The Power of Leftovers: Back to School Lunches for Kids

I don’t know about you, but I was never a fan of school cafeteria lunches. Not only do they usually not taste great, but they are typically not healthy and of questionable quality. However, when the first bell rings by 8:30 am, and you need to be out the door by 7:30, it’s hard to figure out your kids’ daily lunches. The school year is just beginning, and parents are again banging their heads against the wall for a healthy, easy, and delicious meal for their kids.

I would always suggest leftovers if I had to provide just one easy solution to the everyday whats for lunch problem without fail. Growing up in the Mulay household, leftovers were vital. Dinner always ended up being tomorrow’s lunch. After finishing a meal, you can put the leftover food into individual containers that can quickly be put in your child’s lunchbox and heated up later in the day. 

However, if this doesn’t seem like a great option, there are many other options, and of course, they can include Mulay’s sausage. First and foremost, the German frank. If you don’t know, this type of Mulay’s Sausage is a hot dog (the healthy and tastes great kind). Also, they are pre-cooked, which eliminates all stress and prep. When I look at my fridge in the middle of the day and find nothing to eat, promptly, I go to the freezer and grab an individual bag of edamame beans and a german frank to warm up in the microwave for lunch. It’s super easy to grab and put in your child’s lunch box. If you’re willing to do a bit of prep before packing lunch, you can always cook any of Mulay’s products with corn and peas, a miniature salad, or any fruit or vegetable and have another quick and easy meal for your kids.

All of these options require access to a microwave which your child might not have access to, or they simply may not want the hassle of warming up their food before eating. Not to worry, there are also great options that don’t involve a microwave. One option is always a salad. Now I know you might be rolling your eyes at me, thinking, I will never get my child to eat a salad, especially when I am not there making them eat their veggies. Fair enough, but hear me out. Salads don’t have to be green exactly. You can put in nuts and raisins, apples and pears, or make just a tomato and cucumber salad. In other words, get creative with the ingredients and only put in things your child likes. For me, the key was if the salad had meat in it, I would eat it. I am a carnivore at heart, so I always put chicken or steak in my salad. 

Even still, a salad for lunch may still seem impossible. In this case, of course, there are always sandwiches for lunch; personally, however, I was never a fan of bread in the first place, so that option was out. There were days, however, when I would have lunch meat (turkey, ham, salami, etc.) with veggies and fruit (mini bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, apple, pear, etc.). You can also throw in crackers or a small piece of chocolate to make it more enticing. Also, there is another option that is a Mulay family favorite at concerts, but it is also a good option for dinner or a kids’ cold lunch. It is a pearl couscous stir fry. Ahead of time, prepare grilled or roast veggies, chicken, or steak, and mix them in with pearl couscous. This dish can be eaten hot or cold. It is super easy, and it tastes great.

I could go on for hours about simple and easy lunch ideas, but I have a quick word on snacks before I wrap this up. Snacks, of course, there are all of the staples - goldfish, crackers, chips, and things like that. On the other hand, I am a fan of homemade trail mix, roasted veggies, granola, raisins, apples with honey/peanut butter, and carrots with hummus. 

I hope now, as school starts and the mornings turn from laid back and lazy to get up and go, you’re ready and prepared to get creative in making quick and easy healthy lunches and snacks for your kids. Good luck!

By: Lyza Mulay Weisman