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Posts Tagged ‘Lunch’

15 Easy School Lunches You Can Prep in an Instant Pot

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Getting our kids out the door in the morning is tough enough. But then you expect us to pack lunch, too? Enter these meal prep lunches, which keep in the fridge for up to three days and actually save a bunch of time—thanks to our favorite appliance, the Instant Pot.

The Cookie Rookie

Instant Pot Potato Salad with Dill Pickles

Pair with baby carrots.

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A Pinch of Healthy

Instant Pot Chicken Breasts

No reheating necessary.

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Foody Schmoody

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs in the Instant Pot

Be sure to pack extra napkins.

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My Crazy Good Life

Instant Pot Mini Frittatas

Presenting, the portable version of scrambled eggs.

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Tornadough

Instant Pot Taco Pasta

Serve it cold and it counts as pasta salad.

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5 Dollar Dinners

Instant Pot Chicken Broccoli Cheddar Rice

Bento box-ready.

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Sweet and Savory Meals

Instant Pot Tomato Soup

This calls for a Thermos.

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Pressure Cooker Recipes

Instant Pot Applesauce

Brilliant.

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The Foodie Eats

Instant Pot Ranch Chicken Salad

Tip: bagels don’t get soggy.

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Meal Plan Addict

Instant Pot DIY Sandwich Meat

No more waiting in line at the deli counter.

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Damn Delicious

Instant Pot Chicken Burrito Bowls

Wrap it up in a tortilla if you see fit.

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Crunchy Creamy Sweet

Instant Pot Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs

Pair with your kid’s favorite dipping sauce.

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Recipes to Nourish

Instant Pot Paleo Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

It’s so easy.

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365 Days of Crockpot

Instant Pot Broccoli Chicken Mac and Cheese

Pretty darn good eaten straight from the fridge, too.

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Picky Eaters

When children start learning to feed themselves, they can become picky about the foods they will try out. Here are a few ways to encourage picky eaters to try new foods.

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  1. Have your children assist with cooking easy dishes; they will be more likely to eat it if they helped create it.
  2. Keep meal and snack times consistent. If your children eat a snack at the same time every day, they will get used to being hungry for dinner around the same time every day.
  3. Cook a variety of foods regularly. This way your children become accustomed to seeing new foods and trying them out will become a routine.
  4. Finally, be a role model. Your children will be more enticed to try new foods if they see you doing it.

Portrsit of a young Asian boy eating yummy burger with oozing facial expression

What are some ways you encourage your little ones to try new foods?

Bento Box Mania!

What is a bento box?

Bento box lunches have been increasing in popularity among families with preschoolers and school-age children. Google the term “bento box lunch” and you will find a wealth of resources, including blogs, Pinterest pages and online retailers selling basic and whimsical options. If a parent is artistic, the child’s lunch can become a work of art.

Why does it work well for school lunches?

Bento boxes work well for school lunches and snacks because they protect food in a sealed container and keep food groups separate. If you have a picky eater who does not like foods touching, a bento box may keep your child happy. Parents can have fun creating different lunchtime masterpieces. Bento boxes are also economical because they are reusable and help keep plastic snack and sandwich bags out of landfills.

What are the nutritional benefits of bento boxes?

Bento boxes are appealing because they provide a creative way to add a variety of foods to a child’s lunch while keeping wet foods separate from dry foods. By introducing different, healthy foods early in your child’s life, he or she may develop a preference for those foods as well as a more diverse palate. You can also turn the preparation of the bento box into a learning activity by asking your child what each food is, where it comes from, how it’s made and so on. Engaging your child in the experience may help to build and reinforce a child’s love of diverse, nutritious foods while fostering a love of learning.

What can I put in my child’s bento box?

The options are endless, but here are some ideas:

  • Sliced hard-boiled eggs;
  • A mini-bagel sandwich with almond butter, jelly or another spread;
  • Sliced strawberries, blueberries and kiwis;
  • Cheese cubes;
  • Pretzels;
  • Sliced grapes;
  • A muffin;
  • Mini-pita sandwiches filled with cheese and pepperoni;
  • Sliced pineapple;
  • Celery and carrot sticks;
  • Cucumber slices;
  • A turkey and cheese sandwich on a Hawaiian roll;
  • Veggie chips;
  • Rice molds;
  • Chickpeas and black beans;
  • Raisins and chocolate chips;
  • Sandwich rounds with ham, cheese and avocado.

Enjoy making bento box lunches!

Black Bean Hummus

Black Bean Hummus RecipeSpice up snack time with this quick, easy and, most importantly, yummy black bean hummus.

Ingredients:

  • 15-oz can of black beans
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of tahini
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin

Drain black beans. In a blender, puree all ingredients, adding water if necessary. Season with salt to taste. Serve with crackers or raw veggies.

*An adult should oversee all recipes and activities. Recipes and activities may not be appropriate for all ages.

Mummy-Dogs, Halloweenies and Witch Eyes

Looking for a spooktacular twist for your child’s Halloween lunch?

  • Wrap precooked hot dogs in thin strips of canned roll dough and bake until golden brown for yummy Mummy-Dogs. For a healthier twist, try turkey or tofu dogs!
  • Slice veggie dogs, put in a mini-pita pocket with colorful matchstick veggies and add sweet and sour or BBQ sauce for a delicious Halloweenies sandwich!
  • Whip up devilishly delicious deviled eggs. Top with a round slice of black olive. Serve two egg halves side-by-side for protein-packed Witch Eyes.

School Lunch Timesavers

  • Involve your children in making lunches. After dinner, gather in the kitchen to prepare sandwiches or leftovers and snacks for the next day’s lunches. If they’ve helped make their lunch, children are more likely to eat and enjoy it.
  • Make a weekday lunch calendar and ask your children to help decide what they will have for lunch each day. This will also make grocery shopping for the week that much easier!
  • Consider using divided lunch containers. With separate sections available for each food group, they’ll help you easily put together healthy, balanced lunches.
  • Prepare a variety of fruits and veggies and place a serving of each in separate containers in the fridge. When packing lunches, have each child choose one item from each group and place in their lunch bag with a sandwich and drink.
  • Prepare large meals like pasta or stew over the weekend and then divide into single-serve portions to pack for lunches throughout the week.

Packing a Healthy Lunch

Ensure your child gets a much-needed boost of energy and nutrition from his midday meals by following these simple tips for packing a healthy lunch.

  • Include whole grains. Many breads, snacks and cereals are made with whole grains, so it’s easier than ever to make them part of your child’s daily diet. If he turns his nose up at brown whole grain bread, there are many white whole grain options available.
  • Supply fruits and veggies. Rinse and prepare cucumber slices, celery sticks, baby carrots, apple wedges, blueberries or strawberries at the beginning of the week and store in single-serve containers in your refrigerator. Let your child choose one veggie and one fruit to add to their lunch each day.
  • Offer calcium-rich options. Send along fat-free or low-fat milk (or a calcium-fortified milk alternative like soy milk), a yogurt cup, yogurt-based dip for fruits and veggies or low-fat cheese. Be sure to include freezer packs to keep these items cold, especially if there won’t be a refrigerator available to store your child’s lunch.
  • Provide protein. Whether in a sandwich (made with whole grain bread, of course!) or just rolled up on its own, lean turkey, roast beef or ham from the deli counter are a healthier alternative to fattier options like bologna.