Lunchbox Recipes From Best Homemade Kids Lunches Book


Published:

Back-to-school time means putting some thought into creative lunchboxes. Here are some original recipes  from the new book Best Homemade Lunches on the Planet by blogger and author Laura Fuentes.

The book offers simple and approachable recipes designed for various ages, and helps put variety and nutrition back to lunches using fresh, healthful ingredients. The book includes steps on prepping recipes in advance and making ideal child-sized portions based on a child's age, size, and needs. It features 200 "real-food" recipes, and here are a few of Laura Fuentes' recipes to give you a sample of what's in the book.

Black Bean Quesadillas

It's a myth that quesadillas need to be hot and the cheese needs to be gooey and melty for kids to love them. They are excellent at room temperature and the perfect disguise for healthy things—such as beans. (Pictured above Laura Fuentes' Black Bean Quesadillas)

1/4 cup (25 g) canned black beans, rinsed
2 tablespoons (16 g) frozen corn, thawed
1 tablespoon (9 g) scallions, chopped very small (optional)
2 teaspoons (1 g) fresh cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon Arriba! Seasoning (page 106)
1/4 cup (30 g) shredded Cheddar cheese
Two 8-inch (20 cm) tortillas
2 ounces (55 g) Homemade Salsa (page 180)
In a large bowl, place the beans, corn, onion, if using, cilantro, seasoning, and cheese. Gently mix until everything is evenly combined.
Scoop the filling and place on top of one side of one tortilla. Top with the second tortilla.
In a warm skillet, cook both sides over medium heat until the tortilla is brown and crispy, and the cheese has melted.
For a school lunch: I like to assemble quesadillas the night before. In the morning, I slowly grill them while I pour myself a cup of coffee. After the quesadilla is grilled, I lay it on a cutting board to cool, usually while I am getting the kids dressed. Then, simply cut and pack them inside the lunchbox.
YIELD: 1 or 2 servings
___________________________________
Kitchen Note
Why not make extra quesadillas and freeze them? Assemble quesadillas and place flat on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Once the quesadillas are flash frozen, about 1 hour, transfer to a freezer bag and store flat.
To reheat: Warm in the microwave, or grill in a skillet on low, so you won't burn the tortilla and all the ingredients have time to warm and the cheese to melt.
___________________________________.

o-abc-pinwheels.jpgABC Pinwheels

I love the combination of avocado and bacon. The sweet flavor of ripe avocado paired with the crunchy, salty flavor of bacon is definitely worth each savory bite.

1/4 avocado, mashed
2 teaspoons (10 g) mayonnaise
One 8-inch (20 cm) flour tortilla
2 slices (15 g) bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 tablespoons (15 g) shredded, white Cheddar cheese
In a small bowl, mash the avocado and mix with the mayonnaise.
Place the tortilla on a cutting board, and spread the mayonnaise–avocado mixture evenly over the top. Top with the bacon and cheese.
Roll the tortilla tightly. Cut the tortilla roll in half, and then into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces.
YIELD: 1 serving

Laura's Tip
Save time in the morning by assembling pinwheels the night before and packing them in the lunchbox.

Breakfast Burritoo-breakfast-burrito.jpg

No more frozen breakfast burritos with mystery ingredients, or a quick trip to the drive-through. This is the perfect make-ahead recipe that your entire family will love!
1 tablespoon (16 g) Homemade Salsa (page 180)
1 tablespoon (15 g) sour cream
One 8-inch (20 cm) tortilla
1 large egg, scrambled
2 tablespoons (15 g) shredded cheese
1 slice (7 g) bacon, cooked and crumbled
In a small bowl, the mix salsa and sour cream.
Lay the tortilla on a cutting board, and spread the salsa mixture evenly on the middle third. Lay the egg, cheese, and bacon on top. Fold the sides in, and then roll into a burrito.
For the lunchbox: Wrap in parchment paper and a thin layer of foil to retain the heat (optional). If you must have these warm, cut them in half and insert face up inside a thermos.
YIELD: 1 serving
____________________
Kitchen Note
Get a pack (or two) of flour tortillas and make extra breakfast burritos. Line a baking sheet with parch- ment paper, lay the burritos flat 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart and flash freeze. Transfer the frozen burritos into a freezer ziplock bag. To warm, microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute and enjoy. Store in the freezer up to 2 months.

o-mexican-soup.jpgMexican Soup

With mild, robust flavors, this soup is perfect to fill the thermos on a cold day.

