7 day ‘no sandwich’ lunch challenge for toddlers (and mummy too!)

Life with a toddler, Parenting, Recipes
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I decided to challenge myself to have 7 days of no sandwich lunches. I was eager to try different things for lunch instead of my usual go to boring sandwiches. I didn’t want it being too easy so added some extra challenges into the mix:

  1. Toddler H, who is 19 months old, must be able to eat it too. In reality this means it MUST only be foods she likes. Ok this is a hard one, so I chose foods she might possibly like today, but probably not tomorrow, because tomorrow it’ll be disgusting apparently, worthy of the floor, and if it’s really awful the walls too. What was I thinking doing this! Everyone knows you just give toddlers ?what they’ll eat.?
  2. I also have to mention, they have to be SUPER quick to make as I’m so lazy. Well really I spend all my time chasing and juggling the toddler which makes it a nightmare doing anything that’s longer than 2 minutes. So all of these lunches only need 2 minutes here and there to prepare. I like dishes that go like this: 2 minutes to get stuff from the fridge, followed by toddler side-tracking, then 2 minutes to chop and pop the ingredients on a pizza/fajita and then take it out 3 minutes later. The last bit is usually accomplished by giving the toddler a piece of fruit for starter while I do most of this.
  3. The other criteria I usually have for lunches is one that makes them tricky: the ability to pop it in a box and take it out either because the toddler has had a nap and missed lunch and we have to go to a class, like RIGHT now.

I’m hoping to overcome some of these challenges by relying on one MAJOR toddler trait: most toddlers LOVES to do what mummy and daddy do, and this way we both eat the same. So surely it’s win win?

So here’s how I did:


1. Scrambled eggs with avocado and tomato

Another easy one:
Make scrambled eggs in your usual way, and just before the end of cooking add sliced cherry tomatoes and slices of avocado and a sprinkle of grated cheese.
(Note: for scrambled eggs I usually use 2 eggs, add some milk and butter, whisk, then pop in the microwave for 2-3 minutes).
no sandwich lunches scrambled egg with avocado and tomato

2. Fajita quesadillas

Cover a fajita in tomato puree, veg (peppers, red onion, sweetcorn, mushrooms), cooked chicken (or ham), top with cheese.
Grill for 3-5 minutes. Check regularly so it doesn’t burn.
Then cut the fajita in 4, and fold each segment in half. Yummmmmy. Toddler LOVES these!
No sandwich lunch fajita quesadilla

3. Tuna pasta with cheese and tomatoes

Cook some pasta according to the instructions, drain the pasta and add tuna and sliced tomatoes and a wee bit of cheese if you fancy. Just let the cheese start to melt and then eat.
No sandwich lunch Tuna pasta with tomatoes and cheese


4. Wraps

I used leftover bolognese pop it in a fajita with some cheese (and maybe sour cream and guacamole if we have some). Another toddler hit!
no sandwich lunches bolognese wraps


5.  Humus with carrot, cucumber & pepper sticks, breadsticks, ham, chicken, tomatoes, cheese

Take all the ingredients above and pop them on the plate. Basically, just take everything in your fridge and pop it on a plate for a yummy pick n mix lunch. Toddler loves humus it seems, and has even had this for dinner during the 7 days!
humus with sticks veg and chicken

6. Tomato pasta with all sorts of veg in the tomato sauce

Another pasta, involving all the veg in your fridge and freezer. Just use it all, chop it up finely or blend up, with a can of chopped tomatoes. Add the sauce to some pasta.
I often use peppers, onion, carrot, sweetcorn, peas with a can of tomatoes and a sprinkle of garlic (or chilli).
No Sandwich lunch - tomato and hidden veg pasta

7. Fajita pizza with a side of tomatoes, pepper and cucumber sticks and cheese

Cook as per the fajita pizza in point 1, but don’t fold, just eat it as it is. For the toddler, I add some cucumber, celery and carrot sticks for her to much as well.
nosandwich lunches fajita pizza

Success!! Woohoo, every meal was eaten, at least in part by the toddler ?

