Last night, Le Kid and I spent a ridiculous amount of time walking the aisles in Target while he tried to figure out what he wanted to go in his lunch. Like many kids, he picked up boxes and boxes of sugary, empty-calorie snacks that had little nutritional value. Though we were both tired (and cranky), I held firm and vetoed each one (which made him even more cranky).
Figuring out what to pack in your kiddos lunch shouldn’t be this hard, I thought to myself, but there was one big ol’ problem holding us back: he did not want a sandwich.
When Le Kid first said he didn’t want to take a sandwich I brushed it aside. He couldn’t be serious, right? After all, he’d eaten a sandwich THAT very afternoon, but somehow they were a no go for his lunch?
Sadly for both of us he stuck to his no sandwich guns, which left us doing laps in Target trying to figure it out.
Also off the list? Lunchables. While they’re super quick, they’re costly and not the healthiest thing on the planet (uhhh…so much sodium!), so I ruled them out too.
After about a half hour stuck in Target’s grocery section I had an idea: we could build our own box.
I grabbed a Sistema lunch cube, some crackers, a dozen eggs, blackberries, deli meat, and viola! A lunch idea Le Kid didn’t turn his nose up at.
The whole ordeal got me thinking about what other options I could come up with that my son would enjoy, while also being healthy.
So, in case you’re fretting over your kid’s lunch like me here are 3 healthy options that DO NOT include sandwiches.
#1 – DIY Lunchables
- 1 lunch cube (like this one)
- Anything you can fix in the box that your kid will enjoy
Even though the school year has just begun, I already know this will be my go-to option if Le Kid’s sandwich ban persists. The possibilities are endless, and the combinations will keep your kiddo from being bored. Fill the box with veggies, fruit, crackers, nuts, chopped meats…seriously, go wild.
#2 – Pasta Salad
- Cold pasta (or orzo) + added fixings.
Pasta salads are another super customizable & healthy way to beat a sandwich ban. All you have to do is cook the pasta, wait until it cools, and then mix in whatever ingredients you love. Want a veggie salad? Cool, add chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, and onions. Eat meat? Keep all of the above and throw in some chicken. Throw on some italian seasoning, olive oil, and vinegar to taste, then keep it in the ‘fridge and dish it out until it’s gone. How easy is THAT? Still need help? Here’s a good recipe to get you started.
#3 – Chicken fajita pitas
- Pita pockets
- Fajita veggies (onion +bell peppers + seasonings)
Ok, so pita pockets are like sandwiches, but they’re not. I swear. Sure they’re both made out of bread and wrap around a host of items, but they’re still totally not sandwiches (at least that’s how you’ll sell it to your kiddos, k?). Pitas are FABULOUS, though. You can literally fill them with just about anything, pop them into your kid’s lunch cube and dash out the door. One tip: don’t put things inside that’ll make it soggy. Now…go forth and experiment.
Do you have go-to lunch options for your kids? Share them in the comments section below to help us all get even more ideas!