“Lunch is a necessity. It is something that will happen almost every day for the rest of your childhood, so just eat it!” This is a common conversation that I have with my daughter. She is a bit on the picky side and she very rarely eats her lunch that I pack for her to take to school. The problem is that she’ll eat a good breakfast, eat the snack I pack her, and then drink her juice for lunch. She comes home moodier that a bear just out of hibernation. So I have been on a quest the last couple of weeks to find foods to pack in her lunch that she will actually eat. I had a couple criterion while looking for recipes: it needed to be healthy, have veggies and it needed to have a good amount of protein in it to sustain her energy until she got home. I found a couple of things that have worked and I wanted to share one of them with you, in hopes that it might make lunchtime a little more awesome for all of us. My aunt makes this awesome cold pasta salad and Kaya is a huge fan of pasta so I decided to make it kid friendly and the result was a success! I like this because you can really tailor it to what your kid likes. Another suggestion is to let your kid pick out what they want to put in it and then let them help make it. For whatever reason this works every time. When they help make it 97% of the time they will eat it!
Here are some suggestions/what I used:
*Organic Pasta – 1 package
*Italian Seasoning – 1 packet
*Pepperoni or another favorite meat (uncured – kids don’t need all of that sodium), you could even substitute beans if you’re a non-meat eater.
*Red bell peppers
*Other suggestions – feta cheese, red onions, cucumbers, broccoli - get creative!
Follow the directions on the pasta....hopefully we all know how to boil noodles!
Chop up the peppers, pepperoni and the tomatoes.
Open the can of olives. Put in a spoonful of garlic
or be really good and use fresh garlic.
Put it all together in a bowl. I don't even bother with a mixing bowl.
It just goes straight into the tupperware!
Once the noodles are al dente (cooked but not all of the way cooked)
Put them in a strainer and run some cold water over them.
Add the noodles to the veggie/pepperoni mixture.
Add a packet of Italian seasoning.
Add olive oil. I would say 4-5 tablespoons.
You might have to add more after it sits,
as the noodles do soak some of it up.
Add balsamic vinegar to taste. More if you like vinegar, less if you don't.
Mix it all together.
Try some to make sure it's delicious and then send it in the next days lunch for a trial run.
And the proof is in the pudding......or the pasta in this case!
Nothing makes me happier then when I pick up a well nourished and
cheerful kiddo from school, instead of a bear.
As a side note:
I may or may not have also eaten this for lunch every day last week.