kids lunches

My kids are definitely snackers.  I don't think there is any way around it.  I am actually ok with this, although many people would not be.  I feel like it is the best way to get food into my kids at the moment.

They eat a pretty good breakfast everyday.  Oatmeal with blueberries or bananas and cinnamon and nutmeg.  Seriously, everyday they eat that.  I like oatmeal, but I am more of a butter and brown sugar kind of girl, and I am not sure I could eat it every. single. day.  So they have a good start to the day.  Then they typically will have a snack a couple hours later.

But what to do for lunch?  I am always at a loss.  By the time I get everything done in the morning that I need to, I am starving, and end up making food for myself around 10am - which is typically a salad.  I know, strange at 10am, but it works for me.  So I am not really hungry for lunch when the kids usually eat around 11 or 11:30.  And not feeling like making a large meal that no one will eat (besides Matt).

Last week I decided to give them a bunch of things to choose from and hope for the best.  They ate pretty much the entire plateful, which surprised me.  It was a lot of food I thought :-)  What did I give them?  This:

frozen strawberries
carrot sticks
crackers with peanut butter (yes those are ritz crackers, yes I know they aren't the healthiest choice)

Ever since I started making this type of a lunch, they have been really good about eating everything.  Of course it is heavy on fruit, but fruit is good for you.  Sometimes they get kimchi, ginger fermented carrots, or pickles.  Sometimes they get a green smoothie and homemade bread and butter.  And, they are going down for rest time better.  I think because they are eating more.

Of course, dinner is still whatever I make, but I don't think that catering to them at breakfast and lunch is a bad idea.  I am home all day with them, and while I would love for them to eat some of the other meals I make for Matt and I, if they don't, this is very easy to throw together.

What do you make for your kids for lunch?  Do you do snack type meals?  Keep in mind that my kids are almost 4 and 19 months :-)


  1. It is interesting that you posted this today, of all days. We had a terrible time packing my youngest son's lunch today. He is a "snacker" too, but often, his lunch is a toasted bagel with fruit and veggies or leftovers. We had none of those options left today, so he took something that looks an awful lot like your picture (with cheese instead of peanut butter since it is banned from the school). He is my pickiest eater and we have a hard time with him for "meals". Thank you for sharing this today, as I think we will revisit the lunchbox options.

  2. My kids (5 years and 2 years) also tend to eat snack-type lunches better than more robust meals. I find sometimes just cutting food up into bite-sized pieces will get them to eat better. For example, if I cut up a string cheese into bite-sized pieces, they eat it much better than if I give them the whole stick. Also, lately I have been buying fun muffin liners that come with "fancy" toothpicks (you can find them in the party supply section). Then I serve their lunch in a muffin pan and give them the toothpicks to use to pick their food up with. They love it! And it is easy to toss lots of fruits and veggies in there along with some simple protein like cheese or leftover chicken.

  3. Yep, we eat lots of snack-type meals around here. And I often cut cheese into shapes with cookie cutters (flowers, butterflies, etc). Eleanor will happily eat a bunch of fruit and cheese pretty much anytime.

  4. I think all toddlers/preschoolers like the "snack-type" meals. Maybe it just doesn't seem so overwhelming to them. Maybe that's why they love chicken nuggets so much!

    When mine were little we had lots of lunches like that. Mine are bigger now and we have lots of spaghetti, casseroles, real fill you up food for lunch. Big boys eat a lot!


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