For the next two weeks, we are focusing on getting back to the basics for kids lunch box recipes and meal plans. Mostly, we are focusing on incorporating the USDA MyPlate guidelines into the meal plans. Talk to your kiddos about these meal plans, and see what recipes they would like to try.
When planning lunch boxes, it is important to think of color, texture, and taste. Start with protein and add items that help complement the main star of lunch. Download the file below for ideas.
Lunch box recipes can be what you send to school, camp, or lunch at home. When planning, it is best to get your children involved in grocery shopping, recipe selection, and preparing meals. Here are some of my kids’ favorite recipes.
Best Hummus Recipe
- 1½ cups cooked chickpeas PEELED, drained and rinsed
- ⅓ cup smooth tahini (I prefer Trader Joe's organic tahini or Soom)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice more to taste
- 1 garlic clove
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 5 tablespoons water or as needed to blend
- paprika red pepper flakes, or parsley, for garnish
- Peel the chickpeas. (This step takes a long time, but it is worth it.)
- In a blender or food processor, place the chickpeas, tahini olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt. Continue to blend until smooth, adding water as needed to blend, and/or to reach your desired consistency.
- Transfer to a serving plate, top with a bit more olive oil and desired garnishes. Serve with toasted pita bread and your favorite veggies, as desired.
- 3 avocados
- 2 cloves of garlic finely minced
- juice of 1 lime about 2 tablespoons
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Combine peeled and pitted avocados, minced garlic and lime juice to a large bowl
- Mash avocado, garlic, and lime well with a fork or food masher until it reaches your desired consistency
- Add ½-¾ teaspoon of salt and mix well. Ad more salt if desired.
Kid-Friendly Pasta Salad
- ½ cup uncooked rotini pasta or 1 cup of other fun pasta shape
- ¼ cup steamed fresh peas or frozen
- 1 carrot peeled and diced
- ½ cucumber peeled and diced
- ½ red bell pepper diced
- ¼ cup steamed corn kernels
- For The Dressing
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Cook pasta according to package instructions.
- In a large bowl, combine pasta with remaining ingredients and serve at room temperature or cold.
Yummy Protein Balls
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats
- 2/3 cup toasted shredded coconut sweetened or unsweetened
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter or swap with sun butter for a nut-free option
- 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips or vegan chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds optional
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
- Cover the bowl and chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours, or until the mixture is chilled.
- Roll into mixture into 1-inch balls.
- Serve. Or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 3 months.