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Using Leftovers for School Lunch

Running out of ideas for your kids’ school lunches? Nobody wants to eat the same lunch day after day. That’s why LEFTOVERS are a perfect idea for lunch. Always cook extra so you know there will be enough to send for lunch the next day. There are many dinner foods that can be made into a nice lunch and it will be super convenient for you so you won’t have to prepare something new in the morning! Finding the time to plan and pack the perfect lunch can be a challenge for most families. School lunches should be healthy, enticing for children, hold up well, and simple to prepare.

Foods that can be eaten at room temperature are especially good leftovers to use for the next day’s lunch. Meats like turkey breast and grilled chicken are a great source of protein and with some whole wheat bread can be made into a nice sandwich. You can also pack your child a bag of their favorite veggies. When it’s time to eat, they can throw the meat in with the vegetables and they will have a nice healthy salad for lunch. You can also try mixing leftover meats with steamed rice, assorted veggies and teriyaki sauce and then put it into a pita.

Don’t underestimate the usefulness of a good thermos. Simply heat the food up in the morning and put it in a thermos; it will still be warm at lunchtime. One option is putting soup in the thermos for your child to eat at lunch. You can send along whole-wheat crackers and low-fat shredded cheese to sprinkle on top of the soup. Pasta also will stay warm if kept in the thermos. If you pack some extra ingredients, your child can make their own pasta salad just the way she likes it. Another idea that kids enjoy are tacos for lunch. Taco meat heated up in the morning will be at a nice temperature when lunch comes around. You can pack a soft tortilla shell and little baggies with low-fat shredded cheese, lettuce, and anything else that you think your child will like on his taco. Not only will the taco taste great, but your child will have fun getting to put it together himself.

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You don’t need to get fancy with lunch. Chances are your child prefers simple food. Let your child be in on the menu planning. If your children help plan their own lunches with their favorites, they will be more likely to eat them. If your child helps cook his favorite dinner at night he/she is highly likely to enjoy it for lunch the next day. Leftovers are a great way to get protein, the most important component of the midday meal, into your child’s lunch. Packing lunch can be a pain, so definitely try to incorporate leftovers from dinner. Chances are your kids won’t mind and it will make your life a lot easier!

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Cascia Talbert

Cascia Talbert is a devout Catholic, mother of five children, health and fitness enthusiast and positive parenting supporter. She is also the founder of the award winning online health, fitness, parenting and Christian faith magazine for moms, the Healthy Moms Magazine. She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, five children and one spoiled cat. Her hobbies include gardening, country music, running, and playing her flute. Check out her first book, "Taking Care of your Family's Health and Well-being, Saints to Turn to and the Catholic Faith," available anywhere books are sold.


1 Comment

  1. Josie November 21, 2010

    I love leftovers for lunch! My 4 yr. old however is an odd one, she has eaten the same lunch everyday for the past 2 years. Honestly. She's not a picky eater any other time but at lunch it has to be a sandwich on whole wheat. She changes it up between turkey,ham,tuna or Almond butter and jelly sandwich-she doesn't have a peanut allergy she just loves almond butter. I love that gets a good source of protein everyday but I would get bored! She is so picky with her sandwiches that I have to make them, my mom has tried making her lunch and “it doesn't taste the same” lol I'm hoping when she hits kindergarden she will let me add a variety to her lunchbox : )