Sunday, September 27, 2009

Toddler snacks and lunches

For some reason, I find lunch the hardest meal of the day. If Munchkin and I had our way, we would have sushi every day ... but the budget of doom doesn't allow it and my one attempt at making it was an un-mitigated disaster. I love cooking, but I'm rubbish at anything fiddly and sushi is definately fiddly.

From time to time we fall into the trap of having marmite or peanut butter sandwiches every day for a week or so, which quickly gets boring, and means that I am personally starving my 4pm and start eating everything in the cupboard (including peanut butter by the spoonful). So, as a general rule I do try to put a bit of effort in. (as always, my apologies for my dreadful photos but I thought they might give you some ideas!)

While I do often bake little things for snacks and lunches (I must get around to posting some recipes), a lot of the time I want things that are really simple and quick. In the interests of nutrition I very loosely aim for a mix of proteins, carbohydrates, vegetables and fruit. I thought I would share my 'master list' of lunch ideas, many of which double up for snacks.

- hardboiled eggs
- omelette strips
- canned tuna or salmon
- freedom farms shaved ham (hooray, you can now buy this at the supermarket)
- leftover meat especially sausages
- cubes of cooked tofu that has been marinated in a little soy sauce
- chickpeas whole or as hummus
- chunks of edam cheese
- yoghurt (great for dipping fruit)
- feta cheese
- fried haloumi cheese

- pita bread triangles
- small sandwiches with marmite, jam or honey
- baby pinwheels (cut crusts off a slice of bread, butter it, roll it up and slice it)
- pasta - penne or spirals
- couscous (best eaten outside - its really messy!)
- israeli couscous
- breakfast cereal
- bagel slices
- mini crackers
- new potatoes (cold with mayonnaise for mummy!)
- pastry shapes

- avocado chunks
- cucumber slices
- cherry tomatoes
- frozen peas
- broccoli (my daughter loves broccolli so we eat it A LOT)
- grated carrot
- bell peppers (red, yellow and orange are the sweetest)
- grated beetroot, carrot and apple mixed together
- sweetcorn

- apples
- pears
- mandarin segments
- grapes
- banana slices
- persimmon slices
- gorgeous summer stuff like strawberries and blueberries
- tinned peaches, pears or pineapple
- kiwifruit
- dried apricots, sultanas or apples

Leave me a comment and let me know whats on your lunch table at the moment.


Nikki said...

We eat similar really.

Lunches are:

-Rice noodles with a homemade pasta sauce (is loaded with onion, garlic, spinach) served over it.
-Sandwiches using rice thins instead of bread with avocado, boiled eggs, tinned salmon, grated cheese.
-Kedgeree (using quinoa or rice) which has salmon, boiled eggs, white sauce, parsley.
-gluten free pizza with pasta sauce as above and slices of cheese.
-buckwheat pancakes

Snacks can be: yoghurt, fruit, dried fruit, cheese, carrot sticks.

PlanningQueen said...

Super list! I am always keen to see what others are feeding their kids.

Katy said...

Thank you for some new ideas! I find it really hard to keep variety in our diets, keeping it interesting, without spending hours in the kitchen.

Anonymous said...

I like your list - I hadn't thought of the grated carrot/apple/beetroot combo before, thank you! The omlette strips are a great idea too.

We would totally join you in the sushi eating every day, yum! Budget restrictions here too, unfortunately.

We go through phases of eating the same thing for lunch too. At the moment the faves are homemade calzone (great for using left overs and combines all the protein/veges/carbs in one handy parcel), fruit smoothies, and baked beans on toast with fruit on the side.

Making of a Montessori Mum said...

ours is pretty similar to yours. (:

I also make some veggie or tuna patties every now and then, and this week making carrot dip.

I brought some mini cookie cutters and I sometimes use that to make it look a bit fun. I notice she eats her beetroot much more readily when its in a flower shape.

I also use the little compartment/bento idea like you. Its so suited to little ones.

thanks for sharing.

And, similar to you, despite my best intentions some days its just hommus and rice crackers!! I always remember some one saying dont think about what they eat on one day, but look over the whole week. Which I think is a great idea, and makes you realise they do get there requirements over the 7 days.

And we are broccoli fans too! (:

GrowingBump said...

Loving your ideas and don't have a lot to add :) I find that my DDs love anything as long as its in their lunchboxes! We also do wraps cut tiny (so they are a bit like pinwheel sandwiches) with grated cheese and hummus. Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, little salads, baked beans. Soft boiled eggs with a selection of vege sticks to dip into them. Little homemade calzones with leftover mince or casserole in them. I haven't tried at home, but at playcentre we once made rice paper rolls full of veges and the kids loved them.

Heart Felt said...

Thanks again for the great the idea of using the bright coloured cupcake cases ~ makes it fun. x

Jo's Place said...

oh my goodness I think I love you, just kidding. I have fallen into the trap of vegemite or peanut butter sandwiches for lunch everyday, with cucumber chunks, cheese, and some fruit. The little person doesn't seem to mind, but I am so bored.

Your lunches look fantastic and thanks for the lists, I'm going to print it out and keep it on the fridge for ideas.

Jo's Place said...

oh and I forgot to add, the cupcake cases is a fantastic idea. Will have to get some :)

gardenmama said...

beautiful, love this!!
we love to have healthy 'bites' of food for snacks fruits, nuts, berries, cheese ect and have it available in a muffin tin with water nearby for the kids to access throughout the day.

Christie Burnett said...

Thanks for the reminder, I am going to post this list on my fridge as a reminder. My 19 month old also loves tinned champignons and other tinned beans like cannelini beans and kidney beans. I freeze homemade sausage rolls for lunch too. Pineapple, mango and frozen berries are other fruits that we love too.