All of these lunches were followed by fruit and or yogurt. On the note of being out and about we usually have a Nom Nom pouch with us filled with?a smoothie or yogurt for pudding (as seen frequently on my Instagram). If you haven’t heard of them Nom Nom pouches are refillable food pouches that are SO easy to fill, use and clean – I 100% recommend them to all mummies! (Can be purchased from Amazon here?(affiliate link))

I generally chose foods that we could also take out and about with us that weren’t too messy. Yes, at 19 months pasta isn’t too messy and if this is the plan I don’t add too much messy tomato sauce, just in case! Obviously, I could have given dinner style meals too, but I’ll do a selection of those in a separate posts.

You’ll note I often include cheese, this is because I have heard that cheese is good for naturally cleaning little one’s teeth. So, even if there is cheese in a dish, I’ll occasionally give a little bit of cheese to get any sticky foods off the toddler’s teeth. Of course cheese is good for calcium too!!

I could have also chosen soup and toast or the likes, but wanted to try to stick away from bread and toast as part of the challenge. Don’t worry we did have toast as part of breakfast some days, and H had beans on toast for dinner one night too.


What do you think? Has this provided you with inspiration to have some non-sandwich lunches? Will you take up my challenge? If you do please pop a link on your post back to mine!

Lynne x

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  • Reply
    The Hippy Christian Mum
    July 15, 2016 at 7:13 am

    The fajita thing looks delicious and so simple too. These are definitely my kind of meals. Great to have some lunch inspiration thanks!:)

  • Reply
    July 15, 2016 at 8:20 am

    Ooo good challenge. You had some lovely lunches. L loves anything in a wrap as well. If I’m feeling extra creative I’ll roll them up then cut them into little circles and he calls them snails ? he loves cream cheese with sweet chilli sauce and cucumber in his xx
    Briony recently posted…Feeling Calm #25My Profile

  • Reply
    Right Royal Mother
    July 15, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    Oh I am really glad you wrote this. I REALLY struggle to think of things that aren’t bread-based (doesn’t help that I LOVE the doughy stuff!) I have tried pasta and omelettes but never fajitas – might get some in for next week and give myself the challenge! Thank you 🙂 #fabfridaypost
    Right Royal Mother recently posted…Prince George’s Third Birthday PoemMy Profile

  • Reply
    Crummy Mummy
    July 15, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    We don’t actually eat a lot of bread in our house – houmous and things to stick in it are always popular, as are rice cakes spread with avocado or marmite #thelist
    Crummy Mummy recently posted…5 reasons apps for kids are a good ideaMy Profile

  • Reply
    Bridie By The Sea
    July 15, 2016 at 7:40 pm

    Ooh I love this!! I am really struggling with lunch ideas at the moment and need to up my games as we’re in danger of her eating the same thing every day. Eeek. I’m going to give your meal plan a go, it sounds great espeically the quesadilla and fajita pizza, love the crispy crusts! #fabfridaypost
    Bridie By The Sea recently posted…VLOG: Growing Up In The 90’sMy Profile

    • Reply
      July 15, 2016 at 8:29 pm

      Haha the crispy crusts are a bit of a mistake! I’d definitely suggest making sure you don’t have a similar meal two days in a row, as H doesn’t eat it much if she gets pasta two days in a row, (or leftovers). Let me know how you get on x

  • Reply
    July 15, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    Great idea! I really struggle with lunches. I don’t even really like sandwiches but I make them out of ease more than anything else. My little guy has just started weaning so I’m hoping that as things progress we can eventually start eating the same things at lunch time

  • Reply
    Emma Plus Three
    July 15, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    Some great ideas here, I know I’m going to struggle for lunch ideas over summer! x #thelist
    Emma Plus Three recently posted…Schools Out For Summer!My Profile

  • Reply
    Su {Ethan & Evelyn}
    July 16, 2016 at 4:11 am

    This is wonderful! I had no idea that cheese is a great food for cleaning the little ones teeth. That’s great! My boy loves cheese! Well done for achieving your challenge too! Thank you so much for linking up with us on #FabFridayPost x
    Su {Ethan & Evelyn} recently posted…#FabFridayPost Linky #40 {15.07.16}My Profile

  • Reply
    Tooting Mama
    July 16, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    Well done you! I really struggle with my kids’ food, they are such picky eaters – what one likes the other hates, I have a mental venn diagram of what they both might just about eat! The ideas with the wraps are fab.

