5 School Lunches You Can Make in 5 Minutes

Believe it or not, it is indeed possible to assemble you kid's lunch in a matter of minutes. Find out how.
By: Foodlets

Photo by: Picasa

Picasa

Some parents meticulously pack their kids’ lunches the night before, ensuring a smooth start the next day. I am not one of them. My husband takes our kids to school every morning at 7:30 a.m. And every morning at 7:15 a.m. I start making lunch. “OK, we’re in the No Request Zone,” I’ll announce to all four small fry who are still eating breakfast, not yet even starting to wonder where their shoes are. But with a few handy strategies for banging out healthy lunches in a hurry, we rarely have a lunch-related disaster. (Getting all the kids out the door and buckled into their car seats, however, is another matter. See: shoes.) That’s thanks to this list of reliably quick lunch ideas:

DIY Cucumber Sandwiches: Think Lunchables with a fresh twist. Chop up a cucumber and put it in the lunchbox. Then set a small pile of turkey, ham and/or cheese next to it, and let the kids put together their own sandwiches at lunchtime.

Photo by: Picasa

Picasa

Peanut Butter & Fresh Fruit Wraps: Skip the jam and use diced peaches, strawberries or raspberries on a whole-wheat fajita for a PB&J update our kids love.

Frozen Meatball Skewers: Frozen meatballs get popped into the microwave for 30 seconds before being threaded onto a skewer (or long toothpick) along with a cherry tomato. (For killer meatballs no one can resist for lunch OR dinner, try Ina Garten’s 5-star recipe.)

Photo by: Picasa

Picasa

Easy Pita Pizzas: Use a mini pita as your crust, then pile on any toppings your little ones like. Our favorite combination is simple: olive oil, cheese, spinach and garlic. Heat your pizza under the broiler for 30 seconds before sending it to school as a room-temperature lunch.

Pickle Roll-Ups: Just fold and wrap your favorite deli meat around a miniature dill pickle. And if you happen to slather on a bit of mustard or cream cheese too? Even better. (And if you want to go truly to the next level, try a batch of Alex Guarnaschelli's homemade pickles.)

Charity Curley Mathews is the founder of Foodlets.com: Real Food for Babies, Toddlers & Kids, a contributor to The Huffington Post, eHow, Babble and more. Follow Foodlets on Facebook and Twitter.

Keep Reading

Next Up

5 Double-Duty Dinners: Turn Leftovers Into School Lunches

Make your dinner do double duty by repurposing the leftovers as fuss-free kids' lunches.

5 Kid-Friendly Alternatives to Cheese, Crackers and Carbs

Learn how one mom introduces fresh vegetables and made-over granola bars to her "CCC" lovers.

5 Kid-Friendly Ways to Reinvent Thanksgiving Leftovers

From make-your-own mini pot pies to cranberry corn muffins, these are our best kid-tested ideas for serving Thanksgiving dinner again in a whole new way.

Confessions of a Mommy Blogger: 5 Dinner Shortcuts Every Parent Needs

One mom dishes on her secrets for getting it all done in the kitchen every night.

End-of-School Study Snacks

Just in time for college finals season, these wholesome, easy bites definitely beat a trip to the vending machine.

12 Lunches You Can Pack in a Thermos

At the first sign of frost, it's time to whip out the thermoses and start filling them with as many hearty, warming lunches as possible.

6 After-School Snacks That Won't Ruin Kids' Appetites

One mom tells what bites she offers her four young kids when they return home from school in the afternoon.