Packing your little kids with homemade lunches is not only a great way to ensure they're getting the nutrition they need but also an opportunity to introduce them to a variety of flavors and textures. We’ll explore some creative and healthy homemade lunch ideas that are sure to make your child's midday meal satisfying. When it comes to making lunch for little kids, it's essential to strike a balance between taste, nutrition, and convenience. As a busy parent, while it's easy to fall into a rut of packing the same items day after day, with some pre-planning and ideas, creating tasty and nutritious lunchbox options can make mealtime a joy for both you and your child.
Free yummy homemade lunch recipe for your kid’s lunchbox or meal
This is an easy 'potatoes roll/pancake with minced meat & veg' recipe I prepared for my son returning to school that I packed for his lunchbox, it was a hit with him (he can be quite fussy about what goes in it)
Steps on how to make ‘Potato rolls filled with minced meat and veg’:
- Put 1 kg potatoes in boiling water with salt (sometimes, I have pre-mashed potatoes in the freezer to heat up which saves time)
- While the potato’s cooking chop up garlic and/or onions
- Sauté them with a dash of olive oil in a pan then add 300g of minced beef
- Add finely chopped spring onions/grated carrots (optional to add other veg)
- Add salt, pepper, paprika to taste and stir-fry to blend all the flavours
- Place the minced meat in a bowl and set aside
- Once potatoes are cooked, mash it up
- Add 1 egg, salt and pepper to taste, 2-3 tablespoons of plain flour - add as per needed depending on the texture of your mash, then stir to combine
- Spread some plain flour in your hands to shape the mash potatoes, take a portion and flatten
- Fill with ground beef and close it with the potatoes wrap, close it and repeat
- Add a little butter to melt in a pan (as desired depending on how healthy you want it to be)
- Add the potatoes rolls/pancakes one by one, fry on each side
Then Enjoy!! These rolls are great for family meals or lunchboxes, if you have a lot leftover, you can freeze them ahead for the next lunchbox meal.
List of other delicious and nutritious homemade lunch ideas:
Pasta Salad - Kids often love pasta, so why not turn it into a nutritious salad? You can cook whole wheat pasta and toss it with cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, diced bell peppers, and some shredded cheese. Add a simple vinaigrette or a dollop of pesto for flavor – great for the warmer months. This lunch idea is colorful, fun, and packed with veggies.
Mini Meatballs with Dipping Sauce - These are usually a hit with little kids as they' are easy to make in advance. Mix ground meat (beef, turkey, or chicken) with breadcrumbs, eggs, and seasonings, then form them into small meatballs. Bake or sauté until cooked through. Serve with a dipping sauce like marinara, barbecue, or honey mustard
Homemade Pizza Pockets - Another homemade lunch idea is mini pizza pockets using whole wheat dough and filling them with tomato sauce, shredded cheese, and toppings like diced capsicum, mushrooms, or olives. Seal the pockets, bake until golden brown, and let them cool before packing them for lunch.
Fruit and Cheese Bento Box - Create a mini bento-style lunchbox filled with bite-sized pieces of fruit and cheese. Include a mix of favorites such as apple slices, grapes, cheese cubes, and maybe even some whole-grain crackers for added crunch. The small compartments in the box make lunch feel like a special treat.
- Mini Pancake Stacks - Prepare mini pancakes using whole grain or oat flour, and stack them with layers of yogurt and berries. Drizzle a touch of honey for added sweetness. This lunchbox idea combines breakfast and lunch, making it a delightful and balanced meal with fruits.
Top tips to make lunches/meals for little kids a little easier and more exciting:
- If you have fussy eaters – add some Mavella Superfoods so they can get the nutrition they need – you can check out the Crispy homemade Popcorn Chicken Recipe
- You can get a little bit creative by add these lunchbox notes they will love to find, or if you can create some food art or presentation – make edible animals, smiley faces, with fruits, vegetables and other ingredients.
- You can get kids excited by getting them involved with meal planning and preparation. They can choose ingredients, mix, and assemble their lunches with your guidance. This gives them a sense of ownership over their meals.
These homemade lunch ideas for little kids can make mealtimes both nutritious and exciting. By incorporating a variety of healthy ingredients and flavors, you can ensure that your child enjoys their midday meal while getting the essential nutrients they need to grow, develop, and thrive. You can tailor meals to your child's preferences and dietary needs. Get creative and start making lunches that will put a smile on your little one's face!