It’s almost August, which means that the school year is fast approaching: Finishing back-to-school shopping, sorting out the carpool, and getting everyone signed up for after-school activities.
Most importantly, this means getting back in the habit of school lunch prep. If you’re looking for some kid-friendly lunch ideas, then we got some recipe ideas cooking in the KB Home kitchen that are worth a gold star or two.
Say Goodbye to Brown Bags
You know what gets kids excited about lunch? A cool lunch bag or box. It’s easy to purchase a cute insulated canvas lunch bag or plastic bento box for your little munchkins, but it would be more fun to decorate everyday lunch items and make it a #KBHomemade family project.
What you need:
1. Glitter, glue, felt, scissors, jewels, fabric and whatever knick-knacks strike your kid’s fancy at the craft store. Let your creative juice boxes flow!
2. Puffy paints are an easy, kid-friendly way to decorate bags and boxes.
3. Good quality glue is what you’ll need to attach small decorations, like plastic jewels, to lunchboxes.
4. Decals and fabric pieces are ideal for sewing onto fabric lunch bags. Kids can cut out the shapes that they want, and then mom and dad can fire up the sewing machine.
Not only will the kids be proud of their artistic creations, but they’ll be excited to see what you’ve packed them for lunch each day.
Think Outside the Lunchbox
Most parents who are not squeamish about raw food love a good sushi roll. Kids, for the most part, do not. However, this doesn’t mean that kids can’t enjoy the fun of eating food that is rolled or wrapped. This is also a great opportunity for parents and kids to have some family fun time in the kitchen. For a healthy and hearty lunch why not try teriyaki chicken and vegetable sushi.
Here’s what you need:
Thin tortilla; chicken breast, carrots, bean sprouts, brown quinoa (healthier than white rice) and teriyaki sauce.
1. Grill the chicken and vegetables, then dice and coat in teriyaki sauce.
2. Place ingredients on tortilla which should be covered in a layer of cooked quinoa.
3. Roll and then cover in cling film so the wrap holds together.
This hearty and delicious “sushi” roll can be eaten warm or cold, and even the pickiest of little eaters should enjoy it. Check out more rolled recipe inspiration here.
Drink Your Fruits and Veggies
It can be difficult to get little ones to eat their veggies (which sadly tend to have a bad reputation on the playground). Nonetheless, there are delicious ways to get around this with the kiddos and it starts in your blender or juicer.
You’ll need some liquid to create your mixture – regular whole milk or almond, coconut milk are great options. Adding seeds and nuts such as flax, chia or pumpkin seeds and cashews are great additions to help keep little tummies full. When it comes to ingredients, raspberry, beets and cacao powder are a sweet and healthy way to combine with less popular (but healthy) veggies, like beets. Green apple adds a tartness that helps to mask the taste of kale (add a dollop of peanut or almond butter for creaminess). Carrot, ginger and pineapple are another winning combo.
Once you’ve blended your smoothie; place in a canister and freeze overnight. While your kiddo is in class, their smoothie will defrost and be ready to enjoy during recess. The best part? After your kids, have enjoyed their smoothies, you can spill the beans and confess that there were veggies inside. They’ll never see veggies as green, mean machines again.
Turn your kid into the top chef of the cafeteria with a do-it-yourself lunch idea that is simple to put together. All you need is cool plastic bento box or segmented plastic container. Arrange the ingredients and then let your little chefs concoct their own lunch specials. Here are some ideas:
Thai Lettuce Cups
Here’s what you need:
1. Ground turkey seasoned with salt, pepper, fish sauce, and a little lime juice. 3 small lettuce cups. Shredded carrots, brown rice and some crispy onions.
2. Don’t forget to hold a quick, kid-friendly lettuce cup tutorial with the kids. This Thai Larb is not only delicious but it’s a great way to expand your child’s palette in a fun way.
Sweet Snacking Done Right
Santa Rita Ranch II, Vail, AZ
Young or old, most of us can agree that dessert is the most fun part of the meal. Consider these healthy ideas that will give your kids a sweet treat without giving them a sugar high (and subsequent crash).
1. Homemade trail mix. This can be a fun collaboration between parent and child. Mom and dad pick out the granola, nuts and dried fruit (with kid input, of course) and then the sweet candy bit can be left up to your little ones. Try and present tasty candy alternatives like cacao nibs, so you can avoid mass produced sugars.
2. Cinnamon and apple parfaits. Layer diced apples cooked with cinnamon and sugar sandwich between layers of Greek yogurt, and almonds. Easy and delicious.
3. Avocado chocolate pudding. Wait…what’s in this? Healthy fats and natural ingredients make this kid favorite something that parents can enjoy too. Check out the recipe here.
Finding new and healthy ways to get your kids excited about what’s in their lunchbox is not just fun for parents, but is a great way to get your kids excited about cooking and the ingredients that go into their food. Giving your kids a say in the process also encourages them to try new things, which is a win-win. We hope we’ve given you some inspiration for the coming-school year, and we’d love to hear from parents who’d like to share their kid-friendly recipes with us on Pinterest and Instagram using #KBHomemade. Bon appetite!