Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I feel like lunch repeats itself around here, and I'd like to add a little variety. I need some good, easy toddler-friendly lunches. Any suggestions? Here are "the rules":

1) We avoid lunchables and Gerber toddler meals...it's just pricy junk food!
(not that I always do much better with making my own lunches for him...)

2) No peanut butter or peanut products, although my friend Trish suggested sunbutter as an alternative

3) preferably has some sort of dairy/calcium content since Alex doesn't care for drinking milk, so I aim to get calcium in his food

4) I'm disgusted by the smell of tuna, and I won't feed it to my kid(s)...because then I have to smell it as I prepare it, lol!

Here's what he currently has every day:

1 - always yogurt (half his daily calcium need)

2 - always fruit (canned peaches or pears in fruit juice, applesauce, sliced grapes or strawberries, blueberries, melon chunks - whatever is available)

3 - one of the following:

  • tomato soup & grilled cheese (he LOVES this!!)
  • jelly & cream cheese tortilla roll-up
  • deli ham & cream cheese tortilla roll-up
  • jelly on bread (our biggest "hurry-up" lunch)
  • macaroni & cheese
  • dinner leftovers
  • rarely: chicken nuggets or beef hot dogs in small chunks with BBQ sauce
  • rarely: spaghettios/mini ravioli

Since a few of you are nutrition-oriented, you might like to know:

jelly is all-natural, fruit-juice sweetened, no sugar or corn syrup
bread is Aunt Millie's whole grain wheat bread (or sometimes homemade)
applesauce is all-natural, unsweetened - just apples & water
mac & cheese/spaghettios are usually Annie's if I can catch it on sale
if you know of a GOOD, creamy tomato soup that contains no corn syrup, let me know!

Yes, we eat junk, but Keith & I aim to keep most of it out of the kiddo! ;)

So, any suggestions? Please?! :)


Allison said...

It's so hard to come up with things, isn't it? Never thought to do cream cheese and jelly on a tortilla. I'll have to try that sometime. Thanks for giving me another lunch idea. :-D

How about a bean and cheese burrito? Ebee loves those, and she has been eating them since Alex's age. It makes a mess, but she gobbles them down. I've found that refried beans are often made with lard (gross, eh?). If you can find vegetarian, it isn't made with lard. Cheese enchilada (aka: cheese crisp, cut into triangles)-- he could dip them in mild salsa, if he likes it. Homemade pizza -- made on a whole wheat pita. You can hide pureed spinach in it. I have a recipe. Homemade chicken noodle soup -- I have a recipe too, if you'd like one. I make a huge pot and freeze in smaller containers. It's an easy quick heat up meal. Chili -- I make mine with turkey, no onions and extra beans. Pasta -- I've found Kamut has a good amount of protein in it. I rarely buy the regular, starchy kind. Black beans (you can smash them up a little, so that he won't just swallow them) & brown rice.

I'm sure there are tons more, but that's what comes to mind at the moment.

Susie said...

I used go to the deli and ask for lunch meat and cheese sliced a little thicker that way I could just cut it into pieces and then the kids could use their pinchers and grab them up. Scrambled eggs with cheese was another? Cheese quesadilla? Corn bread? There is a cheese soup recipe I make the kids loved at that age...uses california blend frozen vegetables and potatoes, water, chicken bullion, cream of chicken soup, and velveeta...which all that may be too much processed/salt food..but you could probably substitute with your brand of those foods you use. My kids LOVE tomato soup still their all time favorite. Good luck!

Dawn said...

Allison, Thanks for the ideas!

Alex had a cheese quesadilla for the first time the other night and he enjoyed it. He dipped it in sour cream. (How's that for healthy? LOL! At least he's skinny, so the fat won't hurt him!)

What is Kamut? I've never heard of it.

And how on earth do you cook brown rice without it getting crunchy? I'm a brown rice flunkie!

We made our first-ever trip to Trader Joe's yesterday, and I sooooo wish we had one nearby! The prices are pretty reasonable, and I found lots of things that Alex would enjoy for lunch.

Dawn said...

I'd never thought to do scrambled eggs for lunch. My impatient kid won't wait for me to do that at breakfast most days, but it would be easy to do that for lunch while he played!

I love the idea for thicker meats & cheeses, too. Like most little ones, Alex loves finger food! It would be easier than tearing deli ham into bits.

Any soup that cheesy can't be bad for you, right? LOL! I'd love your recipe!


Allison said...

You are probably rushing your brown rice. Basically, you bring it to a boil, then you reduce it to low for 25-45 minutes (depending on the brand). Make sure it's covered. Then, turn off the heat, and let it sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Kamut is a pasta that has a much higher amount of protein than regular pasta -- 10 grams for Kamut. It also has higher fiber. Not much more, but I'll take it. Check out this link: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-kamut-grain.htm.