Quick Lunches

Updated on February 28, 2007
E.H. asks from O Fallon, MO
10 answers

My son goes to a babysitter 5 days a week and I and out of ideas of what to pack him for breakfast and lunch. He usually gets a packet of oatmeal and a fruit cereal bar that the babysitter makes for breakfast and then something easy like easy mac, a jelly and applesauce, yogurt, or cheese in one of those divider things. My son really loves the small cans of ravioli or speghettios. I know that none of this sounds nutritious but he is so picky and I don't want to leave the babysitter trying to wrestle with him to eat his food. For dinner I never make a meal because it is just the two of us and so he will usually get the same stuff. I am out of things to make that are quick and easy but healthy too. He eats all wheat bread and pasta and lots of fruit but he refuses any veggies and usually wont sit still for more than two seconds to eat anything. He isn't underweight and I have been giving him a multivitamin for about six months now to make up for any vitamins he might be missing but I still feel like I am not feeding him!

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answers from Columbia on

One thing I've found that my daughter loves is rice. I cook rice in chicken broth and add some sliced carrots, celery, mushrooms, onion flakes (for flavor), and chicken. You can use cut up sauteed chicken, or I've even used the white meat canned chicken. The nice thing is that it's healthy and the veggies get soft enough that kids won't even notice them. It all kind of ends up tasting like chicken broth. I've actually made this in large quantities and froze the extra to just thaw and serve later when I'm not feeling like cooking or I'm short on time.

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answers from Kansas City on

Here are a few recipes you could try. I found them while looking for ideas for my own kids. I haven't tried them yet, but I plan to soon.

Cheesy Alphabet Pasta
1 box of alphabet pasta, cooked and drained
1 bag of shredded cheddar cheese
1 bag of frozen peas and carrots, thawed
1 small package of chicken tenders, , and cut into chunks

Mix it all together while pasta is hot, then put into portion-sized containers to freeze.

Beef broccoli and cheese croissant:
package Pillsbury croissants
Shredded cheese
broccoli cut into small pieces
Roll out the croissants side by side (squishing the dough together) in a baking dish. In the center add the fully cooked seasoned meat (salt & pepper if you like), shredded cheese and broccoli. Fold the side into the center connecting them. You can be messy with it as long as most of it is attached at the top. Bake until golden brown at about 375. I think it takes like 1/2 hour. Cut and serve.

Tortilla roll ups:
Cream Cheese/love the veggie kind
Deli Meat
Spread cream cheese evenly on the tortilla then layer. Roll it up and cut into pieces... for the little kids I just cut everything into little pieces and let them pick at it.

My daughter is a picky eater, but soup is one thing she likes. I buy her the Campbells Dora and Alphabet soups, and she likes soup that I make at home too. You might also try some of the Gerber Graduates meals. They're made for kids, so they might be a little lower sodium than the regular spaghetti-O's and things like that. Good luck! I know how frustrating it is to have a picky eater.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

I think you are doing great by giving him a multi-vitamin. As long as his weight is okay I don't think you should have much to worry about. I think you should go ahead and make a normal dinner and put a little on his plate. If he refuses make him something easy but always keep offering what you are eating with each meal. Good Luck!



answers from Kansas City on

Just a trick I did to get my son and the girl I was babysitting at the time to eat food they didn't normally like. I put it in grilled cheese sandwhiches. Yellow squash is very easy to hide between 2 pieces of cheese. Also, try shredding carrot up and mixing it with the ravioli. Hiding some healthy food is a good way to know he is getting the vitamin benefits. I also agree with the other mothers that you just have to keep offering him foods and one day he will try it and find he likes it. PS: No one's a supermom! You sound like you are doing a great job!



answers from St. Louis on

Hi E.,
I know alot about having a child who is underweight. My son he is tall and thin. But the only thing you can do it to keep offering him the vegs. and one day he will take them. I know b/c now at almost 4 he will eat green beans and corn.
And as for meals I give both my kids a little of what i will fix me and my husband and then something I know they like. so if you are eating any thing let him have a bite or 2 and see how he reacts to it. if he ends up not liking it try again in a few monthes. then there is a chance they may try it and like it..
our daughter (22 monthes) just found out she like chicken wings...Your son will come around and before you know it he will be eating you out of house and home.

