve it with tortilla chips, pita bread, […]

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