Anyone make pasta for childrens packed lunches?(14 Posts)
DS has decided he no longer likes sandwiches <sigh> and would like to have a bowl of cold pasta in his packed lunch instead. Those of you who already do this - please could I ask a few questions?...
How long does a batch of pasta last? Assuming I cook a batch sunday evening and decant it into meal-sized bowls before refrigerating, I know it will be fine to eat monday and tuesday but what about wed, thurs and fri?
Do you cook plain pasta and add different things each day, or make a pasta 'dish' and give them the same each day? (bear in mind DS is very fussy and will probably only accept half a dozen other ingredients!)
Any recipe suggestions for a child who doesn't like vegetables other than sweetcorn?
You can't make it last all week, 2 days max. What about soup? Hot dogs in a flask (you'll need to teach him how to empty the water out safely) with a sachet of ketchup and a pre-cut roll? Quiche and fruit? Chicken drumsticks? Pasta with chicken, sweetcorn and mayo? Pasta with frankfurters and pesto?
Use the colourful pasta for a child who won't eat veggies, the kind made with spinach and tomatoes.
Or make small individual pizzas using sauce that contains pureed veggies. You can add cheese when you thaw and reheat daily (or freeze dough circles, freeze sauce, and thaw, add sauce and cheese and bake the night before). Small calzone style pizzas are nice too. So is homemade focaccia bread, which is very easy to make.
I also make empanadas and use up leftovers. Phyllo dough is great for clearing the fridge too. All that kind of lunch food can be frozen and microwaved quickly in the morning.
I send a lot of leftover pasta for lunch, in food flasks. Never spaghetti though, just rotini etc., as it's easier to eat and talk to friends with small pieces. I have a good few very small containers that can hold grated parmesan or frozen peas or crumbled bits of rashers/sausage or whatever they fancy, and then they can have a warm pasta dish with bits of whatever mixed in at school.
They also like leftover lasagne (again with hidden pureed veggies) and will have it either hottish in a flask or cold.
I never send anything with egg added or an egg dish, as it tends to spoil and doesn't do well in a flask.
Pasta and pesto is nice cold, can add peas for a bit of nutrition.
You can send in cold pasta dishes too. My ds would devour pasta twists, sweetcorna nd shreded chicken. Or with tuna and peas. Or with pesto. Or bacon and chickpeas. You could either mix it all together or give him little pots of bits and bobs and he can eat it as he likes.
Mine would eat dry (and uncooked ) tortellini if I didn't hide it. They like it cold (and cooked) with pine nuts in school.
I tend to cook the pasta as I need it, but make a big batch of hidden veggie sauce that I freeze in individual portions and then heat up as and when. the last batch I made contained celery, onions, garlic, carrots, parsnips, peppers (1 red, 1 yellow), chopped tomatoes and lots of Thyme - you can pretty much use whatever you have lurking so long as it's blended smooth, all they taste is tomato-y herby sauce, regardless of whatever else you have added. It's very palatable and i just mix it with the pasta and put in a flask, A bit of chicken/cheese/bacon can add a bit of protein.
Thanks - some brilliant ideas here! I've never heard of a food flask, I assumed I'd just have to make cold pasta dishes, but that opens up lots more options!
Just going for basic tubes with sausage, cheese and sweetcorn tonight, so he can take in the leftovers tomorrow. I'll shop for more exciting ingredients at the weekend!
My children regularly had pasta for school lunches. Anything from pesto with chicken or peas or pinenuts. Or pasta with vinegarette and chopped hotdog with toms, cucumber, spring onion and sweet corn. Or with mayo and tuna. There's loads of options but they preferred the cold variations.
DD won't eat sandwiches, but will eat wraps or bagels, scones (cheese & cheese or egg inside or plain with jam & fruit).
Pasta cooked on Sunday would keep until Tuesday - Wednesday would be risky imo.
It's easy enough to cook up some pasta during the week though. Takes 10 minutes to cook, rinse with cold water (helps to stop it sticking) drain & strain drizzle with a little oil.
These are things we add: 1 choice of - chopped cooked chicken/tuna/ shredded beef/finely chopped ham/chopped egg/chopped crispy bacon with 2 or 3 choices of - sweetcorn/chopped tomatoes, seeds removed/chopped spinach/herbs/tomato pasta sauce/pesto/chopped spring onion/chopped sweet pepper/cooked broccoli/green beans etc. and optional:cheese/pine nuts.
I would put together the things that need more preparation or chopping at the weekend, and then on a Wednesday they have something else then make a new batch of pasta and mix with cooked chicken, tinned sweetcorn, a bit of green leafy something and either mayo or that Heinz Salad Yogurt dressing (also great with potato salad and same ingredients for packed lunches).
You can buy little thermo pots to keep food hot - they're on amazon - they're very good
Thermos food flask. They are not huge, but with a muffin (containing pureed veggies or veggie powder) or two and an apple or slice of banana bread, that makes a reasonably sized lunch.
Two of my DC take a pasta salad nearly every day, just plain pasta shapes with a selection of cucumber, tomatoes, peppers, sweetcorn, etc. They don't like meat or anything else in it.
I know this message is a little old but I have a thermos for my boys which I put soup and baked beans etc in. Can I ask those of you that do pasta whether you cook it thoroughly beforehand or cook it for less time and then leave it to steam during the morning? Thanks
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