Lunch Ideas Archives - A Crafty Spoonful

10 Quick and Easy Lunch Ideas for Toddlers

10 Quick and Easy Lunch Ideas for Toddlers
If you have a toddler, you know how tricky lunchtime can be. With children’s ever changing tastes and food preferences, finding the perfect meal can be a challenge. We have tried to take some of the stress away from mealtime with these 10 quick and easy lunch ideas for toddlers below, perfect for filling your child up so they can be well fueled for the rest of the day! 

Each week as I plan meals for dinner, I also try and make a list of items we’ll need for lunches as well so we can kill two birds with one stone. Then when we head back home from the store on our weekly shopping trip, I prep both dinners and lunches so it’s quicker to throw together during the week. I also make sure to keep some easy frozen or pantry options on hand as well for those times that we just don’t have prep-time. 

If you are looking for lunches you can make in a jiffy that are sure to be enjoyed, give these suggestions a glance!

10 Quick and Easy Lunch Ideas for Toddlers - pizza dippers

10 Quick and Easy Lunch Ideas for Toddlers

1.Mac and Cheese Shells with Veggies and Dip

Mac and Cheese Shells (in the box) with a side of fresh veggies and salad dressing for dipping makes the perfect meal! You will love the ease of a boxed mac and cheese, and they will love dipping their carrots and celery in dressing!

2. Walking Taco

Fill a bowl with tortilla chips and add some shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, and chopped tomato if you think your child will eat them. You can also add a touch of sour cream or even diced avocado for the perfect walking taco.

Tip: Put all of the toppings out on the table and let your child choose what they put on their chips! You’d be surprised at what they choose to try. 

Weight Watchers Simple Start anytime snack

3. Yogurt Parfait

Try whipping up this easy yogurt parfait for a simple lunchtime treat. Layer plain yogurt and cereal or granola to create a sweet parfait that kiddos are sure to love. You can even top with fresh fruit if you wish!

4. Pizza Dippers

Try this easy hands on lunch that kids are sure to love. Bake some mini frozen pizza bagels and serve with some warmed pasta sauce for dipping. Kids will love dipping their bagel bites and feeding themselves.

movie night ideas fruit kabob skewer

5. Fruit Skewers

Kids love creating and eating this sweet treat! Give children a variety of cut fruit chunks and let them make their own fruit skewers. You can give them yogurt for dipping, or even add some cottage cheese on the side.

6. Breakfast Bites

Who says you can’t have breakfast for lunch? Try making some refrigerated cinnamon rolls and serve with fresh fruit, yogurt, or a protein side such as bacon or sausage links. Kids will love the variety and having breakfast for lunch.

7. Baked Potato Bar

Let kiddos build their own baked potato from a baked potato bar. Warm a potato and serve with cheese, bacon bits, veggies, and other toppings you think they will enjoy. Let them build their own potato to their liking.

Easy Lunch Ideas for Busy Moms - turkey and cheese roll ups

8. Tasty Peanut Butter Roll Ups

Try spreading peanut butter and jelly onto a tortilla shell. Roll it up and cut into wheels. Kids will love this creative way of enjoying peanut butter and jelly. Sometimes we call it PB&J sushi to make it more fun.

My kid loves ham or turkey and cheddar roll ups too! I use a toothpick to keep them together when I’m prepping them but take it out when I serve it to her. 

9. Banana Boats

Place a peeled banana into a dish and let children top it with shredded coconut, fruit, peanuts, sunflower seeds, and other fun toppings of their choice. They will love crafting their own banana boat and will love eating it even more.

10. Pasta Bar

If your child loves pasta, try making a pasta bar. Boil some pasta for them and let them choose the toppings. You can have cheese, pasta sauce, veggies, pepperoni, shredded cheeses, chicken cubes, and other toppings to make it unique.

See how fun and easy lunchtime can be? Give these 10 quick and easy lunch ideas for toddlers a try and see what fun you can have! They are sure to make lunchtime more enjoyable for all.

What’s your toddler’s favorite meal for lunch? 

Simple Holiday Bento Box Ideas

Simple Holiday Bento Box Ideas

My kids have fallen in love with bento boxes (affiliate link). I started making them when I started packing my lunch (even though I work from home) and they look forward to seeing what I’m going to pack them next. Gone are the days of wanting the same thing for lunch every.single.day like before.

