Are your kids asking for those fancy boxed lunches every time you go to the grocery? You are not alone.
A certain popular boxed lunch company has created a line of “cooler” lunches for the bigger kids with bigger appetites. But instead of filling out their chemical-laden fare with fruits and vegetables, or even making the entree slightly larger, they just add more treats!
“More choices for lunch time, with more of the stuff they love.” Indeed. Who wouldn’t love a junky snack, plus dessert, plus sugar water? Blarg.
Save your money, and pack your own healthier MOMables version! You can still include treats, but this way you’re in control of the ingredients and serving sizes! And you can even use up some leftovers in the process!
MOM-Loaded DIY Chicken Soft Tacos Lunch
Dessert treat. (The store-bought version includes two popular sandwich cookies filled with artificial chemicals—there are many healthier brands out there to choose from!)
Reusable water bottle plus water and some 100% real juice—OR MOMables Aguas Frescas.
Serving of fruit and/or vegetables.
Making Chicken Soft Tacos is a way to creatively use up some leftover chicken (or turkey!) from dinner. And while an assemble-yourself lunch is popular with the kids, it’s a hit with the grown-ups as well! Unlike other kiddie fare (like nuggets, pizza, or PBJs,) this lunch can “grow” with you! As always, pack for your audience—older kids and adults need larger servings. And maybe some more “mature” treats. Roasted chickpeas, seasoned nuts, and homemade snack mix all make healthy, yummy, and crunchy alternatives to the kid-friendly cookies and cheese crackers!
Check out lots of fun snack ideas on the MOMables blog!
What your kids WILL be getting with the MOMables version:
Fresh chicken, whole grain tortillas and crackers, fresh fruits and vegetables, healthier treats.
What your kids (hopefully) WON’T be getting: Artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, or sugars; added nitrates; “enriched” products with vitamins added back in after being over-processed out; potentially harmful ingredients banned in other countries; mystery ingredients.
Boxed Lunch Ingredients:
Rotisserie Seasoned Chicken Breast—Cured—Browned With Caramel Color: Chicken Breast, Water, Contains Less Than 2% of Modified Cornstarch, Salt, Sugar, Rotisserie Chicken Flavor (Yeast Extract, Salt, Flavor), Sodium Phosphates, Potassium Chloride, Carrageenan, Sodium Propionate, Sodium Diacetate, Sodium Benzoate, Lemon Juice Solids, Sodium Ascorbate, Sodium Nitrite, Caramel Color.
Tortilla: Wheat Flour (Whole Wheat Flour, Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour [Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid]), Water, Sugar, Vegetable Shortening (Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil), Glycerin, Contains 2% Or Less of: Baking Powder (Sodium Bicarbonate, Corn Starch, Sodium Aluminum Sulfate, Calcium Sulfate, Monocalcium Phosphate), Salt, Monoglycerides, Potassium Sorbate, Calcium Propionate, Fumaric Acid, Dough Conditioner (Sodium Metabisulfite).
Chocolate Sandwich Cookies: Sugar, Unbleached Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Riboflavin [Vitamin B2], Folic Acid), High Oleic Canola And/Or Palm Oil, Cocoa (Processed With Alkali), High Fructose Corn Syrup, Cornstarch, Leavening (Baking Soda And/Or Calcium Phosphate), Salt, Soy Lecithin, Vanillin—An Artificial Flavor, Chocolate.
Baked Snack Crackers: Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Riboflavin [Vitamin B2], Folic Acid), Vegetable Oil (Soybean And Palm Oil With TBHQ For Freshness), Cheese Made With Skim Milk (Skim Milk, Whey Protein, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes, Annatto Extract For Color), Contains Two Percent Or Less of Salt, Paprika, Yeast, Paprika Oleoresin For Color, Soy Lecithin.
Drink Powder: Sugar, Fructose, Citric Acid, Contains Less Than 2% of Natural and Artificial Flavor, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C,) Vitamin E Acetate, Calcium Phosphate (Prevents Caking,) Acesulfame Potassium and Sucralose (Sweeteners,) Artificial Color, Red 40, Blue 1, BHA (Preserves Freshness.)
Make it a MOMables Lunch!
Love lasagna, but tired of the same ol’ thing? Try Lasagna Cupcakes!
Can I tell you a secret? I don’t like lasagna. Shocking, huh?! Isn’t lasagna the one comfort food that everyone seems to like? When you cut it up, it just looks so unappealing to me. But with a husband and daughter who love lasagna, I had to find a way that I could make it and enjoy it too! We love our taco cupcakes, so we continued our “cupcake” love affair for dinner with this recipe.
Use this recipe as a guide. You can easily make adjustments to your own favorite lasagna recipe to turn them into Lasagna Cupcakes.
I sometimes make extra, adding more sauce and vegetables so I can use the meat mixture for an easy lunch or dinner the next day. Bonus: These are just as delicious at room temperature, and they are perfect portions to pack in a school lunch!
Yields about 24 cupcakes