30 (+4 bonus) MORE day care lunches

I read a few family food blogs. I read them for inspiration but more for admiration. I love looking at the perfect little lunches they serve their small people. They use shapes to create cute sandwiches and add little notes and flags and smoothie pouches and turn them into crazy scenes and wild animals. I love that stuff. I don’t do that, though. What I do is put together foods I know my little person loves. It looks similar every time, but she doesn’t seem to mind.

When reading these blogs I have noticed that they get a lot of criticism around the ingredients they use (organic is too expensive, non-organic is unhealthy), or the quantities (too much food or not enough food), or not covering all the food groups. I’m not a nutritionist. I’m just Mama Fearse, setting out to feed Little Fearse food she loves that is mostly healthy and nutritious. Every one of these lunches also comes with a bottle of water and a smoothie (usually banana or mango if it’s in season).

Our last post, 30 days of Day Care Lunches for a 12 Month Old has been our most popular by about 1000 views. Parents out there are looking for ideas for food to feed their kids. I hope our new list gives you some new inspiration.

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TOP ROW: 1. Popcorn & cheese, cherry coulis & plain yoghurt, veggies & home made hummus, summer fruit salad, 2. Pumpkin muffin, veggie & cheese salad, pikelets with strawberries, nectarine, 3. Boiled egg, tuna and butter bean salad, yoghurt apricot balls, blueberries & plain yoghurt, twirly apple, frozen peas & steamed carrots.
MIDDLE ROW: 1. Chicken & bacon casserole, apricot, whole meal wrap, steamed carrots, 2. Apricot and kiwi fruit salad, berries in plain yoghurt, pop corn, papadams, 3. Close up of the twirly apple.
BOTTOM ROW: 1. Steamed asparagus, home made chicken nuggets, 2. Frozen peas and fresh tomatoes, egg and bacon pie, papadums and summer fruit salad, 3. Guacamole with capsicum, organic corn chips, pumpkin muffin, blueberry and sweet lemon salad.

  1. Biscuits with vegemite and cheese (a good back up if you’re not sure if your wee one will eat the other foods you’ve offered – Little Fearse is a little fussier now she’s getting older and more determined)
  2. Papadums
  3. Celery and peanut butter sandwiches
  4. Lemon risotto
  5. Home made Baked beans
  6. Oatcakes (Little Fearse likes these plain as much as she likes them with vegemite or peanut butter and they are pretty easy to make at home.)
  7. Twirly slinky apples (after some debate on our Facebook page we bought one of these gadgets second hand…we have used it several times a day since purchased.)
  8. Mini apple pies (stew apple with cinnamon, no sugar needed – puff pastry again)
  9. One eye (bread with the centre cut out (BP uses cute animal cookie cutters) and fried with an egg in the middle -better warm, but still fun cold)
  10. Sultanas, the ultimate sweet snack (or other dried fruits)
  11. Fried rice
  12. Kidney beans, diced capsicum and corn with guacamole and lime juice [to keep it fresh] – add some plain corn chips for the full nacho experience
  13. Banana salad with yoghurt and honey
  14. Mini lasagne pin-rolls (thank you Pinterest)
  15. Eggplant Pizza
  16. Cheese and grated apple sandwiches (the apple goes brown, but it still tastes good and she doesn’t seem to mind)
  17. Vegemite and cheese OR spinach and cheese triangles (puff pastry…easy!)
  18. Flatbread roll ups with chicken, cheese and spinach leaves (or whatever combination you like…she tends to dissemble these anyway!)
  19. Mini cheese and vege pizzas on English muffins
  20. Rice and tuna casserole
  21. Home made cheese twists (use puff pastry for this, too) and hummus
  22. Home made chicken nuggets and wedges with guacamole
  23. Plain yoghurt topped with stewed fruit / berries / berry coulis (if you find some  cheap overripe berries)
  24. Chicken drumstick with peas (be sure to check for small bones, there is at least one sharp bone in a drumstick that we like to remove first – of course you may like to remove the chicken from the bone yourself)
  25. Left over roast meat and veggies in a wrap.
  26. Banana bread (or zucchini bread, or bread made from whatever you have a lot of at the time)
  27. Tuna or salmon patties (made with mashed potato, bread crumbs, herbs and lemon juice)
  28. Pikelets with a little jam or peanut butter
  29. Jacket potatoes (topped with veggies and cheese and tomato salsa)
  30. Fruit crumble (made with whatever is in season – we do a lot of apple and rhubarb crumble over the winter and peach in the summer)
  31. Pop corn (unseasoned)
  32. Egg and bacon pies
  33. Fruit and yoghurt balls (I buy these at the market and will occasionally give Little Fearse one or two in her lunch as a special treat)
  34. Home made dips with broken up wraps or veggie sticks (or papadams or biscuits or whatever) – one of the big changes since our last entry is that LF now has the motor control to manage a spoon or dipping foods into other foods.

I’d love to hear from you, too. What do your kids love in their lunches? What have we forgotten, or not thought of yet?

Mama xo

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13 thoughts on “30 (+4 bonus) MORE day care lunches

  1. I’m no help – my kid doesn’t like to eat! For adult lunches: I mostly take leftovers from dinners. I save even small amounts and just add a piece of fruit or carrot sticks if the leftovers aren’t really enough for a meal.

  2. Thank you for these ideas, I’m always looking for tasty lunches as sandwiches are not a great option in a gluten free household. Happily most of these can be adapted to gluten free! Our little girl also loves haystacks (plain corn chips topped with shredded lettuce, avocado, grated cheese and grated carrot), homemade sushi and rice paper rolls with whatever meat and veg is in the fridge.

  3. Thanks for the post, I searched so many sites only to find disgusting processed food ideas. We are on a very tight budget yet my husband and I are committed to providing as many whole food and organic foods to our daughter as possible. She only has a few teeth, but seeing what you are feeding your little one makes me wonder if we are being too conservative about the tiny pieces we continue to offer her when preparing her foods. Might be time to ease up on how much I chop and dice everything!

    • Hi, thanks for your comment. I’m really glad this is a useful resource for you. We find that shopping in season and being a bit creative (plus having a huge freezer) makes it quite inexpensive to eat good, wholesome foods. We don’t like processed stuff, either. Our Little Fearse didn’t have teeth until 14 months. We experimented with a lot of different stuff and were amazed at how easy she found it to gum the food to bits. Admittedly, both BP and I watched youtube videos on what to do if a baby is choking before we started Baby Led Weaning. That actually made us feel a lot more comfortable with giving her larger chunks. She has only once choked, on half a cherry tomato…and that was when she was 20 months old! She managed to get it up herself and there were only a few tears before she went back for more. 😛 Good luck – I hope you enjoy the food journey as much as our family does. Mama xo

  4. Pingback: 30 Days of Day Care Lunches for a 12 Month Old | The Fearse Family

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