2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup (130 g) carrots, coarsely diced
1/2 cup (75 g) green bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup (80 g) onion, diced
2 small zucchini, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons (14 g) ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 can (14 ounces, or 396 g) petite diced tomatoes, drained
4 cups (940 ml) vegetable broth
1 can (14 ounces, or 400 g) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup (235 ml) water
1/2 cup (95 g) uncooked brown rice
Cilantro for garnish
Heat the oil over medium heat in a large soup pot. Add in the carrots, pepper, onion, zucchini, and garlic. Sauté until just tender, and add in the cumin, oregano, and chili powder. Stir and cook for 1 minute until the spices are fragrant.
Pour in the tomatoes, broth, beans, and water. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Stir in the rice and simmer for an additional 35 minutes. Garnish with cilantro to serve.
YIELD: 6 servings

Photos are courtesy of Laura Fuentes' new book Best Homemade Lunches on the Planet

To find more of all kinds of recipes for your family, visit our recipes page.


Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Content

Conquer the Breakfast Challenge

Make quick, healthy morning meals with these tips and recipes.

Overcome Obstacles to Healthier Eating

See how busy parents are overcoming challenges to put healthier habits into their family life.

Healthy Winter Comfort Food Recipes

Indulge your craving for winter comfort food with these healthy recipes.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

September 2018

Run Club meets every Sunday at 8 a.m. in Midtown Raleigh or Wake Forest. Stroller friendly; children invited. 

Cost: $10/run or $100/annual pass

Where:
Optimist Park Community Center/Greenways
5900 Whittier Drive
Raleigh, NC  27609
View map »


Sponsor: FIT4MOM
Telephone: 919-348-0472
Contact Name: Missy Currin
Website »

More information

The autumnal equinox signals the beginning of fall. It is the point when there are exactly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness at the equator. Mark the change of seasons by heading to the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Embrace your inner rebel and celebrate the motorcycle lifestyle with family-friendly activities ranging from stunt shows and specialty rides to live music and local vendors. See website for hours.

Cost: $10 for ages 13 and older. Free for ages 12 and younger.

Where:
Raleigh Convention Center
500 S. Salisbury St
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

Join Mindful Families of Durham, a Buddhist-inspired spiritual community that supports area parents, caregivers, and their children in the practice of mindfulness and the understanding of the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Erwin Road
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


Sponsor: Mindful Families of Durham
Contact Name: Adam, Laura, Josh, Sumi
Website »

More information

Take part in a class that teaches individualized ways to foster motor development for your child. Learn about carry positions, best positions for your baby, how to help your child learn to crawl,...

Cost: $18

Where:
Open Arts
1222 Copeland Oaks Dr
Morrisville, NC  17560
View map »


Sponsor: Babies On The MOVE
Contact Name: Rebecca Quinones
Website »

More information

Experience a full day of outdoor experiences, nature adventures and family-friendly activities to kick off Take a Child Outside Week.

Cost: Free

Where:
Bond Park
801 High House Rd.
Cary, NC  27513
View map »


Website »

More information

Take part in a 5K race, a kid’s dash and family activities to raise awareness in the fight against lung cancer in North Carolina. 

Cost: Free-$30

Where:
Midtown Park
4011 Cardinal at North Hills
Raleigh, NC  27609
View map »


Website »

More information

Rodeos, a mule-pulling contest, arts and crafts, vendors, carnival rides, street performers, bluegrass shows and more are all part of Benson Mule Days. 

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Benson
500 S. Market St.
Benson, NC  27504
View map »


Website »

More information

Discover Historic Yates Mill – a place of business, community and exciting local history! Explore the inner workings of the mill itself and witness the power of water as it turns the milling...

Cost: $5 for Adults $4 for Seniors (ages 60 & over) $3 for Children (ages 7–16)* *Ch

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675

More information

Pepper Fest heats up with a fresh array of pepper-themed dishes and brews, family activities, a kid chef competition and zesty live music.

Cost: $5-$30

Where:
The Great Meadow, Briar Chapel
161 Salt Cedar Ln.
Chapel Hill, NC  27516
View map »


Website »

More information

PlayMakers Repertory Company presents Ken Ludwig's Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood, a rip-roaring romp through Sherwood Forest with all the thrills and romance you could ever...

Cost: $12-$57

Where:
PlayMakers Repertory Company
120 Country Club Road
Chapel Hill, NC  27599
View map »


Sponsor: PlayMakers Repertory Company
Telephone: 703-850-2282

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Monday, Sept. 24, 11 a.m.–noon Let’s celebrate the arrival of Fall! Make a craft inspired by the leaves’ changing colors. We will bring the materials if you bring the imagination! For all...

