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Before the coronavirus crisis, when my kids were going to school everyday, I was all about the easy lunch ideas. I’d usually make a large batch of lentil stew, tuna fish or salmon sandwiches, or rice, beans and vegetables.

Now that my kids are at home everyday and I’m totally failing trying to balance work and distance learning while also trying to keep everyone healthy, happy and calm, easy lunch ideas have become even more important. Although my husband and I are still making the same amount of meals and snacks, there’s more to do overall so lunches must be quick and easy.

While my kids have definitely been eating healthier, it’s not always ideal, which got my wondering—what are nutritionists feeding their kids?  I decided to reach out to some of the best nutritionists who are also moms for some healthy and easy lunch ideas that will also save you money at the grocery store and last for more than one meal. Here are 6 ideas.

1. AVOCADO TOAST

Dana Angelo White is one of my favorite nutritionists. You can find her articles and recipes on FoodNetwork.com and her new book, “Healthy One Pan Dinners,” will be released in June.

All of her recipes are always easy, tailored for the home chef, and call for simple ingredients you already have on hand. As a mom of 3, Dana also knows that in recent weeks, we all need some easy lunch ideas and it doesn’t get much easier than avocado toast.

Avocado is a superfood for kids and so easy to prepare. Grab a slice of toast, mash the avocado, sprinkle with lemon or lime, salt and pepper or everything bagel seasoning, add a vegetable on the side, and lunch is served.

2. PANTRY PEANUT BUTTER & CHICKPEA SOUP

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If you find yourself spending more time at home ... and have spent some time stocking up on nourishing pantry, fridge, and freezer staples, then give my new recipe for Pantry Peanut Butter & Chickpea Soup a whirl. This comforting, hearty, and easy-to-make brew comes together quickly w/ pantry staples like canned chickpeas, canned tomato sauce, all-natural vegetable broth, peanut butter, every-day spices, and hearty vegetables including garlic, onions, and bell pepper. The other day when I had some extra time on my hands, I cleaned out my spice cabinet. It felt really great getting organized and it got me thinking about this peanut butter soup recipe, which I used to make for my boys when they were young. I gave it a few updates by swapping the farro for whole grain brown rice (my son is #glutenfree) and adding turmeric for its beautiful golden color and anti-inflammatory properties. I love everything about this recipe, because it celebrates nutritious plant foods, is vegetarian and vegan, and has a lovely flavor and texture. The soup yields 9 cups and between my husband Tim and my son, Simon, who is home from college, it didn’t last long. Are you home on self quarantine or just laying low? Are you looking for mealtime inspiration or do you have a recipe you’re making that you would like to share? Post a comment on this thread and let’s get some dinner ideas circulating! Be safe everyone and please be in touch! Recipe link in profile #vegan #vegetarian #plantbased #haveaplant #quarantinekitchen #quarantinecuisine #peanutbutter #soup #dinner #pulses #lovepulses #rdsofinstagram #glutenfree #glurenfreerecipes #instafood #meatlessmonday #meatlessmeals #peanuts #vegetables #rice #wholegrain #turmeric #tomatoes #tomatoes🍅 #tomatosauce #tomatowellness

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It’s still a bit chilly here in the Northeast, so serving up a healthy and savory soup to warm up with seems right.

With canned foods and ingredients you probably have on hand, this Pantry Peanut Butter & Chickpea Soup from Liz Weiss is one of the best easy lunch ideas.

Vegan and gluten-free, this hearty soup is a creamy and delicious blend of chickpeas, tomato sauce, kid-friendly peanut butter, vegetables, and anti-inflammatory spices like tumeric and cumin. To save time, make the soup the night before or before the kiddos wake up in the morning.

3. MINI TACO CUPS

While you definitely need quick and easy lunch ideas, making large batches of food to last for several meals will make your life easier.

Plus, the great thing about having the kids at home is that you don’t have to think about what will stay fresh for a few hours or what will fit in a lunchbox.

That’s why I love Holley Grainger’s recipe for Mini Taco Cups. High in protein, B vitamins and zinc, these taco cups are healthy and delicious. Even better—your kids can help you chop the vegetables and choose their own toppings to make it their own.

4. PASTA AND PEAS

It doesn’t get much easier—or more affordable—than this pasta and peas dish from Kath Younger. Whether you’re an amazing home chef or don’t cook much at all, anyone can make this simple dish using pantry staples.

With 5 grams of fiber and protein in 1/2 cup, plus vitamins A, B6, C, K, folate and magnesium, frozen peas are one of the best budget-friendly healthy foods.

Add butter, parmesan, lemon juice and lemon zest, and black pepper, and you’ve got a healthy and satisfying lunch your kids will love. 

5. EASY SPRING STRAWBERRY SALAD

The best thing about having my kids at home—besides the fact that we’ve grown closer—is that they’re eating healthier.

Since they’re not watching their friends eat unhealthy school lunches and competitive foods the cafeteria serves like chips, ice cream and cookies, they’re not complaining about lunch or asking for junk food.

In fact, almost every day I’ve made a big chopped salad using my wood chopping bowl and mezzaluna and they’ve loved it.

I was so excited therefore, when I found this Easy Spring Strawberry Salad from natural culinary nutritionist Jackie Newgent. With fresh baby arugula, strawberries, almonds, black pepper and a yummy strawberry dressing to taste, your kids will get plenty of nutrition, some natural sweetness and tons of yummy goodness.

Related: How To Get Your Kids To Eat Salad

6. BAKED EGG CUPS

Eggs are one of the healthiest foods you can feed your kids and the best part is that they can be served up any time of day.

One of the easiest ways to make eggs are baked egg cups like these from Mandy Sacher of Wholesome Child.

Her recipe offers a ton of protein, fiber and healthy fats, not to mention the combination of sweet and savory is so delicious. Even better—they only take 15 minutes to prepare and about 15 minutes to cook. They’re definitely one of the best lunch ideas, but if you find yourself with leftovers, you can serve them for breakfast or snacks too.

Author Details
Julie Revelant teaches parents how to raise children who are healthy, adventurous eaters. Through blog posts and videos, her goal is to shift the conversation from short-term, problem picky eating to lifelong, healthy eating and healthy futures. Julie has written for FoxNews.com, FIRST for Women magazine, WhatToExpect.com, EverydayHealth.com, RD.com, TheBump.com, Care.com, and Babble.com.

Julie Revelant