  • Reply
    July 16, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    These look delicious! I sometimes make sandwiches as its easy and quick for lunch. I try and do a quick lunch then a cooked meal for tea. Part of the problem is knowing what to make so thank you for sharing your ideas

  • Reply
    Claire at Tin Box Traveller
    July 16, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    I’m hungry just looking at these. I think it’s a really good exercise to try out different foods at lunchtime. I’m stuck in a bit of a sandwich rut at the moment so might try some of these out. #KCACOLS
    Claire at Tin Box Traveller recently posted…Travel planning with Unique Planners by PirongsMy Profile

  • Reply
    July 17, 2016 at 7:17 am

    These are geat ideas, a lot of variety without having to rely on sandwiches. #KCACOLS

  • Reply
    July 17, 2016 at 11:28 am

    This is so helpful, thank you! My little one won’t eat bread or toast so these ideas are great! #KCACOLS
    Rebecca recently posted…A Kiss is Just a Kiss…My Profile

  • Reply
    Emma (awetismblog)
    July 17, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    Great ideas. My four year old always wants a sandwich and I’m forever trying to get him to eat other things. Going to try some of these! Thanks for sharing! #KCACOLS

  • Reply
    July 18, 2016 at 10:41 am

    lovely ideas, wraps are great as an alternative. we make the fajita pizzas too and they are a great hit with my fussy six yr old #kcacols

  • Reply
    Joanna Witt
    July 18, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    Grilled fajitas is a good one- I’ll definitely try those thanks!

  • Reply
    July 18, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    I get so bored of sandwich lunches here and we try and make them a bit more exciting too! I love the quesadillas and I love making pasta salads 🙂 Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday 🙂

  • Reply
    Cherry Newby
    July 19, 2016 at 11:53 am

    This post came at such a perfect time! With the holidays upon us I was tearing my hair out about what to serve the kids (they are 4 and 6) and there are some fab ideas here – I love the pizza idea, and we always have left over bolognaise so that would work brilliantly in the wraps! Thanks so much for sharing! #bigpinklink
    Cherry Newby recently posted…Book Review: Rosie Revere, EngineerMy Profile

  • Reply
    the frenchie mummy
    July 21, 2016 at 7:37 am

    A lot of healthy ideas here. I love the eggs with cheese and tomatoes. A classic with a bit of cheese. A winner for sure #TheBabyFormula & KCACOLS
    the frenchie mummy recently posted…When Mummy buys 1 pair of handcuffs for babyMy Profile

  • Reply
    laura dove
    July 21, 2016 at 8:25 am

    FAB challenge! We have sandwiches here every day, mainly because it’s easy but also I know my kids will eat it!! Great ideas though, wil be stealing a few of these! #TheBabyFormula
    laura dove recently posted…For Joseph, on your 10th birthday.My Profile

  • Reply
    Agent Spitback
    July 21, 2016 at 11:46 am

    Great food ideas. Fast and easy to do. I especially like the scrambled eggs option. I am guilty of just reaching out for a sandwich because it is the easiest thing to do but I am cutting down on bread and carbs at the moment, so these are great alternatives. Thanks for sharing with #bigpinklink
    Agent Spitback recently posted…The Care of Tweens and Other Magical CreaturesMy Profile

  • Reply
    Sarah @threedinners
    July 21, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    What a great mum you are! I like the idea of the quesadillas….

  • Reply
    Mummy and the Mexicans
    July 22, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    I did not know that about cheese and cleaning teeth! Cheese is one of the the foods my toddler usually loves and eats a lot of, so I fall back on it a lot. Scrambled eggs with cheese is something we’ve been having for lunch quite a lot lately, I found that she’ll eat it, so I’m sticking with it! Could do with some more ideas, though. #KCACOLS

  • Reply
    Madeline (This Glorious Life)
    July 22, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    This is something I want to try over the summer holidays. We’ve got in such a rut of eating the same foods, I really want my 2 to branch out and try more things. x #KCACOLS
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  • Reply
    7 Days, 7 Posts #58: Takeover Edition - Sally Akins
    August 14, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    […] Mummy Blog (@NewMummyBlog) –  7 ‘No Sandwich’ Lunch Ideas I struggle with lunch ideas for Jack sometimes, especially when he is being super fussy. I liked […]

  • Reply
    Tiffany Watts
    September 14, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    ‘Love the meal ideas..simple and delicious. Thanks! 🙂

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