Hey there, hope your having a wonderful start to your day. I was asked by a reader to post some of the things that we make for lunches and I paused for a moment……..hmmmmm we don’t make anything pinterest worthy or incredible, we stick to the basics.
I was hoping this past week to have these wonderful photos of what we eat for lunch, but when lunch time rolled around, there wasn’t anything exciting to snap:)
I think us as Mothers, think that we need to have these photo-perfect looking meals so that we can show how great that we eat all of the time. But the reality is, we only eat that way once in a while. It is a rarity that we have fresh fruit and vegetables at our home every single day. Yes, at the beginning of our shopping weeks, we have an abundance and the first few days lunches will be “special” but that food gets eaten up and we go back to a simple meal.
For our family, we aren’t out doing hard, heavy work so I don’t prepare an elaborate meal. If we are home, most of the time it is leftovers. I almost always make a large quantity of food for dinner and we eat a lot of it for lunch. What we do when we don’t have leftovers and we are home during the day is to make a large batch of black beans and rice or lentil rice casserole.
These two meals are super easy to make and can sit in the refrigerator and be heated as needed. Some of the children like them on tortillas with lettuce, cheese, salsa, and sour cream/ranch. They are an inexpensive, hearty filler meal.
For the days that it is nice, our goal around here is to get out the door and be to the lake at lunch time. My children are older now and we don’t have to have lunch at 11:30 everyday anymore. We typically have a later breakfast, because they sleep in during the summer and then we pack up our lunches and head to the lake for the afternoon.
What we have been making this past week for lunch is:
Lunchmeat on bread, watermelon, cucumbers, snack crackers–we did that for two days.
Then we ran out of lunch meat so we went with peanut butter and jelly on bread:) , bananas, cucumbers, and some pretzels—then we ran out of bread:)
I am a firm believer in NOT running to the store for every single thing. I don’t want my husband who is working all day long to have to stop and pick up a loaf of bread(even though he would willingly, the point is that it is a waste) If you have some alternative then use that. That is exactly what we did.
The next day we mixed up some canned chicken and miracle whip and made chicken salad on crackers. We took bananas, cucumbers, and pretzels.
Then we had no pretzels or snack type things so we popped some popcorn in the morning and made two huge batches of white cheddar popcorn and caramel corn. I made my caramel corn homemade like we do during the holidays but I made more popcorn so that the pieces weren’t coated as well. This stretched the caramel and it was a perfect mix. We took three ice cream buckets to the lake this day and every single one was empty when we came home. BINGO! I found another low cost, simple snack to take. We also did chicken salad and crackers and some did peanut butter and crackers. We have a lot of canned chicken so this is working. I also took some homemade popsicles and stuck them down in the bottom of the cooler. That was a nice treat.
One child made her own salad each day and took that with some chick peas for her protein.
For myself, I eat a hearty breakfast–granola or oatmeal so my lunches are small. If I don’t have anything ” fun” to take, I almost always grab one of my seed bars from the freezer to eat. Again, I have large batches of this in the freezer, I need to utilize what I have and eat it! If I am still hungry, I snack on the fresh fruit or vegetables that I brought.
We keep it simple. I believe in gathering up your fragments. Our pantry almost always has canned chicken, saltine crackers, peanut butter & jelly, and chick peas. If we were completely out of everything else we could have any of the above for lunch. Myself, I eat the chickpeas. My favorite is pita bread, chick peas, feta cheese, cucumbers, and some sweet chili sauce. I keep my pita in the freezer and pull one out each day. If we were out of all of that and could not get more groceries then I would be making one of the rice recipes and putting them in plastic containers to take to the lake. We have buckets full of dried beans, lentils, and rice.
The popcorn is something we are going to make more regularly this summer. We have 50lbs in buckets and we haven’t really made much this past year, so now it is time to use it up. Aldis sells the popcorn flavorings –we like ranch and white cheddar. The caramel corn is very easy to make and tastes delicious.
That is all you need. Simple, basic foods. Don’t stress out over lunches. Look around in your pantry and see what types of foods you have and what you can make.
I hope this inspires you to gather up your fragments. Have a blessed day!