Kids are wonderful, but they can be challenging when it comes to healthy eating. Getting them to eat things besides chicken fingers and cereal can seem like an impossible task, but by serving nutritious foods in fun and unique ways, you’ll be surprised at what they’ll try. Now that school is back in full gear, we’ve come up with 5 fun, nutritious lunch ideas that your kids are guaranteed to love!
1. Pizzadillas: In case you couldn’t tell from the title, a pizzadilla is a hybrid pizza/ quesadilla, and one heck of a delicious invention. To make them, take a whole wheat tortilla, spread with tomato sauce, sprinkle with reduced fat cheese, and add your choice of meat and vegetables. Next, fold it over, and toast it in a pan with a touch of olive oil or cooking spray until golden. Cut it into wedges, and serve with a side of fruit for some extra vitamins and minerals.
2. Peanut Butter “Sushi”: This “sushi” is a really fun, uncontroversial way to nudge your picky eater into branching out with food. It’s essentially just a rolled up version of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, so it’s familiar enough not to scare them, but different enough to broaden their food horizons. To make the “sushi,” first spread a wheat tortilla or rectangular flat bread with peanut butter, layer with thinly sliced fruit (bananas and strawberries are especially great), and drizzle with honey. Next, roll it up tightly to form a log, and slice into 6-8 pieces. Depending on your child’s age and coordination, serve them with chopsticks for extra mealtime entertainment!
3. Sandwich Kabobs: This is another lunch that takes familiar ingredients, and transforms them into something unexpected and tasty! For this lunch, all you need to do is take bread, cheese, meat, and vegetables (even fruit!) and layer them on a wooden skewer. The best part about these is that you can mix up the ingredients and make practically any type of skewered sandwich; try croissants, whole grain bread, ham, roasted chicken, cherry tomatoes, even avocado chunks if your children like them! The sky’s the limit – get creative!
4. DIY Tacos: It’s a fact that kids (and adults for that matter, who are we kidding?) love interactive finger food. After all, that’s the reason Lunchables are so popular! It’s super fun to put your own food together, and by creating a lunch box with tortillas, lean protein, cheese, lettuce, and other taco toppings, your kids will have just as much fun creating their lunch as they do on the playground at recess.
5. Spaghetti Muffins: These “muffins” kill two birds with one stone; they’re the perfect way to use up leftover pasta, and a foolproof way to get your kids to eat vegetables. Combine pasta with meat sauce or tomato sauce, cooked vegetables of your choice, and a touch of cheese. Scoop into a greased muffin tin and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees until the tops are golden brown. They’re delicious, portable, adorable, freezable, and most importantly, your kids won’t be able to resist them!
In addition to being really tasty, these recipes are also wonderful because you can make many different variations and never serve your kids the same lunch twice. To save time buying your ingredients, you can even get them delivered by Relay Foods! If you’re looking for an easy prepared meal for dinner, Relay also carries Groovin’ Gourmets’ lemon butter chicken, pulled barbecue chicken, black bean burgers, and our famous macaroni and cheese.