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Help! Calling all recipes for lunch and snacks.

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As I plan for the upcoming school year I am once again faced with trying to solve one of the biggest kinks in our day....food.

As a mother of five I have to be creative and figure out cheap ways to feed my growing family especially my boys who are bottomless pits! When I say that I mean after a big meal they will be asking for what else there is to eat within 30 minutes and they are skin and bones!

So I plan my school schedule and I need to plan 2 snacks, 1 morning, 1 afternoon and a good lunch. If I don't get them in the schedule then I am faced with hungry whining children and end up settling for junk because of my lack of planning which leads to discipline issues which is not fair to them.

Here comes the tricky part. My boys are sensitive to preservatives and sugar so recipes need to be minus these things and I avoid refined foods. We don't have much in our food budget so I need to able to make large quantities for cheap. I have also learned that it can't be just carbohydrates or plain veggies/fruit protien is needed or they are hungry within a few minutes and nothing but carbs spikes their sugar as well. It also needs to be something simple or it won't happen.

With that challenge, I would love ideas/recipes for snacks and lunch. Any suggestions?

Blessings, MY

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WE regularly do some sort of pasta- like the frozen raviolis or tortelinnis with veggie sauce, or spaghetti with meat sauce, and homemade mac and cheese is a huge hit.


We also do bean burritos, tacos, taco salad, and black bean quesadullas regularly.


Soup is another thing I do in the winter.


We have sandwhiches only once a week. Turkey, tuna, etc.


These things are always served with fresh fruits, carrot sticks, or salad.


Hope that helps some.

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Lunch is always an issue for us too, because my kids won't eat cold sandwiches, except for an occasional PBJ.


Here is a recipe that makes a ton and tastes great--Slow Cooker Italian Beef Sandwiches. http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Slow-Cooker-Italian-Beef-for-Sandwiches/Detail.aspx


We also like leftover soup or chili from the night before.


My kids will usually eat cheese quesadillas, which are ridiculously easy if you have a toaster oven: place cheese on tortilla, fold, and toast a couple of times (I think it's worth buying a toaster oven for this alone!). You could add to those with leftover ground beef or chicken or ham or even a can of refried beans.


We occasionally get some beef hot dogs at the health food store that have no preservatives or nitrates/nitrites in them. They are really good. You have to keep them frozen until you use them, but it's not that big of a deal. We have also used Applegate Farms chicken sausage (sweet Italian flavor). They heat up easily in the skillet and taste great--no bad ingredients at all. We usually serve this with pasta, but you could do anything with them.


I usually serve raw veggies on the side for most lunches--baby carrots, cucumbers, red peppers.


That's all I can think of at the moment...HTH.

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You know I've never made large lunches like Spaghetti or tacos since we tend to think of those as dinners, but that sound like a good idea.


I have in the past given my kids 2 choices such as hot dog, or chicken nuggets so it works kind of like PS they tell me their choice in the morning so I'm prepared come lunch time. I always made sure it was 2 similar things as far as prep so it wouldn't be hard for me to do.


One thing we do since my kids hate sandwiches is something I call "Peasant lunch" basically it's a cup of soup, some sort of bread or crackers, cut up cheese cubes or cold cut up grilled chicken or turkey and some sort of fruit. I got the idea from when I worked at a hospital it was the most popular lunch for the employees in the cafeteria. It was a personal "loaf" of fresh baked bread, cheese cubes, apple slices and a cup of soup of your choice. I just expanded on it.

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A smaller lunch or a snack for my dc are "meat and cheese wraps" - really, really simple: a tortilla with a slice or two of meat, and a slice or two of cheese. I fold it and then microwave it for 30 seconds. That's it! If it is lunch we will put some fruit or veggies on the side. Sometimes they make one of these on their own for a snack.


Another snack that the kids do on their own is "Parmesan cheese toast". A piece of bread spread with margarine and then grated parmesan cheese and then toasted in the toaster oven. I don't know if that would be too much carbs for you or if the cheese would provide enough protein to counter-balance it. (We use whole wheat bread, by the way).

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each day a different theme..

IE" Monday is soup day

Tuesday is Pasta Day

Wednesday is Sandwich Day

Thursday is Ehtnic day , Mexican, Chinese stir fry etc


Then soup day could be whatever soup you feel like making, or whatever can you feel like opening.


It makes the choices a bit smaller each day and gives you a routine to work with.


Lunch for us was usually leftovers or a sandwich. If you assign a shelf in your fridge as the leftover shelf, they are easier to find and use up.

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Sometimes I'll make casseroles for lunch since my dc don't really like sandwiches. I will make chicken divan, homemade mac and cheese, or tuna casserole. They also love to have potato cheese soup, even in the summer.

My little ones are more picky. They like cut up fruit and veggies, cheesesticks, and whole wheat crackers.

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This is a breakfast my 2 girls made up...but, could be used as a snack. I'm not sure it meets your criteria...but...here it is.


Slice a banana into 1/4 to 1/2 inch "coins"...put a small amount of natural peanut butter on top...then, a dab of Polaner All Fruit. My girls love this for breakfast, lunch, or a snack.



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bagel bites

grilled cheese







I always try to seve fruit and/or veggies with lunch with something to dip the veggies in(low fat salad dressing).






cheese & crackers

chocolate milk


ice cream sandwich



cheese stick

yogurt(we eat lots of yogurt!)

granola bars



peanut butter on crackers

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My kids like refried beans with cheese and tortilla chips for dipping. Here is an easy and very good recipe for refried beans: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Refried-Beans-Without-the-Refry/Detail.aspx


They also like steamed potatoes (either small ones or big ones cut into chunks) served with salt & butter.


I can't remember if your guys can eat eggs or not, but mine like them in almost every form - boiled, egg salad, omelets, etc...

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