Meal ideas for school lunches

+ FREE Printable school lunch food time table

How is the first week of school resumption going? Have you gotten into the rhythm yet or are you still trying to find a system that works? One question that sometimes throw Mummies off balance every evening from Sunday to Thursday is, “what meal are the kids going to take to school tomorrow?” My kid is not even two yet, and I already am faced with this question every day. I cannot imagine how you, who have older kids, do it.

So, I thought we could help one another. Let’s go back to the basics. We want our kids to eat a balanced diet; healthy meals. And we have foodstuffs that are common that can be made into varieties of food. We also want meals that require little time to make.

From the common foodstuffs that I am familiar with and that are common across Africa, I am going to make some suggestions of what to prepare for your kids. That should help to a large extent, isn’t it? Here we go;

Rice - Rice is a staple meal. You can make it plain and serve with stew, you can make Jollof rice, Coconut rice, Pilau or any other kind that you know. You can mix it with beans or even make Garau Garau (I just found out about this and I cannot wait to try it) and serve for your kids. Your options with rice are limitless.

Beans/peas - There is the jollof/beans porridge, there is the one with sauce. Kenyans have so many ways of making beans with different types of beans. Really, the possibilities are endless. And you don’t have to make them that morning. You can make them the night before and put them in your fridge/freezer to heat it up in the morning. Or you can start cooking the beans and then sauce it in the morning. That way, it’s still fresh.

Yam/Potato - These can be made into porridge. They can be fried or even boiled and served with egg sauce for your kids. You could even combine it with chickpea or beans

Pasta - You really cannot go wrong with pasta with kids. If they do not like a particular one (maybe spaghetti), try a different one.

Plantain - My kid loves plantain. I boil it, fry it, make it into porridge, mix it with beans, serve it as chips together with potato or even make it into boli. Whatever variety I make, I win with my kid. I have even turned it into a side dish for her. Every other day, I pack it along with a main dish for her to eat in school.

Bread/Chapati - Bread is also a side that I include in my baby’s lunch as often as I can (probably once a week, because I don’t want to over indulge her). She loves bread. But it doesn’t have to be a side. You can pack it with egg, with beans, or with sauce. Chapati is amazing (I kinda love it more than I do bread actually). Your children will bless Mummy, I am telling you. And you don’t have to make bread or Chapati from scratch, you can just buy them and pack it for your kids to school the next morning.

Vegetables and Fruits - You should try to include vegetables and fruits in your children’s meal every day. I alternate between fruits and vegetables. I don’t have a preference, I serve whichever fruit I find or one that is in season and whatever vegetable I have in the house. Each African country has different kinds of vegetables and fruits that are prevalent per time. Include them in your kids’ meal.

As for protein, I do more of eggs and fish with my kid because she would rather eat those than chicken or beef (And I love that for her). But you can alternate between Chicken, beef, Eggs, Fish or even Tofu for your kids. And if you want to make your life a tad easier, you can develop a timetable that you follow every day of the week so that the headache of what to pack for them to school is gone.

Because I am a nice person (lol), I have come up with a FREE Printable timetable that we can both use to pack our children’s school lunch. You can adjust it to fit your own style and preference for your children.

Which other staple did I leave out?

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