View Full Version : Family-friendly lunch ideas

12-30-2011, 02:22 PM
A few years ago one of my kids was on a special diet that controlled his seizures. During that time we made a daily habit of eating PB&J sandwiches since I could make a decent replacement of that for him. Well, I'm so stuck in this PB&J/chips rut because it's easy and my kids like it. I want us to have more variety, though.

So, can you please give me family-friendly lunch ideas that don't require tons of cooking and that AREN'T sandwiches. Thank you, thank you!

12-30-2011, 02:52 PM
Oh gosh, you just described our world, too! :lol: ha

My 4-yr old is ADDICTED to peanut butter sandwiches for lunch (no jelly... picky little bugger...). This is no lie... a few weeks ago, I learned (through a weird discussion we had) that he actually believes "lunch" means "peanut butter sandwich." As in, that's the definition of the word lunch. :blink: NO WAY! Gah.

Anyway, after that wacky revelation, I started trying to break him of being in this rut, because he would eat a peanut butter sandwich, goldfish crackers, an apple and a yogurt for EVERY meal if I let him. But... that seems weird (to me, anyway)... so I tried some of the following things:

We did "backwards day" once, and he let me serve him tacos for lunch and PB sandwich for dinner. After doing it a couple of times, he will now allow me to entertain the idea of tacos for lunch. I plan on trying this with some other dinner-type foods. But for your purposes, you could maybe do "backwards day" w/ your own spin... maybe breakfast foods for lunch? Or something else?
About 6mo ago, he let us feed him turkey roll-up sandwiches (sliced turkey on a flour tortilla w/ cheese, etc., and then rolled-up)... because he had eaten it at preschool and liked it. It only lasted a day or two, but I plan on trying it again...
What about soup?
Or a veggie tray with dressing/dip... and a fruit tray w/ caramel dip or something similar... and a "cracker and cheese" tray... something fun where everyone can serve themselves from the trays on the table and make their own lunch creations?

Good luck! Breaking out of a food rut is painful! :lol:

12-30-2011, 03:56 PM
Have you thought of trying bento? There are tons of fun ideas on Pinterest for this. It'd basically a Japanese boxed lunch but all about balanced and healthy and can get pretty creative! Holly could probably explain better. My son loves them, even when they're not all decorated up.

12-30-2011, 03:59 PM
I have a peanut allergic son and both of your PB sandwich lunch routines have me a little twitchy. Our school is peanut free so if you are sending your kiddos to public school, I *highly* recommend finding out if your school allows peanuts and/or breaking the PB habit soon! For lunch, we have a few things we do. And mind you, all 3 kids almost always want something different.

Currently, the 7 year old, peanut allergic one, will eat:
salami sandwiches (no cheese, just salami)
jelly sandwiches - and yes, 7 years old means sandwiches plural - usually 2
ritz crackers with pepperoni and american cheese
yogurt and graham crackers
pita chips and hummus

The 5 year old is a picky little bugger. He'll eat:
american cheese sandwich (not grilled/toasted) cut into squares
yogurt and graham crackers
chicken nuggets with applesauce for dipping

The 3 year old will ask for (and sometimes actually even eat):
yogurt and cheese stick or goldfish crackers
ritz crackers with cream cheese or american cheese
grilled cheese sandwich - this one is new
english muffin pizza

And I always wait to eat because 9 out of 10 times someone doesn't finish. Just like dinner.

12-30-2011, 04:24 PM
I get so fed up of sandwiches that I try not to make them too often so we have other things all the time. Pancakes with ham/mushrooms/cheese or something. Toast, crumpets, muffins with scrambled egg, usually with mushrooms too. Beans on toast, pasta (with tomato sauce, cheese sauce, mushroom sauce), soup of all sorts of varieties - tomato or butternut squash are very popular, omelette with whatever is lurking in the freezer in it along with either pasta or boiled potatoes.

Or leftovers. If I'm making something in the oven I'll usually make up extra for lunches.

Can't think of anything else. Mine would eat ravioli at every meal if I let them, though.

12-30-2011, 05:05 PM
Thanks for the advice, everyone!

Thankfully, we don't have to worry too much about PB allergies since we homeschool. I do think my grocery bill will go up when trying to add variety to lunches.

12-30-2011, 05:39 PM
I *highly* recommend finding out if your school allows peanuts and/or breaking the PB habit soon!

This is totally true & great advice. Ironically, when he's at preschool (which is totally peanut-free), the jerk will eat anything (well, almost). Apparently it's not "lunch" unless you're at home! :lol: Sheesh... kids... :blink:

12-30-2011, 06:29 PM
Wraps! You can fill them to your liking, use different wraps (we like spinach, sundried tomatoes, wholemeal, etc), hide a lot of veggies (if necessary), which makes them taste different every time.

Our favourite: Spinach wraps filled with baby spinach leaves and chicken salad (meat of roasted chicken without skin, mayo, sour cream, curry powder, celery, carrot, shredded cheese)

12-30-2011, 07:02 PM
Lunch is very hard for us, because we can't have gluten and although I do sometimes make gluten free bread it is expensive and time consuming, so they don't get it every day! Some of our favorites are:

meat and cheese rolled up with a fruit or yogurt
muffins with fruit and carrot sticks
leftovers from dinner the night before
rice rolled up into nori (but not all kids will find this acceptable!)
chicken salad rolled in lettuce leaves