Cost: free

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Road
Apex, NC  27539
View map »


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Contact Name: Ashley Martin

More information

PlayMakers Repertory Company presents Ken Ludwig's Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood, a rip-roaring romp through Sherwood Forest with all the thrills and romance you could ever...

Cost: $12-$57

Where:
PlayMakers Repertory Company
120 Country Club Road
Chapel Hill, NC  27599
View map »


Sponsor: PlayMakers Repertory Company
Telephone: 703-850-2282

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Search the meadow for katydid, cicadas, crickets and other incredible insects that make up approximately 80% of the world’s species of animals. All ages. Register online. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Blue Jay Point County Park
3200 Pleasant Union Church Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27614
View map »


Website »

More information

Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2–3:30 p.m. The harvest season was a busy time for Laura Ingalls Wilder's pioneer family. Put on your straw hat or sun bonnet and head to the park to try out the types of farm...

Cost: $6/person

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675

More information

PlayMakers Repertory Company presents Ken Ludwig's Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood, a rip-roaring romp through Sherwood Forest with all the thrills and romance you could ever...

Cost: $12-$57

Where:
PlayMakers Repertory Company
120 Country Club Road
Chapel Hill, NC  27599
View map »


Sponsor: PlayMakers Repertory Company
Telephone: 703-850-2282

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Discover how beavers live, eat and play in their watery world. Search for beaver signs around the pond. Ages 3-5 with parent. Advance registration required.  

Cost: Free

Where:
Wilkerson Nature Preserve
5229 Awls Haven Drive
Raleigh, NC  27614
View map »


Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-6764
Contact Name: Wilkerson staff
Website »

More information

Ages 11 and older with special needs enjoy croquet, bocci, corn hole, ladder ball and more. Register online. Choose course #117149.

Cost: $4/resident, $5/nonresident

Where:
Page-Walker Arts & History Center
119 Ambassador Loop
Cary, NC  27513
View map »


Website »

More information

PlayMakers Repertory Company presents Ken Ludwig's Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood, a rip-roaring romp through Sherwood Forest with all the thrills and romance you could ever...

Cost: $12-$57

Where:
PlayMakers Repertory Company
120 Country Club Road
Chapel Hill, NC  27599
View map »


Sponsor: PlayMakers Repertory Company
Telephone: 703-850-2282

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Play giant board games and special activities.

Cost: Free

Where:
Downtown Cary Park
319 S. Academy St.
Cary, NC  27511
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy nature-themed books followed by a hands-on activity or garden exploration. Ages 3-5 with adult. Register online.

Cost: Free

Where:
North Carolina Botanical Garden
100 Old Mason Farm Rd
Chapel Hill, NC  27517
View map »


Sponsor: North Carolina Botanical Garden
Telephone: 919-537-3770
Contact Name: Elisha Taylor
Website »

More information

Apple Day features fresh North Carolina apples, an apple dessert and more.

Cost: Free

Where:
State Farmers Market
1201 Agriculture St.
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Website »

More information

Ages 11 and older with special needs enjoy trivia about sports, music, movies and more. Register online. Choose course #116583.

Cost: $2/resident, $3/nonresident

Where:
Cary Senior Center
120 Maury O'Dell Place
Cary, NC  27513
View map »


Website »

More information

PlayMakers Repertory Company presents Ken Ludwig's Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood, a rip-roaring romp through Sherwood Forest with all the thrills and romance you could ever...

Cost: $12-$57

Where:
PlayMakers Repertory Company
120 Country Club Road
Chapel Hill, NC  27599
View map »


Sponsor: PlayMakers Repertory Company
Telephone: 703-850-2282

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Mums and pumpkins take center stage at this festival featuring food trucks, inflatables, hayrides and vendors.

Cost: Free

Where:
Knightdale Station Park
810 N. First Ave.
Knightdale, NC  27545
View map »


Website »

More information

PlayMakers Repertory Company presents Ken Ludwig's Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood, a rip-roaring romp through Sherwood Forest with all the thrills and romance you could ever...

Cost: $12-$57

Where:
PlayMakers Repertory Company
120 Country Club Road
Chapel Hill, NC  27599
View map »


Sponsor: PlayMakers Repertory Company
Telephone: 703-850-2282

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Welcome fall's arrival with a food truck rodeo, car show, face painting, a craft show and more.  

Cost: Free

Where:
125 U.S. 1-A
Youngsville, NC  27596
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy national and regional professional dancers from the Wake Forest dance community and beyond, as well locally rising advanced dance performers. 

