Lunch inspiration for kids (and adults)

Lukas takes a packed lunch to kindergarten every day and it’s hard to keep coming up with new and interesting things to put in his box. But here is a list of the things I like to give him.

Most of the things are made in batches so I have it in the freezer and can take it out on the morning or the night before.

Sandwiches: 

Any kind of sandwiches made in homemade buns. I try to make the interesting with lettuce, vegetables and pickles.

Pasta salad with ham or tuna (or couscous salad or rice salad)

Boil some pasta, couscous or rice,  mix with peas, chopped cucumber, chopped tomatoes, sweetcorn, feta cheese and ham or tuna fish. I buy little zippy bags and in one of these I put some yogurt dressing so that the pasta doesn’t become soggy during the morning.

Pizza swirls with bacon or ham:

Make a tomato sauce out of 1 tin of chopped tomatoes, some garlic, some finely chopped onion and a packet of streaky bacon or ham, sliced finely. Season with oregano, salt, pepper and a little bit of sugar. Now make a normal, white dough or buy a ready made pizza dough. Roll it out to that it’s the size of a large, thin, square pizza. Spread the tomato sauce all over the base, add grated cheese. After this, you roll the dough to a long “sausage” and make slices so that you get pizza swirls. Bake the swirls in a 200 degree warm oven for approx 20 mins.

For a more healthy pizza, substitute some of the flour with wholegrain flour instead and leave the cheese out.

Mini pizzas:

Make the recipe as above, but instead of making swirls, you make mini pizzas and put any topping on they like – pepperoni, bits of sausages, ham, sweetcorn, vegetables, baked beans – the sky (and your child’s taste buds) is the limit!

Sausage rolls:

normal bread dough wrapped around small (or 1/2) hotdog sausages. These are not like the English sausage rolls which are made with puff pastry.

Pork meat balls:

1 lb minced pork, mix with 1 egg, a handful of breadcrumbs, a finely chopped onion, salt and pepper and a splash of milk. Mix and leave to stand for 1/2 hour. Shape into balls the size of a generously sized golf ball or into sausage shaped patties and fry on a pan for 10-12 minutes til cooked through. Lukas also likes them with a few dried herbs (thyme and oregano), a bit of garlic and some feta cheese crumbled into them. Can be made with mince beef, but they tend to get a little bit dry when they get cold. Can be used as they are or to put into a sandwich, wrap or pita bread.

Fruit and nuts:

Small bags of almonds, hazelnuts and dried fruit or fresh fruit chopped into bite sized chunks, or a fig bar.

Pita breads with filling:

Pita bread with lettuce, dressing and meatballs or other meat filling.

Wraps with filling:

Tortilla wraps with lettuce, sweetcorn, red pepper, mild salsa, minced, fried beef with ground cumin or bits of fried chicken.

Skewers

Marinate bits chicken or pork or other kinds of meat in either barbecue, soy sauce or just season it with salt, pepper and paprika (or whatever you like to do to your meat). Put them onto wooden skewers and fry them on a pan. Remember to soak the skewers for 1/2 hour first and to snap the pointy end off before putting it into the lunchbox. Lukas loves gnawing off the skewers.

Vegetables: 

Carrots, small tomatoes, chunks of cucumber and/or slices of red pepper

Other things:

A small block of cheese, any manageable leftovers, whole pickled gurkins

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