10 Homeschool Lunch Ideas

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If you’re anything like me, it’s about this point in the homeschool year — if not sooner — that you find yourself in a lunchtime rut, unable to come up with any new, tasty ideas.

10 Homeschool Lunch Ideas

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Another problem I’ve had lately is my kids’ changing tastes — things that used to be favorite are now met with groans of dislike.  I thought I’d share our current top ten favorites to give you some ideas (and so I can refer back to it later when I forget about foods the kids have enjoyed in the past).

If you’d like to share some of your families favorites in the comments, I’d be grateful for some new ideas.

1.  Pizza.  Every Tuesday is pizza day.  I buy the dry crust pouches and Ragu Quick Sauce, which makes it quick, easy, and slightly more nutritious and much tastier than frozen.  I usually add a side salad with mine.  A favorite, and tasty, alternative is a pizza roll.

2.  Macaroni-and-bacon casserole.  I make this for lunches rather than dinners because Brian hates it.  Thankfully, the kids love it, since it is one of my favorite comfort foods from childhood.

3.  Tuna. The girls and I are big fans of tuna salad.  Even Josh, who doesn’t love it, typically doesn’t complain about eating it, particularly when it’s in the form of a tuna melt.  Brianna and Megan’s preferred way of eating tuna is on club crackers.  I like a good, tuna-stuffed tomato, particularly in the summer with a red, ripe, juicy tomato.

4.  Ham roll-ups.  These are so easy and everybody except Brianna likes them (and, since she is the only one who likes Ramen noodles, that’s what she has when we have ham roll-ups).

I just place a couple of slices of ham lunch meat on a flour tortilla and top with shredded cheese. Then, I roll it up, brush the top with melted butter and bake long enough to melt the cheese. Once the cheese is melted, I usually turn on the broiler for a minute or two, just to get the ends crunchy…but definitely not anything even hinting of burnt or the kids won’t eat them.

5.  Chicken nuggets with macaroni and cheese.  This is one of those things that used to be a favorite with all the kids, but now Josh grumbles about it.  I went ahead and included it since 2/3 of the kids still like it.

6.  Ham pinwheels. Another simple menu option, for ham pinwheels I just spread cream cheese on a slice of lunch meat ham and roll it up.  I used to cut the rolled up ham log into one-inch or so slices, making them look like a pinwheel.  Recently, I’ve cut out that step, making it an even quicker and easier meal, since the kids could care less about how it looks.

7.  Homemade “lunchables.” I cut ham and/or turkey into club cracker size rectangles and serve with sliced cheddar cheese, crackers, and fruit or applesauce.

8.  Lasagna. My kids love lasagna and actually prefer the store-bought to homemade usually.  Yes, I know they’re weird.  I have avoided lasagna for lunches because it seemed pricey — until I realized that the store-brand smaller size was much more reasonably-priced than the name-brand family size.  It’s just the right size for the kids, too, since I don’t care for it and just make myself a salad.  It’s so simple since it only has to be nuked in the microwave for 15 minutes.  No hassle or fuss involved.

9.  Taco rolls or cheese quesadillas with Spanish rice.  Josh doesn’t care for the taco rolls, but it’s no big deal to make him a cheese quesadilla or ham roll-up instead.  The girls love this one.

10.  Hot dogs or pigs-in-the-blanket.  For a little variation on a plain old hot-dog, I’ll roll the hot dog in a crescent roll and bake instead.

And, in case you’ve followed my blog for awhile and were wondering, no, I didn’t lose all that weight eating this stuff.  My lunch of choice is my almost-daily super salad or my pasta bowl (which has now become a quinoa bowl). Yum!

What are your family’s lunch time favorites?

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  1. It's so hard not to get into lunchtime (and dinnertime) ruts. My son is allergic to pretty much everything on your list, sadly, so we really have to be creative! But, generally, I like making breakfast for lunch (Mmm, bacon), and my son's latest thing is loaded baked potatoes (bacon and/or other meat, cheese or a substitute, leftover veggies, etc.). Same with nachos – I buy salt free nachos and he's happy to eat them loaded up with whatever we have on hand.

  2. My kids' favorite lunch is whatever we're out of! Seriously, if someone at the last of the roast beef the day before, someone else thinks they're going to die without a roast beef sandwich.

    They also like ramen noodles and the Lipton Pasta and Sauce packages. Occasionally, though, I outlaw everything except sandwiches because they don't clean up after themselves when they cook.

  3. Thanks for sharing your menu. I have a tough time with lunches! Sometimes we do leftovers, but mostly we are in a rut! I did a muffin tin post- using the tins makes me take a bit more care in pulling together a meal. When it comes down to it, I really want to find something *I* will enjoy for lunch! Your salad looks yummy. πŸ™‚

  4. I use a lot of the freezer lunch/dinner ideas from Once A Month Mom. I make pizza rolls, pizza pockets, taco rolls, ham and cheese whole wheat biscuits, sesame noodles, homemade tomato soup and grilled cheeses. since it is getting nicer out, we do a lot of schooling in the park and pack a picnic. they love the bento lunches!

    i find that making things and then freezing them makes my life SO much less stressful. I make a few big batches of whole wheat pizza dough for the pockets and taco/pizza rolls and then make everything the next day. flash freeze and bag it.

  5. Oh man, I totally wanted to click on the salad recipe and inexplicably I chose the macaroni one instead. I must try it! Yum thanks for sharing these ideas!

