Thursday, July 04, 2013

10 Easy Homeschool Lunches






Being at home all day, it seems to me that the topic of 'food' is never far from ones mind! Back in my own school days, I remember that a mornings work seemed to make me all the more hungry by lunch time.

 A generation later and some things still stay the same ;o). The advantage that my girls have that I didn't, is that their hungry tummy's can be easily satisfied with more than just a sandwich as we have all the necessary 'tools' at hand. This means that my monthly menu planning usually includes lunch ideas as well as supper ideas. Breakfast is generally a 'get-your-own' affair in our home.

Before I share some of our favourite lunches here at Under An English Sky Headquarters, I need to admit that I do sometimes cook twice a day, but these meals are really quick and easy to prepare, and with a bit of planning it does not need to become a chore. I also have found that on the days that my girls do have a cooked lunch, afternoon lessons are generally executed to a much higher standard. It seems that full tummies mean happy {and more even tempered} children!

1. Ploughman's Platter


This has to be the most easy to prepare and is always well received by my girls. Just before lessons begin in the morning, I prep the bread-maker to produce a fresh, hot loaf of bread in time for lunch. All that's left to do {and you can get your older kids to help out here} chop up some raw fruit & veg - carrots, cucumber, tomatoes and apples, lay out the ham and cheese - I often put out some soft cream cheese too, and some onion chutney and pickles. We tend to leave off the boiled eggs as no one is a fan of them in our home. Everyone helps themselves to what they want - according to their individual preference :o). Quick, easy and nutritious. 

2. Chicken Salad Wraps


I always keep a few packets of wraps in the grocery cupboard. While the girls are busy with their lessons I simply throw together a salad and cook up strips of chicken breast. I combine together, add some spicing and salad dressing and then wrap them up.

3. Homemade Soups


I often cook up batches of soup and then freeze them. If I find that the day seems to be getting away from us, I simply have to pull out one of my soups and serve with fresh bread. Some of our favourite soups are Carrot, Coriander and Honey, Butternut and Sweet Potato, Roast Tomato, and Sausage, veg and barley soup. 

Sometimes as a treat I will make some cheesy toasted wraps to eat alongside. You simply take two wraps, pop some onion chutney and cheese onto one side and top with another wrap. Toast in a pan to melt the cheese, and cut into 'pizza' triangles.

4. Savoury Pancakes


This is another variation on the 'wrap lunch, but this one I usually reserve for the times I have leftovers in the refrigerator. A pancake mix is quick and easy to throw together and the ingredients are more often than not at hand. Simply heat up left of bolognese/stir-fry etc. and fill the pancakes. If you only have enough leftovers for one pancake each, why not treat them to a second filled with ice-cream? My girls love this option :o)

5. Chicken, Chips and Salad


This is a super lazy, probably not altogether healthy, but filling lunch option. I always keep crumbed chicken nuggets/ breasts and oven chips in the freezer - the type that takes 15 minutes in the oven. I will serve this with a generous salad or raw veg crudites. My girls LOVE this lunch. It could be one of their favourites.

6.  Burgers and Salad


We have adapted the regular burger in our home to have a slightly healthier twist. When we do this for lunch, I grill the burger Patti and serve it on one half of a bun with a generous salad on the side. It's a great way to still have a burger, but loose half the fat and calories!

7. Baked Potatoes


With a bit of fore-planning, this is another easy-to-put-together and healthy lunch. About an hour before lunch time, I pop potatoes into the oven to bake. I usually do one sweet potato for myself as it is the 'low-fat' option for moms trying to keep their waistlines! Once done I top with creme fraiche and Cheddar cheese, chop up some raw veg to serve on the side and voila!

8. The Simple Filled Sandwich


Sandwich's certainly do not have to be boring! Be creative with the filling - oh, and make your own! The store bought ones are full of preservatives and cost about three times the amount to make it yourself! If I have left over chicken from a roast, I chop it up, add mayonnaise and gherkins, then pop into the fridge for a lunch time meal. You can make fillings at the beginning of the week and store until needed. Use Tuna, egg, chicken, etc to make you own tasty fillers, and don't forget to add herbs and spices for extra flavor.

9. The Humble Hot Dog
Another childhood favorite, the humble hot dog. You can dress it up or down, depending on your children's tastes. Some like it with everything on it, others with just a sausage. You can create a 'Healthy Hot Dog' by adding finely chopped lettuce and fresh tomato to it. For a long time, one of my girls would not eat the sausage, so we simply would fill hers with lettuce, tomato and cheese. 

Make it Healthy: I will often only serve 1 hot dog per child thus cutting down on the carbs, and offer yogurt and fruit salad to follow. This goes down a treat as the children feel like they are getting dessert :o)

10. Cracked Wheat Salad

cracked_wheat_salad
Image taken from The British Larder Website.

OK, now I admit that this sounds just waaaaay to healthy and odd for children to enjoy, but why not give it a go? When I first made it for my girls, I knew that it could possibly be facing outright rejection and would thus have to return to the kitchen to plan B - which would have been plain boring sandwiches :o). I encouraged them to give it a go - just a little taste - and...... they loved it! The great thing with this dish is that you can pretty much add whatever you want to it - the sky is the limit! My first attempt had cucumber, tomato, corn, and spring onion. I drizzled some tasty honey and mustard dressing over the top and that was it! Why not give this recipe a go? It looks scrummy! I love the jewel coloured pomegranate seeds.

I'm always on the lookout for new lunch ideas, so if you have any you would like to share, please leave a link in the comments box.

Have a super day all...

7 comments:

  1. My children would love burgers for lunch! Pitta and humus is a quick favourite here.

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    1. Good idea! We are big humus fans too :o)

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  2. can I be homeschooled at your house for lunch?? delicious ideas for children AND adults :)

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    1. You sure can Karen ;o) - can I come and knit with you in your studio? LOL

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  3. YUM! What great ideas and I love how you've fancied up the regulars :) Thanks for the inspiration!

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  4. These are delicious ideas even for summer suppers. Thanks so much!! I found you (again) over at A Wise Woman Builds Her House. Nice to see you again!!

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  5. Fantastic post. I feel inspired.

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