Now I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t do elaborate bento boxes for my kids lunches. Instead, I choose one thing to make special or cut up and then the rest just goes with the theme of the bento I’m doing. And I always include foods my kids will actually eat. Because even if the baby eats seaweed, the big kids refuse it.

Luckily coming up with simple holiday bento box ideas isn’t difficult. And when you really get down to basics like I do, you can turn just about any classic lunch into a cute bento idea. Just grab a protein, a snack, some fruit and a few veggies and you’re on your way to an awesome bento lunch for your kids.

You can find these simple ideas featured today on Bentgo’s blog.

How do you add a little holiday cheer to your bento box?

Pinterest Inspiration

Easy Weekend Lunch Ideas

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Campbell’s Soup Company . All opinions are 100% mine.

Easy Weekend Lunch Ideas For Kids

Weekend meals can be tricky. While the kid aren’t heading to school, there are a ton of different activities planned over the weekends. Some planned and some spur of the moment. I like to have a great list of lunch ideas handy so that lunch time on the weekends is easy and simple. Luckily, Campbell’s makes that easier for me with their delicious soups.

Now that the kids are older, I’ve simply expanded on our quick toddler lunches to include additional items like Campbell’s Organic soups and fuits or veggies to create the perfect lunch time meal. And most times all I have to do is set out the ingredients and let the kids make their own plates up. Then I serve them the soup when they have everything else on their plate. This is even more helpful when we have last minute guests, like when the kids cousins come over to play.

Easy Weekend Lunch Ideas For Kids - Campbell's Organic Kids

Campbell’s® Organic Soups are crafted from certified organic ingredients and no preservatives. These soups are perfect for a heart-warming, healthy lunch or dinner. Plus there are nine delicious varieties. My daughter’s favorite? The Frozen noodles. She goes crazy over the fun Frozen-themed shapes and will actually eat her soup (instead of just the noodles) when I serve it up. The boy cousins eat it begrudgingly because they enjoy the soup. Their request? A minecraft version! 

Easy Weekend Lunch Ideas - feeding the cousins

Easy Weekend Lunch Ideas

Quesadillas + Soup

Quesadillas are awesome. You can put just about anything in them and by taking the flavors of the kids favorite Cambell’s soups, we can make complimentary quesadillas. My daughter opts for the classic cheese quesadilla but will add a little grilled chicken when enjoying chicken noodle soup. Plus it’s the perfect cold weather meal with the warm soup and quesadilla.

Sandwiches + Soup

What’s great about sandwiches are they’re so versatile. You can serve them hot in cold weather and cold in warm weather. We always keep some lunch meat on hand along with a few cheeses for the kids to fix up their own perfect sandwich creation. Then we’ll make paninis if the kids request it.

Wraps and Roll Ups

Grab tortillas, pitas, or other flat wraps and grab the same ingredients you’d put in a sandwich or quesadilla! By just changing how the kids eat their food, they can get quite experimental with what they put inside. Add a hummus spread or some avocado to give a little added flavor to your child’s wrap.

Soup + Salad

Don’t knock a good salad bar when you’re serving kids. You’d be surprised at how many kids will choose to eat salad when given the option to make their own. Just put together a good list of toppings and a few different dressings and be amazed at the kids who will start munching on their greens.

Easy Weekend Lunch Ideas For Kids - Campbell's soup, ham wrap, and carrots

Don’t forget to check out these Delicious Campbell recipes for more great ideas on what to enjoy at lunch time with @Campbells. 

What easy weekend lunch ideas does your family serve up?

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The Ultimate BLT Sandwich plus Tips on Cooking Bacon

Ultimate BLT Sandwich with Avocado Ranch Spread

There’s one word and one alone that can describe why my family can’t completely kick paper towels. And that word is BACON! While I can clean my counters with cloth rags, use cloth napkins at the dinner table, and dry my hands off with a kitchen towel, nothing compares to using a paper towel to drain and cool off.

My family is pretty obsessed with bacon and we always seem to be cooking more up. With the kids starting to demand bacon on a more regular basis I needed to figure out how to streamline the process but still end up with delicious, slightly crispy bacon for the family.

