Summer lunches for kids can be challenging to find the balance of healthy + easy at the same time. But this combination is incredibly important because this is going to help fuel them through the afternoon and onto dinner time. And since we’re all super busy parents or caregivers or babysitters having the “easy” aspect is right at the top of the list as well because unless you’re a die-hard cook, you probably don’t want to be spending a boatload of time in the kitchen.
We are always trying to find various ways to make our lives a little bit easier so, let’s start with our summer lunches for kids!
1. Minimal Ingredients – the fewer ingredients that you have to take out of the cupboard, fridge or drawers, the less cleanup you’ll have to do! Now, minimal absolutely does not mean unhealthy but is a nice balance for your children.
2. Cut up Your Vegetables/Fruit on a Specific Day Each Week – Set aside a specific day where you can cut up all the vegetables that your kids will eat at their lunches. That way you can rotate and pull out whatever vegetables you want and they’re all cut up and ready to be served up on their plates.
3. Make sure you have Enough Food for Lunches for the Upcoming Week – I have to laugh at myself because there have been so many occasions where I’ll open up my fridge and I’ll be at a loss for what to feed my kids! I’ll draw a blank. But lately, I’ve had a plan and made sure that I at least have everything that I need for that week, and most likely two weeks.
4. Plan out What You’re Going to serve the Day/Night Before – Once you know that you have enough food for the upcoming week, have your kids plan out what they are going to pull out for lunch each evening. You could even label your fruit and vegetables and side dishes to be for a certain day to make everyone’s life easier.
5. Have Everyone do their Own Dish – when your children are done eating their lunch, have them rinse off/wash their dish and put it in the dishwasher. Then have them each wash the spot where they were sitting. This saves on the cleanup that you have to do. :)
6. Have a Lunch Day for Each of Your Children – assign your children to the work and tell them what’s for lunch and have them prepare it for their siblings. This teaches them responsibility and helps them to see what work actually goes into making lunch. If your kids are a little too young to handle making lunches for everyone then at least have them assist you in the kitchen, bringing things to you, helping you set up plates, and putting things away.
7. Use Paper Plates Just at Lunch Time – This can save a lot of time and energy. Yes, it’s not especially thrifty but sometimes, your time is worth more than washing a bunch of dishes so consider using disposable tableware at lunchtime.
1. Grilled Cheese + Tomato Soup
2. Baked Potato + Sour Cream + Bacon Bits on top or You could even do Cheez Whiz + a Side of Broccoli. This is made easily in the microwave and the broccoli takes less than 5 minutes to also make in the microwave!
3. Ham and Cheese Sandwich + Pretzels + Baby Carrots with Ranch Dressing
4. Turkey and Cheese Sandwich + Trail Mix (Make your own Mixture of Peanuts + Raisins) + Broccoli with Ranch Dressing
5. Tuna Fish Sandwich + Pretzels + Orange Slices
6. Refried Bean Burro + Yogurt with a Can of Fruit Cocktail Mixed in
7. Black Bean Burro (heat can of black beans; put in a tortilla and top with shredded cheese) + Cantaloupe + Cheddar Cheese Slices
8. Crackers with Cream Cheese and Ham on them + Yogurt + Orange Slices
9. Box Pizza Splurge :)
10. Peanut Butter with Banana + Wheat Thins + Broccoli with Ranch Dressing
11. Egg Salad Sandwich + Cheese Chunk Slices + Little Cutie Oranges
12. Bologna and Cheese Sandwich + Hardboiled Egg + Celery with Peanut Butter
13. Hot Dogs + Potato Chips + Cantaloupe
14. Crackers + Cheese + Sausage + Grapes
15. Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich + Hardboiled Egg + Applesauce
16. Apple with Peanut Butter + Triscuits + Cheese Slices
17. Cheese Crisp (Place a tortilla on a cookie sheet, top with cheese, salsa, black beans. Then, place in the oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.) + Applesauce
18. Ham, Cream Cheese and Pickle Roll Ups + Carrots with Ranch Dressing + Mini Marshmallows
19. Cheese Sandwich + Watermelon Chunks + Pretzel Sticks
20. Mini Quiche Muffins (that are leftover from the night before) + String Cheese + Mandarin Oranges
21. Corn Dogs + Potato Chips + Yogurt (Unhealthy Splurge Day!)
22. Peanut Butter and Honey Sandwich + Frozen Grapes + Popcorn
23. Pepperoni Slices, Cheese and Crackers + Trail Mix + Broccoli with Ranch Dressing
24. Tortilla chips with Shredded Cheese Sprinkled on Top + Frozen Grapes + Teddy Grahams
25. Spaghettios + Crackers with Peanut Butter + Apple Slices
Hopefully these 25 easy summer lunches for kids will simplify your life a little bit and add some variety to your children’s plates!