Monday, February 4, 2008

What's for Lunch?

If you have been hanging around here for any length of time, you will no doubt know that I have no less that a great affection for food. Savory or sweet, healthy or not-so-much, it's all good. However, I do have one area in the sustenance realm that I cannot seem to grasp with any amount of dignity.
This meal is such a mind-boggler to me because it isn't meant to be huge and praiseworthy, like it's counterpart, Dinner, yet it isn't meant to be quite as simple and quick as the "get-your-day- movin" Breakfast (which, I admit, rarely even exists for me).
I have found that I love to eat lunch out, but my pocketbook AND my lovehandles would rather I didn't. So I moved right along into the over-processed insanely high carb world for my kidlets. You know, the world which consists mainly of mac-n-cheese, popcorn chicken from a bag and PB&J's? Well, that isn't working out either because I feel bad.
Their little bodies are growing and I don't want to be stuffing them full of garbage for even one meal. In addition, I don't want them to develop bad habits that they will have to break once they are grown up and their cholesterol test comes back too high.
SOOOOO, all of that to say, what are you feeding your kids for lunch that doesn't take a year to prepare? I would love to have the convenience of processed foods with the nutrition of a home-grown garden salad. Too lofty?
Ok, nevermind. Just tell me what you eat. Please. There are children involved here. Thank you kindly. :)


Leanne said...

HA! I'm the first to comment!!!!!!

Well, what you serve for lunch mostly depends on how old your kids are and their sufficiency level in the kitchen, with their ability to get their own stuff. My kids are all able, with the exception of my toddler, who isn't even tall enough to reach the counter yet!!

We eat things like Quesadillas, ham sandwiches, brown rice with milk, butter, cinnamon and sugar, and grilled cheese. The bread we use is my homemade wheat bread.

If your kids have been trained to be great at getting themselves what they want, you can take some of my ideas. We don't go all out for lunch, but it's a looooong time till dinah, isn't it!!??

Happy searching, and you've got to do a post on your progress and what ideas you've stolen!!!

Leanne in Longview WA

Reformed Grits said...

quesadillas, tomato soup and cheese sandwiches, french toast (weird I know but they love it), I've also made pb&j monte cristos... where you make a pgj and dunk it in the egg stuff for french toast and grill it! Again, weird, but...
turkey sandwiches; occasionally spagettios, campbells soups...
I hate lunch too. If I'm doing the 'bad" stuff I try to pair it with carrots or apples etc and popcorn etc instead of chips. Craisins are good. I dunno. Eager to see what others say.

Stacey said...

I'm so with you there. My 10 y/o is the one home (homeschool) and he looks at his lunch break as a quick time to sneak in a computer game or a video game, so he opts for Campbell's Soup and Hand more often than not--or a grilled cheese. Sorry I can't be more creative than that. It's a good question!

Emily said...

Well today my kids had homemade leftover BBQ drumsticks from our SUPERBOWL party. They were mega good.
If I have leftovers we virtually never eat them at dinner time. We do leftovers for lunch. I made homemade chicken noodle soup (way, way easy and healthy and did I mention easy?) and it's always better the next day. We had that 3 days ago.

My kids love oatmeal. It's a weird love affair they have going w/ instant oatmeal and so I let them love away on it. It's quick, easy and not that bad for them. My oldest daughter makes the real oatmeal and I prefer that as well.

We do eggs and toast all the time. Even pancakes or other breakfasty things. I actually don't do sandwiches, as my kids don't like peanut butter and I forget to buy lunchmeat. If they have sandwhiches it will always be tuna. All 4 love it, which is a miracle. (angels sing)

My 3 oldest kids are pretty awesome at eating healthy things like a bag of Light Caesar salad mix. They think that's the bomb. My youngest? She'd live off of mac n' cheese.....ewwwww. I'd die on that hill.

So, that's our routine. Nothing fancy.

Cindy said...

First I plant my own orchard and harvest all organic products from it. Then I grind my own wheat and only serve my children wheaty grainy bread. We NEVER have anything that comes in a box or has preservatives.


PBJ, soup, quesadillas, turkey/cheese wrap ups, leftovers, more leftovers. One time I made a list of lunch items that were easy-my most important criteria. Then I tried to rotate them. It helped me a brain just seems to freeze up when it comes to lunches! My kids WOULD eat mac n cheese five days a week, I think. I try to give them a fruit and a yogurt or something at lunch time, but really we eat better at dinner, and I just figure it all evens out. :)

DonDee said...

Am I glad you posted this or what? I will be checking back to see the respones.

We do sandwiches, cheesy eggs and yogurt, chicken nuggets with sliced apples on the side, frozen pizzas, leftovers...

That PB&j monte cristo sounds very interesting...

javamamma said...

I'm really bad with lunches too. Especially now that there's just one kiddo home and me and hubby.

One idea that I didn't see listed is chips & salsa. You can also do nachos just by throwing some grated cheese on a plate of tortilla chips. My hubby and I are hot for homemade guacamole, my kids don't like it but maybe others would. My recipe: Into the food processor I throw - 2 avocados, 1 small tomato (or less), garlic powder, onion powder, s&p, powdered red pepper. Give it a whirl - yummy!

