It’s already that time of year again. Where did the summer go? And, for as long as I can remember, coming up with great school box lunches is one of the biggest challenges of all. Luckily I can say that say that all of the fun compartments they provide today certainly helps. I found an adorable stackable set by Rubbermaid, complete with a little frozen block that snaps in between to keep everything cool and fresh. Perfect portion sizes to make a fun and healthy packed lunch!
I can’t think of anything more enjoyed by kids than ramen noodles, and the great news is that they are available fresh now! Boiling them in salted water for about 2 minutes and tossing with sesame oil, soy and rice vinegar makes a perfect base for a ton of options. They keep in the refrigerator and taste best at room temp. So, absolutely perfect for to-go lunch packs.
To keep your kids interested, it’s important to keep your ingredients easy and colorful! Providing the smaller portioned items creates a wonderful way to make your child feel like a little artist in the lunchroom. Fun and healthy! Today, I included some green beans, corn, and cukes and tomatoes. Again, eye appealing, simple and quite yummy! This works for both adults and kids!! I’ve found that the more I eat these items with my child, the more likely they are to tackle them in the lunchroom too.
Lunch Pro Tip: Try putting the meal together the night before to show as an example, and your child will love attempting to create their own piece of art to match the next day.
Here’s how to put this healthy meal together as a packed lunch:
1. Prepare the noodles as described above. (You can also add toasted sesame seeds for a bit more texture). Store in an airtight container in the fridge. These last for a week and are just wonderful as is or by adding different ingredients to enhance.
2. For the cucumbers and cherry tomatoes, marinate in rice wine vinegar and salt and pepper. They get yummier and yummier as they sit in the fridge. Great as a snack alone, as well. Crunchy and cooling. Adds sweet bite to noodles.
3. Blanch the green beans and then place them in a hot skillet with vegetable oil. Let the beans sear. Add soy or salt, a dash of sesame oil. These are so good!!! And, the sear makes them seem more like a fried item instead of the usual steamed variety. A good trick!!
4. Finally, just remove corn kernels from cob and saute in oil for about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add some scallion for color and zing.
These were the additions I chose for this particular day, but as you can imagine, lots of options can work! If you prefer to add some meat, some rotisserie chicken is the perfect easy choice. Also, broccoli or red peppers. So, many things can work. Pick whatever you and your little ones like!!
How’s this for a healthy, cool take on the classic ramen noodle dish of yesteryear? What additions do you think would work best? Have fun with this. And, school lunch can prove to be less of a pain. All packed up the night before and a work of art to be created the next day! A win for all!!
Susan Richards is a contributor and lifelong friend to BonBon Rose Girls.