Listen, we love a good turkey or peanut butter and jelly sandwich. We’ve even been known to indulge in a Lunchable every now and again. But spicing up your kid’s packed lunch game is key to ensuring that they’re actually enjoying their midday meal, and not trading it for a more exciting option.
We’re not saying you should prepare a restaurant-quality meal from scratch every morning—you can easily whip up something worthy of your kiddo’s lunch box with leftovers you probably already have in your fridge. We came up with a list of six interesting ways to make last night’s dinner tomorrow’s lunch:
Cooking dinner shouldn't be complicated
If you have leftover chicken, make…
- Taquitos. It’s crazy how simple chicken taquitos are: Simply roll up leftover chicken and shredded cheese in a tortilla, brush with butter, then bake. Get the full recipe here.
- Barbecue chicken sliders. Toss leftover grilled chicken with a store-bought (or homemade, if you’re feeling crazy) barbecue sauce and serve on a slider bun.
- Chicken kabobs, because somehow chicken skewered on a stick feels more exciting than chicken off a stick.
If you have leftover pasta, make…
- Pasta salad. Ain’t no shame in the pasta salad game—toss your leftover cooked pasta noodles with peas, carrots, olives, and whatever else you have in your fridge. Get the full recipe here.
- Mini spaghetti pies. Are buttered noodles the pinnacle of fine dining for your kid? Then they’ll love this twist on their favorite meal. Get the full recipe here.
If you have leftover pot roast, make…
- A DIY nacho kit. Lunchables won’t know what hit ‘em. All you need to make this work is a reusable container with dividers, shredded leftover pot roast, and some tortilla chips. Pro tip: Keep the meat warm in a preheated thermos.
Read more: 5 Back-to-School Lunches for Picky Eaters
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