And, of course, create a deliciously simply BLT sandwich while I cooked up my last batch of bacon. Complete with an avocado ranch spread that really hit the spot.  [Read more…]

Healthy Back to School Lunch Ideas and Tips

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Healthy Back to School Lunch Tips

Packing lunches can start to feel monotonous really quickly if you don’t have a lot of variety. This year I’ve been challenged to really thinking outside of the lunch box when it comes to packing healthy foods for my kids.

And since it’s the first official year I’ll be packing my son’s lunch for Kindergarten (and not just a day out like last year) I’m kind of excited to find new ideas to keep things fresh and exciting for him. Since we also have to send along a snack, I’ve included some snacks in here as well.

And, of course, I’ll be sending along some cute lunch box notes for my son to read as well when he’s munching on his goodies.

If your brain is really stuck on what to pack this year then check out some of these tips:

Healthy Back to School Lunch Tips

Keeping Things Bright

To mix things up this year, I really wanted to do something colorful and healthy. That’s where I got the idea of parfaits for their school lunches. Have the kids help make their school lunch parfaits the night before if that gets them excited.

You can use easy to open containers to help keep things from getting too messy at lunch time. I like to use whatever organic fruit I have on hand, which can get really colorful.

Healthy Back to School Lunch Tips - parfaits

From Left to Right Clockwise: Broccoli, Grapes, multi-grain crackers, Honest Kids Tropical Tango Punch, vanilla yogurt parfait with granola and strawberries, almonds, Applegate ham, Organic Valley sharp cheddar

DIY Lunchables

I’ve always loved the idea of how easy store bought lunchables are, but sadly they’re not very healthy. I’ve recruited my whole family into loving the idea behind DIY lunchables.

All you really need to complete this fun and healthy lunch idea is to have a container with trays or at least separate containers to give the lunch that ‘lunchable’ feel.We LOVE our Laptop Lunches bento box to make things easy at lunchtime. I pack organic juice, crackers, lunch meat, fruit, and then a “bakery” treat. My kids really love the variety that a DIY lunchable brings to the table.

Healthy Back to School Lunch Tips - pizza lunchable

From Left to Right Clockwise: Honest Kids Tropical Tango Punch, Cucumbers, Annie’s Bunny Grahams, Applegate Farms Turkey Pepperoni, Marinara Sauce, organic string cheese, french bread slices, peach

Mix It Up

If you are really having a hard time finding things to pack for your child, consider trail mix. My kids really love the idea behind trail mix because it’s yummy and I love it because it’s easy. And only includes 3 simple ingredients: granola, almonds, and raisins!

Even if your children can’t have nuts, there are a variety of items you can mix together to create the ultimate trail mix for your little one. Think of other dried fruits, maybe some mini chocolate chips if they are looking for a small treat? The possibilities are endless.

Healthy Back to School Lunch Tips - trail mix

From Left to Right Clockwise: fruit salad, carrots, Honest Kids Tropical Tango Punch, trail mix, bagel with cream cheese

Dip it Good

One thing we’re discovering this year is yummy and healthy dips to pack in lunches. Let’s face it, packing veggies and fruits can seem bland, we are mixing it up with various dips. Hummus is one dip your children might love trying.

You can also create yummy fruit dips out of organic greek yogurt and chia seeds. With this base, you can add a variety of items to your fruit dip, like chocolate chips and peanut butter. This really brings variety and fun to any school lunch (plus it keeps it healthy).

Healthy Back to School Lunch Tips - dips

From Left to Right Clockwise: cantalope, ants on a log (with almond butter), Honest Kids Tropical Tango Punch, french baguette, pasta with marinara sauce

Multiple Fruits & Veggies

I’ve noticed that when I pack my kids a variety of fruits and veggies it gets gobbled up. My kids love opening up their lunch to find a garden full of fruits and veggies. Of course, I like to arrange it so it’s more fun to eat. I might make the container represent a forest with broccoli as trees and little grapes as the bottom part of the forest.

If I want to make things bright, like a rainbow, I’ll pack cut up a green and red apple, peel an orange, and add red and green grapes. Eating with color is always more fun, especially when it’s arranged to look cool.

How do you spice up school lunches while keeping them healthy?.

