Hot School Lunches for Kids (all you need is a thermos!)

It can be challenging to decide what to give your child for lunch. At my daughter’s school, there’s hardly enough time for her to eat. Plus, it doesn’t help that she’s just a slow eater. She’s in fourth grade now and she’s never bought a school lunch. Most of her lunches are nutritious, hot lunches stored in a food thermos.  If you don’t already have an extra thermos at home you can buy one like the Thermos Funtainer Food Jar for just $15.  (Approved by Good Housekeeping as one of the best containers for school lunches!)

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Here are some of my daughter’s favorites that are quick and easy to make or reheat as a leftover:

• Orzo and spinach (recipe below)
• Ellbows and peas (recipe below)
• SpaghettiOs – get coupon here!
• Homemade chicken noodle soup – or buy a can with this coupon!
• Spaghetti/pasta and meatballs or sausages
• Beef-a-roni (recipe below)
• Chicken and rice

Orzo and spinach
• Cook 1/2 cup of orzo per directions on box.
• Drain cooked orzo.
• Return orzo to pot and place on stove at medium heat.
• Add 1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese. Mix well. Heat until spinach is cooked.

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Elbows and peas
• Cook 1/2 lb of elbow pasta per directions on box. Add peas in the remaining 1 minute.
• Drain elbows and peas.
• Return elbows and peas to pot. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 tablespoon parmesan cheese. Mix well.

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Beef-a-Roni
For a school lunch, this would be reheating the previous night’s leftovers. 
• Cook 1/2 lb elbow pasta per directions on box.
• Place large pot on medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Swirl to coat pot evenly. Add 1 small onion, diced well. Add 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt. Saute onions until soft.
• Add about 1/4 teaspoon of spices – basil, oregano, and 2 small cloves minced garlic. Cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
• Turn heat on high and add 1/2 lb ground beef. Mix well. Brown beef until well cooked.
• Add one 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes. Mix well. Let simmer for about 30 minutes for all flavors to combine. Optional: Add in 1/4 cup of your favorite red wine and mix well.
• Just before serving, stir in cooked pasta and mix well.
Note: You can substitute ground turkey for beef.

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Now, get cooking!  You’ll feel good knowing your child is going to school with a delicious and healthy hot lunch, that didn’t require too much cost or time to create.

– Denise Lau, My Savvy Way contributor, mom of Lexi and Livi

 

 

 

 

 

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