Sandwiches: I now make sandwiches on bagels, english muffins, tortillas, bread, toast, pancakes or wrapped in pilsbury or homemade dough. My kids like turkey, ham, roast beef, SB and J, hot dog, hummus or tofutti sandwiches. The warm aspect changed up a few of our old favorites...they love when the sunbutter is a bit melty on a warm english muffin. Lunch meat rolled in dough and cooked is a big hit. Also it can be easy to make our tomato pie (aka pizza in our house) on many of breads. I've tried bacon, avocado, pickles or tomato in the sandwiches, but when I do that Chelsea usually deconstructs it and only eats the meat.
Leftovers: My leftovers got a makeover. I mostly plan to turn a dinner into a new lunch. Like... baked chicken dinner=cold chicken salad, taco fixings=taco dip, noodles=pasta salad, meatloaf= mini sliders. Another problem is my kids dislike when I just reheat stuff in a microwave...in fact so do I. The results are usually dry and less flavorful than before. So now, I also turn a meal into a soup in my crockpot, then I fish out the mains and they are warmed up without the use of my microwave. They seem to retain more flavor or get a new taste. Proteins, cooked noodles, rice and vegetables can be thrown into just about any soup. Change up the flavor profile and it's a new meal. Perfect for lunch.Snacks in disguise: I have to come clean....I still do this, but I try to do it a bit better so it covers more food groups. Previously I'd give them raisins, pita chips and a drink and call it lunch. In it's place I now provide a dip of some sort. My kids like hummus and guacamole, but I also do dips with tofutti (a dairy free cream cheese or sourcream). I add pureed vegetables, seasonings and the kids love it. Almost any flavor can be turned in a dip such as : BBQ sauce, onion soup, italian dressing, soy sauce, sunbutter and jelly, pizza. I serve the dips with fresh veg, fruit, chips or bread. I feel better that they are getting at least 3 or 4 food groups as their lunch/aka big snack. This is a great on the go lunch too.