Top 10 Homeschool Lunches for Moms and Teens

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Lunchtime can be a stressful time of day for homeschooling families. Often you’re trying to squeeze in just a few more subjects before you have to stop and switch gears as you changes hats from homeschooling mom and students to short-order cooks and cafeteria workers. By October, many families are looking for new homeschool lunch ideas. Thankfully, homeschool lunches have gotten a bit easier for my family over the years.

First, my kids are teens and can prepare their own lunches – although I typically prepare everyone’s lunch. My thought is that they’re working independently now and I’m happy to let them focus on school for another half hour or so each day while I prepare lunch since I’m not actively teaching anyway. Second, we have what some may refer to as a lunch rut. We prefer to think of it as a regular routine that works for us.

Top 10 Homeschool Lunches for Moms and Teens

We don’t share the same tastes. As much as I’ve tried to convince my kids to try my healthy favorites – and they usually do for supper – for lunch, they have very different tastes than I do. It’s not too bad, though, because the two of them (Brianna is away at school for lunch now) like the same things and, with a little preplanning, my meals are fairly easy, so preparing two different lunches isn’t a big deal.

For the teens

Okay, here’s the part of the post where all those strongly opposed to processed foods should probably quit reading. We have come up with a five-day rotation of foods my kids like. What typically happens is we stay on such a rotation for awhile, then, we’ll switch out a few things that they’ve grown tired of. Our top ten homeschool lunches from a few year ago are not necessarily the current top ten.

The current list is:

Hot wings or chicken nuggets and fries. Josh likes the hot wings, while Megan prefers chicken nuggets. Every once in awhile I’ll get crazy and mix it up with some mac-n-cheese instead of fries.

Pizza. For as long as I can remember, Tuesday has been pizza day around here. I used to do a step up from frozen with dough from a package, jarred sauce, and shredded mozzarella, but the kids really prefer frozen pizza from Costco. Works for me.

Lasagna. They’re still a fan of lasagna – the frozen stuff, thank you very much. Josh and Megan like it that Brianna isn’t home during the day anymore. That means more lasagna for them. And, Peanut loves lasagna day because I give him the empty cardboard tray and let him lick it clean. This is his lasagna day face:


Homemade pizza roll. Don’t let the word “homemade” fool you. It’s not really homemade, but it’s not the little frozen things either. Check out my pizza roll recipe for the scoop. The only changes I’ve made are that now I only make one because it’s just Josh and Megan and I prebake the crust for 5 minutes before adding the toppings. I might have done that all along if I’d ever bothered to fully read the directions. {ahem}

Ham roll-ups or sandwiches. Megan prefers turkey; I’m more of a tuna kind of girl. Josh isn’t fond of sandwiches, but he likes ham roll-ups, a super-simple lunch I’ve made for years. I just place a few slices of thin-sliced ham on a tortilla, top it with shredded cheddar and roll it up. I brush a little butter on top and bake it until the tortilla is browned and slightly crunchy. Easy-peasy.

Top 10 Homeschool Lunches for Moms and Teens

For moms

My go-to lunches are pretty simple most days. I gravitate toward the quick and easy while still trying to eat healthy. Most of the time, my lunch of choice is one of the following:

Quinoa bowl. I’ve been making this quinoa bowl (it used to be a pasta bowl, but I’ve long since switched quinoa for the pasta) for years. It does take a little time, but if I start it when I turn the oven on to preheat for the kids’ pizza, everything is finished at the same time. Plus, it gives me an excuse to watch Family Feud while I’m working in the kitchen.

Salad. I love making a great, big salad for lunch. My favorite is a grilled chicken super salad.

Soup or sandwich. In the summer I prefer sandwiches (almost exclusively tuna and avocado because I’m exciting like that), but in the winter, I love soups. I like to make a pot of one of my favorite soups on the weekend and have a bowl for lunch throughout the week.

One pot Mexican quinoa. I discovered this one pot Mexican quinoa recipe a few weeks ago and it has quickly become my new favorite. It’s super-easy and it makes enough that I can have it for lunch 2 or 3 days with some to spare.The only changes I make are that I usually use chicken broth instead of vegetable because that’s what I generally have on hand and I leave out the cilantro because yuck. I can’t stand cilantro.

Leftovers. I love leftovers for lunch because they’re quick and easy. There are a few meals that I love making for supper because I’m guaranteed some leftovers, one of my favorites being the Santa Fe turkey stuffed peppers from Skinny Taste. They are delicious for supper, but I think they’re even better heated up for leftovers the next day.

As you can see, we’re not terribly exciting when it comes to lunch, but I’m guessing most homeschooling families gravitate toward functional and easy for the mid-day meal.

What are some of your family’s favorite lunches? Does your lunch routine change in the summer?

Get dozens of other fresh ideas for homeschool lunches from the bloggers of iHomeschool Network.


lunch images courtesy of pixabay

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  1. Oh, Kris! Now I just don’t know if we can be friends any more because, cilantro, yum! ;-P
    At our house, besides lots of fresh fruit for lunch, a favorite of my daughter’s is open a tube of croissant dough and put it on a cookie sheet, separated into 4 rectangles. Place leftover taco meat and cheddar cheese in the centers, fold over, seal, and bake in the oven for about 13 minutes.

    1. Oh, we may not be able to be friends anymore. Cilantro sets my teeth on edge. That’s a great idea about the taco meat and the crescent rolls! I bet my kids would like that.

  2. Good to have some fresh inspiration – thanks! Your mom lunches look delicious and I’m sure my kids would love your kids’ choices. We all eat different stuff for lunch too. I usually have fresh soup from a carton with a crusty roll & butter, 11 year old daughter makes herself a sandwich and 10 year old son’s go-to lunch is microwave rice with peas. He’s just recently got tall enough to reach the microwave himself – yay! 😉

  3. I’m not much for cooking in the summertime. We don’t have AC – not uncommon for Maine – and the kitchen can get too hot sometimes. I like making up HUGE pasta and veggie salads with mixed fruit salad, keeping them chilled in the fridge for meals. My family’s favorites right now are a Sesame Ginger Chicken Salad (with Romaine, Almonds, Mandarin Oranges and crispy Wonton wrapper strips), Italian Pasta Salad (with ham, cheese, peas, shredded carrots, black olives, and tomatoes), and Oriental Ramen Salad (with an Ramen Noodle dressing, shredded broccoli and carrot slaw, dried cranberries or raisins, almond slivers, and unsalted roasted sunflower seeds). Sometimes I make up potato and egg salad or a more traditional mayo-based macaroni salad for sides to grilled meats too. These would work great for busy school days too! Make ahead! Most are better the next day!

  4. An easy go-to lunch in our house is chicken wraps. Tortillas, fresh lettuce or spinach, chopped tomato, shredded cheese, your choice of salad dressing (or barbecue/hot wing sauce) and some Tyson chicken tenders chopped into bite size pieces. Thanks for the lunch ideas!

  5. Your ideas are great!! I made the Mexican quinoa dish today and added a little cheese. Both of my kids scarfed it up. Pasta bowls are on our agenda later this week 🙂

    1. Isn’t it delicious? That’s what I had for lunch today, too. For the kids, it was lasagna day, so the dog was happy. 🙂

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