I'm like Cindy - I try to do apples or something but sometimes I just hope the day will even out by supper time.

EEEEMommy said...

A pediatrician once told me that PB&J was a great option for lunch! But we overplayed that card, so I have had to get creative too. One (cheap)favorite is Ramen Noodles. You can use half the flavoring packet if you're concerned about too much sodium or something. I improve ours by adding eggs while the soup is boiling and making Ramen Egg Drop soup. It's much better than plain.
My kids also enjoy
* pitas and hummus with grapes or apples,
* egg salad,
* fried egg sandwiches,
* bologna & cheese rolls,
* yogurt,
* fruit,
* breakfast (french toast, pancakes...I'm not awake enough to make them earlier in the morning)...

I don't have too much trouble feeding the kids, it is I who doesn't like the lunch options most of the time. Dh gets most of the leftovers to take for his lunch, so that leaves me with whatever the kids are eating. I don't do Ramen myself. :) Since I generally don't eat breakfast either, I usually find myself at 2pm not having eaten anything all day and feeling faint. :(

KarenW said...

Too often, we take the wrong route. But in our healthy moments, a good salad (not just iceberg - romaine and raw spinach are some of our faves) with grilled chicken. My dd and dh love a cabbage salad with chunks of ham, cheese and sesame seeds. Leftovers from dinner or cream of tomato soup are a couple of my favorites. Hope you find some great ideas!

Leanne said...

Hey Gayle~

Just wanted you to know that I tagged you for a meme that Emily had on her blog that wasn't a meme on hers, but I turned it into a meme on mine, so.......

You're tagged!!!

It's fun!

Leanne from Longview WA

Gayle said...

Today's lunch? I have no idea. I went out to lunch with Leanne and they all had to fend for themselves.

I was just thinking I would call you but I remembered the different timezone and realized you probably wouldn't want a phone call at 10pm. Go figure!

I about wet my pants over your Vicks post (blech) and I LOVE your new van!

Anonymous said...

We usually have leftovers. Way back when, when we ate a LOT of homemade WW bread, I'd bake the bread just in time for lunch, so we'd have bread and honey lots of times. We also have tortilla pizzas, either with homemade WW tortillas or store bought. Just place them on a cookie sheet, slap on some pepperoni (& whatever), sprinkle with a dab of cheese and broil for a few seconds.

We also have egg salad, turkey hot dogs wrapped in tortillas, grilled cheese & soup, cheese & crackers w/ grapes (or other fruit you like), frozen ravioli w/ pasta sauce from a jar (ie., Prego)- I get the frozen ravioli from Wal-Mart, it's one of the kids' favorite lunches. Along those same lines, I buy various pastas and a jar of sauce - sprinkle with parmesan and it makes a fine lunch.

We usually always have fruit as our 3 o'clock snack, so it's not always a necessity for lunch at our house.


Anonymous said...

Oh!! And I should've mentioned...

Anything Mexican!! ~wink~

Everything tastes better with a tortilla wrapped around it! hee-hee...

Your Texan friend.

Caroline said... have got some great responses...I am going to have to steal some. ;-O

ConservaChick said...

My kids love it when I put out a bunch of stuff to choose from, so I set out carrot and celery sticks, apples, peanut butter (to dip the apples and veggies in) cheese, crackers, and sometimes some lunch meat. They just load up the crackers anyway they would like. Top in off with water with lemon or orange slices, and the kids have eaten a healthy lunch. I also make bread in the morning, and the kids eat it with canned soup for lunch (it's VERY easy when you have a bread machine to knead it for you). Another favorite is popcorn and fruit smoothies. We do chicken salad, egg salad, hummus and pitas. The thing is, I always add sliced fruit and veggies as a side. That way I know they are getting some nutrients. We have also done "make you own salad, where I pull out veggies, lettuce, cheese, olives, what ever I've got laying around and they make their own creation, smother it with ranch and viola! Sometimes I'll bake potatos, and bring out toppings like cheese and broccoli, bacon bits, sour cream, etc.

Now before you think I'm super lunch mom... I need to fess up to a regular diet of PB and honey, and seasons of McDonald's consumption that would supersize the best of us! Love ya! ~K

Reformed Grits said...

Gayle thought of a couple things... when I was grow up uberpoor mom would do tortillas with refried beans and cheese all in the nuke. We loved that. My kids, however, won't eat it. ;-)
Also, I got a roll of pizza dough from my good friend the Pillsbury dough boy on sale plus a coupon (doubled at Publix) and then sprinkled cheese all over the thing for cheese stix they can dunk in spagetti sauce (cheap kind bought at CVS so basically free).
And who mentioned the egg sandwich? Another of my all time fav esp with lots of butter on the bread. If I'm feeling industrious and have some bacon to throw in there all the better, and a wee sprinkle of cheese on top. Yum.
As for me, I occasionally will get those freezer Green Giant or Birds' Eye veggie blends that steam in the bag and you nuke them? If they are on good sale you can pair w/ a coupon and get them for way less than $1 and then you have some veggies in for the day! :-) Not that my kids eat this.
Ok, now my nuker is calling me now... my veggies are done and I'm hungry!!!