Cost: Free

Where:
E. Carroll Joyner Park
701 Harris Rd.
Wake Forest, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Take part in a 1.4-mile walk for inclusiveness. Registration and activities begin at 10 a.m.; walk begins at 10:30 a.m. Enjoy refreshments, games, raffle and a decorating station. All ages and...

Cost: $15/family, $5/individual

Where:
Kids Together Playground
111 Thurston Dr.
Cary, NC  27518
View map »


Website »

More information

Mums and pumpkins take center stage at this festival featuring food trucks, inflatables, hayrides and vendors.

Cost: Free

Where:
Knightdale Station Park
810 N. First Ave.
Knightdale, NC  27545
View map »


Website »

More information

Take the family for a celebration of Orange County’s heritage and culture. Enjoy local food, music, cooking demonstrations, local artists and crafters, and kids’ activities.

Cost: Free

Where:
Blackwood Farm Park
4215 NC Hwy 86
Hillsborough, NC  27278
View map »


Sponsor: Orange County Government
Telephone: 919-245-2063
Contact Name: Mike Lanier
Website »

More information

Children's booksellers read their favorite picture books. All ages.

Cost: Free

Where:
Quail Ridge Books
4209-100 Lassiter Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
View map »


Website »

More information

Matthew Cordell's upcoming tour for his next book, "King Alice," will make a stop at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh. Cordell most recently won the Caldecott Medal for his picture book,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Quail Ridge Books
4209-100 Lassiter Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy a day at the park and listen to stories from professional storytellers in an event presented in partnership with Wake County Public Libraries. Enjoy a wagon shuttle, activity tents, and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Oak View County Park
4028 Carya Dr.
Raleigh, NC  27610
View map »


Sponsor: Wake County Public Libraries and Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space
Telephone: 919-212-7695
Contact Name: Abby Jones
Website »

More information

Take the family for pony rides, riding demonstrations, miniature horses and a petting area, hayrides, games, food trucks and an appearance by Woody and Jesse from Toy Story. Purchase activity bands...

Cost: Admission is free. Some activities charge a fee.

Where:
Horses for Hope
2909 Banks Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Website »

More information

Celebrate Morrisville, Wake County’s most diverse community, with a day of food, culture and music from around the world. Kids can enjoy face painting and a bounce house.

Cost: Free

Where:
Park West Village
Village Market Place
Morrisville, NC  27560
View map »


Website »

More information

Snakes are very misunderstood and feared, yet are so important to the ecosystem. Meet some friendly snakes up close and learn about common snakes found in this area. All ages. Meet at the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Harris Lake County Park
2112 County Park Dr.
New Hill, NC  27562
View map »


Sponsor: Harris Lake County Park
Telephone: 919-387-4342
Contact Name: Joanne St. Clair
Website »

More information

Want to get inside Historic Yates Mill? Join us for a half-hour tour (starting at 1 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2 p.m., 2:30 p.m. or 3 p.m.) to view the main power drive and milling machinery while exploring...

Cost: $5 for Adults $4 for Seniors (ages 60 & over) $3 for Children (ages 7–16)* *Ch

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675

More information

Explore the historic heart of downtown Raleigh on a walking tour of Fayetteville Street. Tours highlight the people, places, architecture and political movements that have shaped...

Cost: Adults (18+) $10; Youth (7-17) $4; Children (6 & under) Free.

Where:
City of Raleigh Museum
220 Fayetteville St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

Be part of the 2017 Harvest Festival, organized by St. Gregorios Indian Orthodox Church Raleigh, where authentic freshly cooked food, stage performances, music, live auction,...

Cost: Free

Where:
St Gregorios Indian Orthodox Church
225 Bashford Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27606
View map »


Website »

More information

PlayMakers Repertory Company presents Ken Ludwig's Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood, a rip-roaring romp through Sherwood Forest with all the thrills and romance you could ever...

Cost: $12-$57

Where:
PlayMakers Repertory Company
120 Country Club Road
Chapel Hill, NC  27599
View map »


Sponsor: PlayMakers Repertory Company
Telephone: 703-850-2282

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit Module

Magazine

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Directories

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Annual Guides

Education Guide

The 2017-18 Education Guide offers 660 education resources in the Triangle, including area preschools, private schools, public school systems, charter schools, boarding schools and academic resources.

The Triangle Go-To Guide

Our Triangle Go-To Guide connects you to family fun resources across the Triangle. Plus, find out who our 2018 Readers' Favorites are.