What mom doesn’t need quick, easy lunch options? As a homeschooling mom of four, I don’t have much time in the morning hours for meal preparation. In fact, school goes right up until lunch time; and after a morning full of learning, we are usually more than ready for some instant gratification in the form of food.
Here are five meal ideas I use when I need to feed my kids (and myself!) in a hurry.
My #1 plan for a quick lunch is always leftovers. It doesn’t get much easier than pulling a dish of already-prepared something out of the fridge and warming it up. Plan ahead by cooking enough supper the night before to ensure a quick lunch for tomorrow (and something to send in hubby’s lunch box, as well).
For those days when leftovers aren’t an option, I often fall back on pasta. Even when I’m busy with schooling, I can always find time to put a jar of sauce on to heat and a pot of water on to boil. Go meatless to save a little extra time, or keep browned hamburger/sausage or cooked chicken pieces in the freezer for a quick add-in. Round out your meal with some fresh or steamed veggies, and you have a two-course, kid-friendly meal that required almost no preparation time!
3. PB&J Sandwiches
My kids are almost never more excited about lunch than when I say, “Who wants a PBJ?!” Serve with fresh veggies and apple slices, and send your kids out for a backyard picnic. If my experience is any indication, they’ll think you are the best mom in the metro.
4. Tuna Salad Sandwiches
Throw some cans of tuna in the fridge at breakfast time, whip up your favorite tuna salad recipe at lunch time, and serve up a fresh, healthy meal in a matter of minutes. Again, this goes great with fresh vegetables or even frozen peas straight out of the bag (a strange favorite of my kids).
5. Beans ‘n’ Weenies
Another fan favorite with my kids is a simple dish of beans and weenies. Mid-morning, throw your choice of baked beans in the Crock Pot, add some sliced hot dogs, and let it heat on high until lunch time. Now, we try not to do much processed meat, but there are some healthier hot dog options out there—such as the Applegate hot dogs available at Trader Joe’s or the Hebrew National hot dogs available at Costco. We’ve also discovered that Kiolbassa Polish Style Smoked Sausages, also currently available at Costco, taste incredible with baked beans.