  6. Great list! We don't do a lot of sandwiches, so I'm forever wondering what to make for lunch. These ideas are helpful to me as a SAHM.

  7. We do a ham roll up too, but I never though of cooking them! What a great idea. We do sandwiches a lot. We also like bean & cheese burritos. I started making them in bulk and freezing them wrapped in foil. Then I can heat them up in the toaster oven. You should really try Kraft's slow cooker lasagna.

  8. We do a lot of leftovers! πŸ™‚ I re-purpose leftovers into soup or stir-fried rice. We also eat quite a few of Trader Joe's frozen goodies – specifically pot-stickers and spanikopita. With veggie sticks and a fruit on the side, it's mostly healthy. πŸ™‚

  9. Some of my kiddos favs are
    1. bagels & cream cheese, fresh fruit, and milk/yogurt drink
    2. baked potatoes with a salad
    3. meatloaf, a turkey breast, or a chicken with oven roasted rosemary potatoes (I throw it in the oven on 270 and it's done for lunch!) then a side of broccoli
    4. Homemade potato soup – we usually do this as cooking class
    5. Tacos with rice and tortillas
    6. BBQ Chicken Nachos (from leftover chicken)
    7. Apples with peanut butter, but no bread…lol

  10. Good old PB & J. We always have a fruit, a vegatable and pretzels or chips with it. I change up what goes along with their sandwiches and it never gets old. I like it too!!

  11. Great list. We usually end up having some variation on bread and cheese, either cheese toast or quesadillas. Definitely in a rut. I'll try out some of your ideas!

  12. Unfortunately, I have three picky eaters!(one being my hubby)So my girls' lunch usually consist of peanut butter and honey or a mish mash of their favorite foods on a plate or in a muffin tin. They also like Annie's Mac and cheese with hot dogs. I get in a rut too and am always trying to find something, fun, different and nutritious that my kids will eat!
    We just started homeschooling this year and I'm excited about it!

    1. We do a lot of these…fruit is always big around here. An all time favorite is “ice cream”. 1 avocado
      2 frozen bananas
      Other frozen fruit (berries normally)
      Stevia (or other sweetener)
      1 c. Yogurt
      1 scoop protein powder
      Mix it all together in the food processor until thick and serve with whole wheat crackers. Great in the summer.
      Also anything in a tortilla…something about being rolled up makes it yummy.

  13. Great list! We were just talking about finding some new lunch ideas. My kids favorite (they could eat it nearly everyday if I let them) is bean burritos. Just refried beans and cheese on a tortilla. Heat it up and eat. They do like sour cream and salsa on the side too.

  14. Bless you for posting this because we're in a lunch rut lately. You've reminded me of some things we haven't had in a while and given me a couple of new ideas.

  15. Those are great ideas! My kids love Pasta Salad. I make a bunch of different kinds but this week we're eating Poppy Seed Pasta Salad with Pepperoni (you'd think we're learning the letter P this week). My oldest son doesn't like PB&J so I've introduced him to Nutella. His favorite sandwich is Nutella and sliced strawberries. He loves it πŸ™‚

  16. Wow, I'm impressed! Our usual lunchtime routine is PB&J. We do eat other things like leftovers, but not as much. This week we've gotten radical and made homemade sub sandwiches with either ham & mozzarella cheese warmed in the microwave, or roast beef & cheese. YUM! One of the boys actually discovered that there is something besides PB&J sandwiches. Amazing, isn't it?

  17. these are GREAT ideas….

    i just found your blog. I've been looking for homeschool blogs, for years, and have never found anything i really loved. As hs moms we need that supportive community! well- i LOVE your blog!!!

  18. Thanks for this post. Actually, the very first thing I thought about when I woke up this morning was, "What in the world am I going to make for lunch today?" With my kids' crazy swim team schedules, we usually have the BIG lunch and the small dinner. Lately, I haven't been able to think of anything to cook.

    When my brain is working we tend to eat lots of pasta meals, tacos and enchiladas, and rotisserie chicken with mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, and green beans.


  19. We will often make hummus and pita chips for lunch… adding some fruit and/or raw veggies. I cook a whole bunch of dried chick peas and then freeze them in 2 cup amounts, then I thaw the correct amount and make the hummus fresh.

  20. The girls would probably have peanut butter and jelly every day if I let them. However, they are enjoying our Muffin Tin Monday meals. A couple of times a month I also make scrambled eggs in a soft taco shell and home fries. The eggs usually have some sort of vege in them, for example, today we had red pepper.
    I also do leftovers for lunch.
    Oh, lately Tabitha has been requesting grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup.

  21. We are such kindred souls…I literally laughed out loud when I read the category for this post: Sweet Tea and Other Delicacies. Yes, sweet tea IS a delicacy!!

    Great list of ideas. πŸ˜‰

  22. My kids really enjoy black bean quesas. Mix a can of rinsed black beans, a cup of shredded cheese, and a cup of salsa. Cook in a tortilla shell on a hot skillet.

  23. I love these ideas! I’m a homeschool supervisor, not mom (yet!), but I’ll have to forward this post to some of my students’ parents. Great ideas πŸ™‚

  24. I love this list. It is real food that my kids (and I) will eat. Now, I need to figure out how to get in veggies!

  25. I just found this site. My 14 year old is new to homeschooling which we had to do this year for medical reasons. I’m really inspired by this site and thank you so much for sharing all of this great information!

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