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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Lunch Ideas for Kids of All Ages

After seeing several questions requesting ideas for lunch, I have decided to create a post compiling a few suggestions for what one might feed a child - toddler age and up. If anyone reads this and has any ideas to add, please feel free to add a comment with your suggestions.

SANDWICHES - Sometimes they can get boring. I have a collection of cookie cutters that I use to make the common sandwich more interesting. Kira will not eat a sandwich. However, Kira WILL eat a balloon or a set of letters or a house. I use icing to decorate the sandwich according to whatever shape I have used. The icing can be found in easy-to-use writing tubes in the baking aisle at the grocery store.

MACARONI AND CHEESE - This is classic. If you want to dress it up, you can add just about anything. You can add hot dog pieces, tuna, broccoli or hamburger. I always add an extra handful of shredded cheese to make it extra gooey.

ANTI PASTA PLATE - Make a tray with cheeses, meats, pickles, hard boiled eggs, crackers, tomatoes, and other vegetables. Set the plate out for your child to graze on as she gets hungry. This is especially useful for smaller children who eat very little at one time and seem to be perpetually hungry.

FRUIT TRAY - Make a tray with fruits and cheeses. Use grapes, strawberries, apples, oranges, blueberries, and other in-season fruits. Add a couple of different types of cheeses in chunk pieces that are easy to pick up and hold. You can also add some bread, croutons, or crackers if you wish.

Fish sticks, chicken nuggets, pizza, ravioli, frozen dinners --- always good selections.

SCRAMBLED EGGS WITH GRITS - Take two packs of instant grits and make according to the directions. Add two scrambled eggs and a spoon of butter. Mix it all together. You can add sausage, bacon, or ham if you feel the need to add in some meat. You can also add cheese, which is almost always a pleaser.

Plain pasta with a bit of butter and mayonnaise and some lemon pepper seasoning.

The real key to feeding children is to mix things up a bit. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every day can still be fun and interesting if you make different shapes and designs each day. Macaroni and cheese every day --- still not boring if the add ins change.

I have also found that having a collection of cute, child oriented plates on hand helps my girls to enjoy their meals more. We have flip flop plates, jungle plates, flower plates, frog plates and other interesting tableware. These novelty plates can usually be found at the local dollar store or Wal-Mart and can be added to your home without breaking your bank.


Elisa Morrison said...

Thanks for posting on my food blog. Your sandwich ideas look great.