Creative Summer Lunches for Kids

This post and giveaway were made possible by iConnect and Buddig. I was compensated for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions are 100% mine.

I love summer and the fun we’ve been having outdoors.  I feel like we don’t stop sometimes and when we do it’s usually only to eat before we get going again.  Having less time to slow down and prepare meals has meant a lot of sandwiches for our family.  With sandwiches usually come chips and I just don’t like that being a regular meal in our house.  Sandwiches are great, don’t get me wrong but I want to include more veggies and fruit into our diets.

To break up the routine I’ve started planning our meals the day before hand and letting our lunch times be a little bit like a play time.  Yes, I’ve been letting our kids play with their food.  My son with his sensory issues can use the exposure and my daughter is having fun stretching her imagination creating scenes with the food we have on hand.  Sometimes we’ll throw in the random chip or small cookie but most of their meals consist of fruits, veggies, nuts, cheese, and lunch meat.  We’re having fun together and I feel that my daughter is eating more wholesome foods than she was before.

Fun Food Umbrella Lunch

Check out this fun creation!

It’s made of apples, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, bananas, mandarin oranges, craisins, string cheese, peanuts, and Buddig Premium Deli beef.  My daughter ate it all and loved it.

We don’t always get so fancy but even if they’re not Pinterest worthy creations they’re still delicious!  If you want ideas for creative lunch ideas for kids check out my Fun Foods for Kids board on Pinterest.

Buddig Giveaway

Summer of Smiles:

Buddig not only makes great tasting and affordable lunch meat but they’re offering a fun contest this summer.  The summer of smiles! 🙂  There are so many reasons this time of year that make us smile – warm weather, sunny days, picnic lunches, family vacations & more.  Consumers are asked to post a picture of their family enjoying summer and flashing their biggest smiles on Facebook using the #BuddigSmiles.

Every week from June 16 – August 18 Buddig will randomly select 12 entries to receive a $25 American Express gift card – that’s 108 total winners and a whole lot of smiles! ?

Homemade Microwaveable Macaroni & Cheese

Homemade Microwaveable Macaroni and Cheese

Recently, I’ve been attempting to try several of the ideas I’ve pinned on Pinterest.  One of the pins I tried was awful.  It was for a homemade microwaveable macaroni & cheese and it was bad.  Very, very bad!  I won’t link to the site because first of all, that’s not very nice and secondly, it’s a blog I greatly respect and would love to write for one day.

Here are a few reasons why I disliked the recipe:

  • – It took as long to do in the microwave as it would have on the stove {15 minutes!}.
  • – It required more work than it would have it I made it on the stove.
  • – It constantly had to be watched to make sure it didn’t overflow and I used a bowl much bigger than the suggested mug.
  • – There was no way you could serve that piping hot mug/bowl to a child.  You would have to switch containers before serving.
  • – The noodles never became tender.

A few days after I made this disappointing recipe, a new recipe dawned on me.  Maybe ya’ll are smarter than me and already do this but I felt like a genius when I discovered it.

I had leftover spaghetti noodles in the fridge because I made too much the night before for spaghetti.  I had planned on giving them to the dog a little at a time until they were gone.  Poor dog never got any of them!  I decided to try and microwave the cooked noodles with a little milk and cheese.  It was yummy!

I used whatever cheese I had on hand and melted it with the noodles for 30 seconds and then added a splash of milk, stirred it, and added it for a few more seconds.  It was so simple that I plan on doing it again!  Next time I might use shells or elbow macaroni instead.

I know what everyone is shouting at me, “You still had to boil the noodles!”  It’s true, I did but think how easy that would be to do the night before and make a quick and easy microwaveable meal for one or two people the next day!?  Of course, the good old fashioned way on the stove works too but this is a good way to reuse leftovers or plan ahead for a quick lunch.

If you give this microwaveable macaroni & cheese a try please let me know what you think of it!