Thanks to Hillshire Farm for sponsoring this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own!
Do you have a list of food items that you always have in your kitchen? You know, the stuff that your family loves and expects to find available at all times? Well for us, cheese, bread, yogurt, peanut butter, and deli lunchmeat are all considered staples, because they are the primary ingredients in some of our favorite healthy, quick, and tasty meals!
As you probably know by now, my three-year-old and four-year-old returned to morning preschool earlier this month. That means that I pick them up from school at noon and race them home to feed them lunch as quickly as possible. By that time of day, they spend most of the drive home telling me that they are “staaaaaarving.”
Since I know that I will walk in the door with three hungry little kids and my hands full of backpacks, babies, lunch boxes, paperwork, etc., I make an effort on most days to prepare their midday meal ahead of time. That way we can walk straight into the kitchen and sit down to a calm lunch right away. Some days it works...other days? Not so much.
What really helps me prep these lunches are convenient items that I know they will love…like the new premium line of lunchmeat from Hillshire Farm. These Hillshire Farm Naturals contain no artificial ingredients, preservatives, colors or added nitrites/nitrates except those occurring naturally in celery juice. That means that I’m a happy mom, and my boys are happy kids!
Last week Spencer and I headed out for a grocery shopping run at Walmart while the boys were in school.
We picked up two packs of the Hillshire Farm Naturals lunchmeat so that we could scurry home and get some goodies prepared for the boys before it was time for pick-up. In the packaged deli meat section, I grabbed a container of the Honey Roasted Ham (Casey’s favorite) and a container of the Slow Roasted Turkey (Gibbs’s favorite). The line also includes Hardwood Smoked Turkey Breast and Black Forest Ham.
I love that the products are packaged in double-sealed, re-sealable tubs that lock in great taste. The Honey Roasted Ham stays sweet and smoky, and the Slow Roasted Turkey holds onto that delicious, just-carved freshness.
In order to keep my big boys on their toes (and to keep mealtime interesting), I like to serve these favorites in a variety of ways. Here are just a few of my Healthy and Easy Lunch Ideas for Kids, which we have enjoyed over the past couple of days:
The Classic Meat-and-Cheese Sandwich Cut-Outs:
I use cookie cutters in a variety of shapes and seasonal designs to make the boys’ sandwiches just a little bit special. No, I don’t do this every single day. But when I do, they really appreciate it! If you have a child who prefers the crust cut off of a sandwich, or if you have a 10-month-old who finds it easier to eat a sandwich without the crust, then the cookie cutters make the trimming much more efficient!
Here’s how I served the sandwiches on one afternoon: Casey’s dinosaur included the Honey Roasted Ham, American cheese, mayonnaise, and whole wheat bread.
Gibbs ate a Slow Roasted Turkey Sandwich with provolone cheese and mayo on whole wheat bread…in the shape of a car!
Another fun option, which happens to be Casey’s favorite: Ham, Cheddar, and Apple Kabobs:
Doesn’t everyone love food on a stick (no matter how old we are)? The sweet, salty, creamy combo just works so well here. Again, I use cookie cutters to make the cheese into shapes. They’re easier for baby Spence to hold that way, too!
And finally, since my family loves Mexican food, I pulled together these Turkey and Guacamole Roll-Ups:
Here are a few more examples of food items that you will always find in my refrigerator: the turkey (obviously), individual snack-size cups of prepared guacamole (which are perfect for dipping or spreading), shredded cheddar cheese, and tortillas. Served with a bit of salsa and a few tortilla chips, everyone is happy!
I hope that these ideas make your lunchtime prep a bit easier, a bit tastier, and a bit more fun! And be sure to check out the new line of Hillshire Farm Naturals lunchmeat – I know that you will love it as much as we do! You can scoop up a few packs of the tasty meat at Walmart, and be sure to visit Hillshire Farm on Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube!