If you’ve been wondering how to add variety to your child’s lunch, we’ve got you covered.
Over the past year, I am thankful to have not only learned new delicious recipes but also the basic fundamentals of packing healthy school lunches from MOMables!
No matter what you put on your grilled sandwich or what kind of soup you want to pack, the same principles apply. MOMables teaches us how to keep sandwiches from getting soggy and soups still warm at lunch hour!
Here I’ve packed my Little Miss a grilled cheese sandwich on gluten-free whole-grain bread. MOMables has taught me that when you pack a grilled sandwich, let it cool completely before packing inside your lunch container. This will keep it from getting soggy inside the lunch box!
In the thermos is creamy homemade tomato soup. In the other container, I grilled a cheese sandwich and packed it inside a stainless steel container. My daughter loves dipping her grilled cheese sandwich into her soup. I love it too!
MOMables taught me that while you’re warming your soup, fill your thermos with boiling water. I let mine sit with the lid tight for just a few minutes. This will heat the core of your thermos to help keep the yummy foods you pack inside warmer for a longer period.
After those few minutes, I dump the water and pack the soup inside. Now my kiddo has a delicious schoollunch that I know will fill her tummy, so she can have a productive day!
Finally, delicious gluten-free, allergy-friendly fish sticks that kids will love! Chicken nuggets and fish sticks are two iconic kid food items sold at every grocery store, listed in most kid’s menus, and found in nearly every home.
Finger foods are loved by kids because they can be dipped and eaten with their hands. Parents love them because they are easy to fix for dinner and for the lunch box!
Since my daughter began eating gluten-free, I’ve been on a mission to remake all her favorite foods healthier and allergy-friendly.
Most store-bought frozen fish sticks are a mixture of processed seafood. Full of carbs, fillers, unidentifiable ingredients, and sodium, they aren’t the healthiest or nutritious.
In my homemade version, I know exactly the ingredients my child is eating.
This recipe is free from gluten, nuts, dairy, and eggs. We made ours using vegan Parmesan topping and coconut milk, but you may substitute per your preferences and needs. I’ve also up’d the nutrition and omega-3s by adding ground flax to the breading.
MOM Tip: Make your own gluten-free bread crumbs by repurposing bread crusts and scraps from lunches. It’s not only waste-free, but will save you from spending the extra money to buy specialty items. Simply store the scraps and crusts in a freezer bag, and process them as needed for bread crumbs.
1 pound cod fillets, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.
Pour the flour onto a plate, and set aside. Pour the coconut milk into a shallow dish, and set aside. In another dish, mix together the flax, bread crumbs, Parmesan, paprika, salt, and pepper.
Dip the fish into the flour, making sure that both sides are thinly and evenly coated. Then dip the fish into the milk, and wet both sides. Finally, move the fish onto the crumb mixture. Using your hands, coat both sides with the crumb mixture, pressing lightly to adhere.
At this point, you can either freeze or bake the fish.
If you’re baking, preheat the oven to 400F. Arrange the fish sticks on the baking sheet.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown, flipping once halfway through.
Round 1: Contents
The boxed lunch comes with tortilla chips, salsa, and “cheese” dip. I put cheese in quotations because cheese is not even one of the first 3 ingredients listed. It also includes a sugary fruit-flavored drink and a candy (which was prominently advertised on the front of the box, but thankfully, actually quite small – you can just see it peeking out from the chips).
My MOMables nacho lunch, packed in a Laptop Lunches bento lunch box, contains Newman’s Own salsa, all-natural, gluten-free, non-GMO Better Chip tortilla chips, low fat natural refried beans (no lard), real & homemade sharp cheddar cheese dip, and fresh juicy strawberries. Winner: the MOMables lunch made with real food.
Round 2 : Nutrition
The boxed nacho lunch lacks protein, fiber and fruit. The first 3 ingredient of the “cheese” are water, oil, & starch. The salsa, made from tomato paste and seasonings, does count as a vegetable serving, but it has a lot of additives such as high fructose corn syrup and preservatives. The artificially flavored and colored drink contains less than 2% fruit juice – let’s call it sugar+water+color+2% juice.
The MOMables lunch includes a whole fruit portion, and beans for fiber and protein. The cheese dip is made from real cheddar cheese. The all-natural salsa in the MOMables lunch is full of vegetables. Winner: the MOMables™ lunch.
Round 3 : Appeal The only appeal the boxed lunch had was the colorful box. It also lost points for being difficult to open. The plastic seal was difficult for even me to peel off without sending the contents flying, I doubt a child could have managed it.
My kidlet didn’t want to try the packaged nachos – well, except for the candy – but she ate the MOMables nacho lunch. She loved the sharp cheddar cheese dip, and I loved that I knew it was made with real cheese. When you make it yourself, you know exactly what’s in it! Winner: The MOMables lunch!
With MOMables lunch menus, putting together a healthy lunch is easy, and you get to choose your own ingredients.
Fresh vs Packaged – Which nacho chip lunch would you rather your child dip into?
We baked up a batch of chocolate chip mini zucchini muffins. They were perfect for a treat in the lunches for the school!
A small amount of time baking = easy, healthy treats for desserts, whether for just your family for the week or to share! Not to mention the bonding time in the kitchen, as well as it being educational teaching fractions and how to read recipes.
We also made MOMables-style Pinwheels for the lunches. A flour tortilla, cream cheese, oven roasted deli turkey, and roll! Little Miss and I prepared these the night before because they are simple to make.
Tip #1: Set up an assembly line for each step. Instead of making each individual pinwheel, make all of them at the same time.
By spreading all the lunch boxes out on our dining table, we were able to quickly fill the EasyLunchBoxes containers with Veggie Straws, fruits, and carrots with dip.
Tip #2: Sandwiches, wraps, pinwheels, and many other items are easier to slice cleanly after chilling for at least an hour—or until the next morning.
Thanks to my MOMables subscription, making lunches every day for my daughter takes minutes! If I can do it for 28 people, anyone can do it for their family! Having a plan, a shopping list, and a make-ahead tips section saves a lot of time!
Tip #3: Make lunches ahead of time. Most menu items give tips on keeping the items fresh and reheating suggestions. If you’re able to prepare your menu items, say Sunday afternoon, it can save you time and energy during your busy workweek!
Tip #4: Incorporate leftovers. Another reason MOMables saves me time and money is because they tell me in the menu if I will need chicken, rice, or pasta for a menu item. I can easily cook it at the same time I’m making dinner for my family!
Healthy lunches for 1 or 28, it all comes down to planning! Let MOMables help you get the most out of your time and energy so your family can have the lunches they deserve.
Tip #5: Plan year-round. Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean your kids aren’t eating lunch! Even with hectic summer schedules, fresh is still best. Between June 25th and August 10th, MOMables will share three fresh dinner ideas and two lunch options your family will love.
Planning during the summer helps avoid costly convenience foods and unhealthy drive-thru meals. As always, your weekly download will be filled with prep-ahead tips, five meals and a convenient shopping list.