It can be hard to know exactly what has the most nutritional value for your growing child. Fortunately, you can pack lunches that will go a long way toward providing your child with proper nutrition. Here are the five best school lunches for your kids.
Veggie Mac and Cheese Soup
- 1 (6-ounce) box macaroni and cheese
- 1 (32-ounce) package reduced-sodium chicken broth/stock
- 1 (16-ounce) bag frozen broccoli, cauliflower, and carrot blend
- ¼ cup whole milk or half-and-half
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Cook macaroni and cheese according to box directions. In a saucepan, bring the broth/stock to a boil. Add vegetables and cook until tender. Reduce to medium heat. Add cooked macaroni and cheese to the veggies and broth and add milk and cheese. Stir until cheese is melted.
- 1 (15-ounce) can refried beans or 1 (12.5-ounce) can of cooked chicken breast
- 1 small can of mild green chiles
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
- Juice of ½ lime
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon onion powder or ½ finely diced onion
- ½ teaspoon garlic salt or 1 finely minced clove of garlic
- 1 package of small flour tortillas
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine refried beans, cheese, lime juice, cumin, onion powder, and garlic salt in a large mixing bowl. Spoon 2-4 tablespoons of the mixture into a tortilla. Wrap tortilla tightly, then set taquito on a cookie sheet or large baking dish which has been generously sprayed with cooking spray.
After all taquitos are wrapped, spray a heavy layer of cooking spray over each tortilla. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the edges of the tortillas are crisp and browned. Serve with sour cream, tomatoes, chopped cilantro, and salsa.
Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese
- 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, plus ½ cup (1 stick)
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 (28-ounce) cans crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 16 slices Pullman loaf
- 16 ounces cheddar, grated
Heat 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened and lightly browned around the edges. Add the tomato paste and cook until tomato paste for about two minutes. Add canned tomatoes, vegetable broth, thyme, bay leaf, and sugar and bring the mixture to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper and cook until flavors are melded. Remove it from heat and stir in the cream. While cooking, prepare the grilled cheese sandwich.
- 1 (15-ounce) tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons milk of choice
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¾ teaspoon to 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 to 3 teaspoons butter-type spread
- 3 to 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 cup uncooked pasta
Stir together all ingredients except the pasta in a small pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook on low until the butter spread melts completely. Boil water in a separate pot, throw in the pasta and cook until desired texture is reached.
Lunch Box Taco Chicken Soup
- 2 slices bacon, diced
- 1 cup mushroom, sliced
- ? cup onion, diced
- ½ cup red pepper, diced
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups cooked chicken, diced
- 1 (12-ounce) can kernel corn
- 2 cups taco sauce or 2 cups salsa
- ½ to 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
Cook bacon until crisp. Add vegetables and cook until onion softens. Add remaining ingredients and boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Cool completely and then freeze in single serve containers. Defrost overnight, then warm in microwave until heated through. Pour into Thermos and pack in lunch.