Lunch Box by Thirty One | Bento Box by Laptop Lunches | Container by U·Konserve

Pinterest Inspiration

Salad In A Jar Ideas

Salad In A Jar IdeasEven though I work from home, I need something quick and easy for lunch or else it’s 3pm and I’ve realized I haven’t eaten since breakfast. So when I saw a few salad in a jar ideas I knew I had to create a few of my own.

So when Fresh Express sent out a few coupons for me to test out their salads and partake in their 30-day Salad Swap challenge. Basically the challenge is to take mealtime favorites that are higher in calories and swap them for a delicious, lighter salad creation.

I just took the challenge one step further and put my salad creation into a jar for easy access and easy storage. Now I just have to grab a salad from the fridge and chomp away as I work without actually having to prepare anything! Win-win.  [Read more…]

English Muffin Pizzas – Simple Toddler Meals

English Muffin Pizzas

Lunch time always proves to be a challenge when it comes to figuring out what to make. The kids either don’t want what your making, you’ve already served it 3 days out of the past 5, or it just doesn’t sound appealing.

So I created a cheat sheet of sorts. For lunches. You know, to take the guessing game out of the picture AND always have ingredients on hand for meals my kids will actually eat.

You can find all of my quick, easy toddler lunches here  but I thought I’d share an all-time favorite in our home, English Muffin Pizzas! And the best part is these take less than 10 minutes to make from start to finish (unless the kids are helping…).

Remember, the toppings listed below are just suggestions. There are countless other combos that would make this pizza just as tasty. These would probably make some tasty appetizers too if you’re looking for a quick fix.

This post contains affiliate links. 

English Muffin Pizzas

Preheat your toaster oven to 425 (or use your large oven if making many). Line a toaster oven safe tray or cookie sheet (for oven use) with foil.

Grab an english muffin and cut it in half. Add all of the ingredients into small, separate bowls in an assembly line. Move a stool over and let your child hop up to counter height, or assemble on the kitchen table.

Have your child spread about a spoonful of sauce onto each muffin half. Then have them take a small amount of each topping and add it to the sauce. Let them top each pizza with a pinch of cheese (careful not to over do it).

Before placing the pizzas in the oven, let your child sprinkle the top of each pizza with a little bit of Italian seasoning. Put pizzas on prepped tray and bake in the oven for 5-7 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and golden. Let cool for a minute or so then serve and enjoy!

Tomato Zucchini Soup {Lunch Recipe}

 

I love simple lunches. Something I can whip up or reheat easily is key. So when I was figuring out what to do with all of the tomatoes we have coming in right now from our garden, I knew that a soup would be perfect. Now I normally roast my tomatoes with some other veggies to make the base for my marinara sauce so I thought why not roast up some tomatoes for a soup as well.

This recipe, from start to finish, takes 30 minutes and can easily be made in larger quantities to store for future lunches (or dinners!). It’d go great with a grilled cheese and a salad. The kids loved it as well!

Tomato Zucchini Soup

  • 4 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 2 medium zucchini, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 handful fresh basil, stems removed
  • Salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Line rimmed baking sheet with foil and lay tomatoes and zucchini on sheet.

Mix olive oil and garlic together in a small bowl. Drizzle over vegetables. Roast for 15-20 minutes or until slightly golden.

Remove veggies from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Add to Magic Bullet, food processor, or blender (your choice!) and blend for a few seconds until just combined. Add basil and salt and pepper. Blend until it’s at the consistency you like.

Pour and serve. This soup can be served cold, lukewarm, or hot. It tastes good either way!

Serves 2-4 depending on portion size

What type of soup do you love? 

Quick Toddler Lunches: 5 Easy Solutions

5 Easy Solutions for Quick Toddler Lunches

One meal that I find the hardest to make for my children is lunch. I don’t know what it is but every time I go to fix lunch my mind draws a blank. So I’ve come up with 5 easy solutions for quick toddler lunches. That means that in less than 10-15 minutes your kids will have a healthy, delicious meal to eat for their mid-day meal.

Frozen Foods and Pasta

Grab a bag of whole grain pasta out of the cupboard. Or let the kids decide what pasta they want. Then go into the freezer and grab a few nitrate free hot dogs and some frozen (or fresh) veggies. Now you’re ready to make lunch in under 10 minutes!

