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:
- 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.?
- 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.
- 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).
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!
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.
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!
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!
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).
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.
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!