good luck and god bless



answers from Kansas City on

What about buying lunch meat and slice cheese and making a lunchable (much cheaper this way then buying the individual package). Another easy idea with the pasts things w/ the messy sauce...cook it in the sauce then pour it into a drainer and drain off the excess sauce...this gets off all that extra messy sauce and then they can eat it with out a lot of excess mess. Sorry I'm not much help both my babies are in school.



answers from Peoria on

I'm also a single parent and I've got two sons who are also picky eaters. Here are 3 things I can always get them to eat.

1) Either p.b.&j. or bologna. At first, the only way I could get them to even TRY this was to buy cookie cutters that they chose. Then they were with me when I cut the sandwich with the cookie cutter. They ended up eating the whole thing. They ate the cut out shape because it was fun...but then also ate the crust part because it also had the shape. They also like those little single fruit containers (but they liked to pick out what kind they wanted). And for a "chip" I gave them something like Cheese Nips.

2) This is quick and easy and you might like it too. I would boil a chix breast and then cut it up in bite size pieces after it's cooked (back in the water it was cooked in). I'd then throw in a few chix flavored bouillion cubes for flavor and throw in a bag of beef tortellini noodles until the noodles were cooked and the bouillion cubes were dissolved. I've also thrown in a can of drained carrots for veggies. My boys LOVE this. They will eat it for days if I'd let them. It's even better on the 2nd and 3rd day because the flavor really gets into the noodles.

3) The last one they will ALWAYS eat is the meals called Skillet Sensations. It has to be the chix and noodles with the red and yellow peppers and I have to pull out the veggies but they LOVE the noodles and chix and all you have to do is cook it on the oven for about 10 minutes and you have a full meal.

Other things they eat tons of are Rice-A-Roni, hot dogs cut up, etc. These are all things that you can stick in one of those divider containers and can be ready for just a quick pop in the microwave. They also love (and this sounds dumb) but they LOVE Ramen noodles! The best part is they're cheap...about 10 cents a package!

For breakfast my kids always like to eat baggies of cereal that they get to pick out.

If you want any more suggestions I can ask them what their favorite meals are...since they are so picky.

Good luck!




answers from Topeka on

I was a picky eater when I was little and I wouldn't eat much of variety of foods either. I turned out just fine. As llong as your son is growing normally and not sick I htink you're doing fine. I don't really have any answers for what kind of foods to feed him. Maybe do a search online for finicky kid foods? I just thought I'd give youa little support and tell you not to worry.



answers from Kansas City on

Keep offering him veggies even if he doesn't eat them, also don't try not to bargin with him on eating certain foods.
You could try mixing some veggies with slices of turkey or chicken.

To help keep him at the table get him more involved with preparing his food. Have him place the napkin/plate on the table little stuff like that. Turn the t.v. off and put the toys out of they way. Even letting him make his own placemat for the table. Make sure you or the babysitter focus on sitting at the table with him and not making it about "him" eating but instead it's time for everyone to eat.

Good Luck!



answers from Kansas City on

I don't know if this is a possibility or not, but maybe try breakfast at home? I know it is by far my childrens' favorite meal of the day. I work full time too so I know it's kind of a pain but something about spending that morning time together makes it worth it. We keep it simple like pancakes, Kashi waffles, wheat french toast, oatmeal etc. but instead of syrup we use sugar free applesauce and fruit yogurt. They love it! Especially the applesauce, oatmeal, yogurt mix (and you're getting 3 food groups in one!) We let them stand on stools or sit in chairs to watch it getting made and that helps with them wanting to "chill out" and eat for awhile. I agree with the mom that said hide the veggies (broccoli with mac-n-cheese, etc.) I didn't keep up with that for long (I began to separate the "piles") and now they both eat their veggies w/ no problem. If I could get mine to eat a little more meat and fish I'd be happy! Keep making dinner every night. If nothing else it will teach him table manners and is essential for bonding time. Good luck!!

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