Lunch Ideas for Families Spending More Time at Home

Lunch Ideas For Families Spending More Time At Home

More time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic means more meals are being consumed at home, too. I figured families might be struggling with lunch ideas, given that this meal is most often eaten outside of the home during school and work. Below are quite a few simple, healthy ideas to keep your family going.   

As with all meals, you’ll want to include a protein, grain, vegetable and fruit. Here are some kid-friendly options:

ProteinsWhole grainsVegetablesFruits
Meat: turkey, chicken, roast beef, ham, tuna

Hard boiled egg

Peanut butter or other nut butter

Cottage cheese

Yogurt

Cheese

Beans, hummus
Whole grain bread or bun

Whole grain tortilla

Whole grain flat bread

Whole grain crackers

Whole grain bagels

Whole grain pasta
Carrots

Cucumber slices

Celery sticks

Bell pepper slices

Cherry tomatoes

Snap peas
Apple

Banana

Grapes

Berries

Melons

Kiwi

Oranges

Pineapple

 

Putting those choices together, here are some ideas:

Lunch Ideas for Families Spending More Time at Home

 

Grilled turkey burger

Now that the weather’s getting nicer, we don’t have to wait until dinner to grill out! Add a whole grain bun and a fruit and veggie. 

Salad with turkey

salad with turkey and apples.smaller

Salad with turkey is the perfect lunch! Add cheese and apple slices on the side and you’ve got a complete meal. 

Homemade "lunchables"

lunchables.smaller

The options are endless! Add lunch meat and cheese to whole grain crackers. Include a fruit and a vegetable. 

Tuna salad

tuna salad.smaller

Combine tuna salad with whole grain crackers, snap peas, and berries. 

Breakfast for lunch

breakfast for lunch. eggs and spinach.smaller

Who says you have to eat breakfast in the morning? Scramble up some eggs, add a veggie (and even leftover salmon if you have it!) and throw in a fruit for a perfect change-up to lunch. 

Pasta salad

pasta salad.smaller

Use last night’s pasta to make pasta salad. Add a protein, like chicken, and a vegetable, like broccoli. Include a fruit on the side to round out the meal. 

Chicken sandwich

chicken sandwich.smaller

Add a chicken breast to a whole wheat bun or bread, with cheese, lettuce, and tomato. Include a fruit and veggie of their choice!

Hummus veggie wrap

hummus veggie wrap.smaller

Stuff a whole-grain wrap with hummus and all kinds of veggies! Add in their favorite fruit. 

Peanut butter (or seed butter) toast

peanut butter on toast.smaller

Dress up plain toast with peanut butter or a nut-free alternative! Include yogurt for extra protein and a fruit and veggie of their choice. 

Last night's dinner leftovers

dinner leftovers.smaller

Leftovers are the best, because all you have to do is re-heat! The picture shows pasta with meat sauce. Make sure to include a fruit and vegetable with a protein and carb. 

Taco bowls

taco bowls.smaller

Use last night’s leftover taco meat for a taco salad or taco bowl for today’s lunch. Include veggies and cheese, as well as a fruit. 

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Shelly Frank, RD, LD

About the Author: Shelly Frank, RD, LD

Shelly Frank, RD, LD is a clinical dietitian with the Center for Better Health and Nutrition and the HealthWorks! programs within Cincinnati Children's Heart Institute. Shelly has been providing pediatric weight management services at Cincinnati Children’s for over 15 years.

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Comments

  1. Naldog April 14, 16:26
    Great ideas.....I have gotten in a rut with my family and this is just the inspiration I needed. Excited to try breakfast for lunch. Thank you Children's Hospital!
  2. Corp April 14, 17:24
    Thank you for the ideas. This will definitely add some variety to my families lunches.