Stuck in a rut with the kids lunches? Do you find you are doing the same old sandwiches day in day out? Busy kids need a healthy lunch to boost their energy and keep them from getting lethargic in the afternoon. Here are 9 fresh new ideas for kids lunches to inspire you!
#1. Healthy Pizza!
Is healthy pizza really possible? Of course it is. This is a really easy one to do as you are using the standard store cupboard ingredients like wholemeal or white bread, cheese, ham, tomato and some pesto. Irish Pride have a wonderful recipe that will make this a super easy lunch to whip up for the kids.
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#2. BLTA (Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato & Avocado) Wraps
Take a classic BLT and liven it up a bit. Avocado is so good for you and full of essential fats for growing brains. This also make an excellent new fresh idea for the school lunch box too.
Mash an avocado with lemon juice, then spread on a whole wheat or wholegrain wrap. Top with crumbled bacon, chopped tomatoes, and thinly sliced romaine lettuce. Roll up and wrap to secure.
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#3. Ham-Wrapped Chicken Fingers With Apricot-Mustard Dipping Sauce
Most kids love ham and chicken so this is a clever way to combine both in these crispy own baked chicken fingers with a twist. Martha Stewart has this great recipe served up with a tangy apricot-mustard dipping sauce.
You will need:
- 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for baking sheet
- 12 chicken tenderloins
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
6 thin slices of Black Forest or other cured ham
- 1 cup plain breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten with 2 teaspoons water
- 1/4 cup apricot jam
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Butter a large, rimmed baking sheet, and set aside. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Wrap each piece in 1 ham slice.
- Stir together breadcrumbs, melted butter, and cheese in a wide shallow bowl. Put the flour and egg mixture in separate bowls. Dredge chicken pieces in flour, then dip in egg mixture and breadcrumb mixture, pressing to coat completely.
- Transfer coated chicken to prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt jam with 1 tablespoon water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in mustard; cook until just heated through. Cover to keep warm.
- Let chicken fingers cool slightly. Serve with dipping sauce.
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#4. Curried Egg Salad Pinwheels
Anyone for eggs? This fresh idea from bonappetit is a way of utilising the really nutritious protein of eggs for our kids.
- 2 hard boiled eggs
- Handful of raisins
- A stick of sliced celery
- 2 tbsp of mayonnaise and curry powder
- 2 slices of bread
This is a great one as the sweetness of the raisins work well with the mayo and curry. Combine the chopped hard-boiled eggs, raisins, sliced celery, mayonnaise and curry powder. Trim the crust from a slice of bread and press to flatten. Spread with a layer of egg salad, then roll and secure with a toothpick.
More inspiration in 13 Brilliant Bento Box Ideas Kids Love
#5: Quick Fried Rice
This is a good one to get some veggies into the kids and also use up some leftovers.
- Cooked brown rice
- Frozen carrots, peas, corn
- Spring onions
- Soy sauce
- Sesame seeds/chopped peanuts (optional)
Saute the thinly sliced spring onions (whites only) in vegetable oil, then add frozen carrots, peas, corn, and a splash of water and soy sauce. Cook until heated through, then stir in leftover brown rice and another splash of water and soy sauce until the rice is softened and heated through. Stir in thinly sliced spring onions (green parts), toasted sesame seeds, and chopped peanuts.
Or try this Chicken Fried Rice for an asian twist.
#6. The Pita Pocket
Liven up your sandwich carrier and change to a pitta bread. Available in wholegrain/wholemeal varieties all you need is a delicious filling. This one is also ideal for the school lunch box.
- Wholemeal pitta bread
- Cooked chicken pieces
- 1/2 cup low fat Greek yoghurt
- 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
- 2 sticks of celery – chopped
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp cranberries
- Salad leaves
Simply mix everything together in a bowl and season with some salt and pepper. Spread on some lightly toasted pitta bread for a perfect fresh lunch idea.
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#7. Baked Parmesan Tomatoes
I like this really simple lunch idea from myfridgefood. A few tomatoes, cheese, fresh basil or oregano and some seasoning is all you need to serve up this really simple lunch.
It can even be served cold in tomorrows lunchbox for school as well.
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#8. Mini Turkey Burgers
Take the twist on the classic burger for kids. Instead of using beef or pork, use turkey which is much lower in fat and just as versatile.
For this recipe you will need:
- 2 slices white sandwich bread
- 1 pound minced turkey
- 2 ounces cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/2 small onion, coarsely grated
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 12 mini burger bun rolls
- Lettuce, sliced tomatoes, ketchup, and mustard, for serving (optional)
- Using a food processor, pulse the bread into fine crumbs.
- Transfer to a medium bowl and add the turkey, cheese and onion. Season with salt and pepper, and mix gently until combined.
- Form into about 12 patties and cook over a medium heat until browned and cooked through (about 5 mins per side).
- Serve with lightly toasted burger buns topped with lettuce, tomatoes, and ketchup and mustard if desired.
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#9. Fruity Yoghurt Toast
Have a really fussy child who hardly eats anything? We hear you! Here’s a way of getting some super foods and fibre into your kids diet and they won’t even realise its healthy!
Hovisbakery have this wonderful fresh idea and all you need is some wholemeal bread, plain yoghurt, blueberries, banana and an apple. So easy it’s like a dessert!
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Over to you? Do you have any new or interesting recipes that you would like to add to this list? Why not share them in the comments box below.