  1. Boil water
  2. Add Pasta and set timer (cook for however long the bag says)
  3. 1/2 way through, add frozen hot dog. 
  4. When 2-3 minutes remain, add a handful of frozen veggies
  5. Drain, cut up hot dog, and serve!  – cutting up is optional for children over 3*

Usually takes less than 10 minutes and the kids love it!

Change it up! Don’t want to use hot dogs? Toss the noodles and veggies in some olive oil or butter and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Toss some pepperonis or deli meat in for a change in flavor or cube up some cheese.

Mmmm!

*If cutting up the hot dog, remember to cut up length wise first, then width wise to reduce the chance of choking.

Roll Ups and Fresh Fruit

Another lunch idea that takes less than 10 minutes. Simply pull out some lunch meats and cheeses and put them on a plate along with a few veggies. When your kids are deciding what to put in their roll ups, wash and cut up some fruit to go on the side!

Once they’ve decided it’s time to start building! Here’s what you do:

  1. Place a slice of meat down
  2. Add some mayo or mustard (or other spread)
  3. Add cheese on top
  4. Sprinkle with veggies (easier to slice up or shred)
  5. Roll up and eat!

Serve with some fruit on the side and enjoy.

Quesadillas 10 Ways

Quesadillas are super easy. The most work spent on them is the time prepping what goes into them. And that can be done in as little as 5 minutes. You just have to know what you want in them! Here are a few suggestions for what to put in your quesadilla:

Now it’s time to make your quesadilla!

  1. Heat up pan and butter one side of tortilla. 
  2. Put tortilla in heated pan, butter side down
  3. Sprinkle with cheese and other ingredients
  4. Fold over into a half moon and cook until golden brown
  5. Flip, cook other side, and serve!

I love serving my quesadillas with some left over rice and some ripe avocado and salsa. The kids love theirs with apple slices and tortilla chips.

Pizza Perfection

What kid doesn’t love pizza? In our home pizza comes in all shapes and sizes. Don’t have pizza dough? That’s ok! Grab one of the following to get started:

1. Base
Tortilla
Whole Wheat Pita
English Muffin

Then move on to the sauces. I love just grabbing whatever jarred pasta sauce we have in the pantry:

2. Sauce
Pesto
Marinara
Meat sauce
Alfredo sauce

And for the fun part!

3. Toppings! Toppings can range anywhere from veggies to meats to cheeses. And variety is key. When you give your kids a few options you’ll be surprised to find what they choose for their pizzas.

Simply go in this order: Base, Sauce, Toppings when creating your pizza pie masterpieces.

Then just use the oven (or a toaster oven) and cook at 400 degrees for a few minutes or until cheese is bubbly and slightly golden brown! Looking for a great pizza dough recipe? Check out this one here.

Salad Bar

Just because your two year old hates lettuce, don’t rule out the power of an awesome salad bar! And as always, get the kids involved. Ask your kids to pick 5 fun toppings to add to their salad. I suggest having fruit, veggies, nuts, and some sort of crunch for them to choose from.

Then give them a few lettuce options. Spinach is a favorite in our house with romaine coming in close second. But they also love the crunch of cabbage and the pretty shapes and colors in micro greens.

Here are a few great ideas for Salad Bar fixings:

Once the kids have chosen their 5 topping choices I give them dressing choices as well. From oil and vinegar to ranch dressing and everything in between, giving them 2-3 options makes our salad bar a success.

What’s your favorite lunch time fast fix?

Curry Tuna Melt {Lunch Recipe}

Every Friday during Lent I scramble for a great alternative to our usual meat filled lunches. Usually I have a salad with grilled chicken and I make the kids a sandwich, leftovers, etc. But in an effort to stick with meatless meals I turn to fish to make sure my kids are getting the protein they need.

I’ve recently been really lucky with my garden and have a great supply of celery, green onions, and cilantro. So I’ve tried to find various ways to use them up. I started to think of what cuisines uses these different ingredients and how and immediately I thought of Indian food. So I grabbed some curry powder, picked some veggies from the garden, and started mixing.

What I ended up with was a delicious dish that is sure to make any boring lunch into a great one. The kids even enjoyed it and split one amongst themselves. They were even more excited about the fact that we used the veggies from our garden to make the sandwich.

Curry Tuna Melt

[Read more…]



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