Lunch is one of the most popular meals of the day for both kids and adults. When it comes to preparing school lunch for children, parents are usually the ones who do the cooking or packaging in lunch bags. There are basic recipes that kids can learn to prepare lunch for school and weekends at home.
Cooking can be lots of fun, especially when kids are given recipes they enjoy eating and preparing. Easy preparation, colorful ingredients and setting up their space can motivate kids to explore their culinary talents while enjoying a fun activity with the family. There are several simple lunch recipes where kids can become empowered to begin developing their skills as chef for the day. Here are five school lunches kids can make themselves with ease of preparation.
Culinary Coach and Actress
Lynn Downey Braswell is a chef, actress, writer, producer and teacher based in southern California. She is passionate about people, stories and food. She loves visiting local farmer’s markets and will never say no to a croissant. As an actress, she stars in the stage based production of “Cold Tangerines: The Play” based on Shauna Niequist’s memoir and produced by Little Candle Productions. As a culinary coach, she works with Kitchen Kid, committed to uniting families through empowering kids to explore their skills in culinary arts. Kids are introduced to the simplicity of fresh ingredients and how to prepare delicious, healthy meals. The vision behind Kitchen Kids is led by its founder, Samantha Barnes, with the goal to reach and teach kids through camps, picture recipes and fun ways to create a food shopping list.
Homemade Salad Bar
Kids enjoy learning new things that are fun to learn. Parents can teach their kids to create a custom salad bar right in their family kitchen. First, wash and dry lettuce and place in a bowl. Set out a mixture of toppings like baby tomatoes, shredded carrots, sliced black olives, hard boiled eggs, dried cranberries, apple slices and croutons. The kids can now build their own salad based on their preference of toppings on the lettuce.
Next is the salad dressing. Homemade salad dressing can be made by mixing three parts olive oil to one part balsamic or apple cider vinegar in a jar. Then add a dash of salt, pepper and sugar. Place lid on jar and shake well. Pour over salad and serve. Optional salad dressings additions can include parmesan cheese and fresh herbs. For school lunch, mix and place in a tupperware container with lid.
Parents can purchase store bought rotisserie chicken and have their kids shred the chicken meat with two forks or with their hands. Make sure to remove any bones from the meat. Add your favorite store brand barbecue sauce and eat with crackers or between two pieces of wheat or rye bread.
Man On A Raft
Lynn’s mom gave this specialty dish its name. It is also known as Toad in a Hole or Egg in a Basket. Have the kids butter both sides of one slice of bread with a butter knife or spoon. Make sure the butter is room temperature. Then have them cut a small hole in the center of the bread with a butter knife. Heat a saute pan with butter and place the bread in the middle of the pan. Crack an egg in the center of the bread. Cook until the bread is golden brown. Then, turn over the bread and cook the other side until golden brown. Serve.
Italian Tuna Salad
Place three cans of tuna on the table. Open each cans with can opener. Drain each can. Place tuna in a bowl. Have the kids add diced cucumbers, sweet red peppers, olives, capers or even raisins. Add salad dressing to the mixture. Make little “boats” by spooning tuna on small wedges of romaine lettuce or butter lettuce. Let the kids know they can eat them with their hands like tacos.
Kids enjoy working with craft supplies. Clean a pair of craft scissors for each kid who will be cooking. Have the kids chop up fresh herbs like basil, cilantro or parsley with their pair of scissors. Place the chopped herbs in a bowl. Then have them use the scissors to mince sliced bell peppers and tomato along with sliced turkey. Pour vegetables and turkey into the bowl with the chopped herbs. Add a dash of salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, mix four eggs with a dash of milk. Place cupcake pan on the table and have the kids spray each cupcake tin with a little oil spray. Pour a little of the herbs/vegetables/meat mixture into each cupcake tin until it fills almost half way. Sprinkle salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture on top until it is almost to the top. Sprinkle the top with shredded cheese such as cheddar. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes until the top is golden. Use pot holder to remove pan from the oven. Let it cool and serve.