My little love was under the weather a for a few days this week, so we didn't exactly have the need for a 'lunch box' today, but... this is what I served her at home for lunch. After all, what's more of a comfort food than macaroni and cheese?
Well, not much! I pretty much put everything into this lunch that would be considered her favorite things. And they all tend to be things that most kids enjoy eating. It was a little bit of a happy accident that it happened to be just what she needed on her sick days! Grapes. Mac-n-cheese. Hot dog. And peas and carrots.
I had actually planned to send this same meal with her up to school, since they have a nice lady that prepares their nutritious snacks and also heats up any 'hot' things that are taken up there for the kiddos. If I had sent this lunch box up to school, I would have precooked the noodles and packed them plain with instructions to reheat.
Further instructions are listed below for a 'packed lunch'.
Of course, if you don't have the option of sending heatable meals up to school with your little one, this probably would be a good lunch option. Sorry!
I used a 2% sharp cheddar for this bowl of macaroni, but you should experiment with other kinds of cheese too! Or use whatever kind your little one might prefer.
If it were up to me, I'd toss everything but the grapes into a bowl together and have one big cheesy mess to enjoy, but... what can I say? My little girl is very organized and prefers the food on her plate to start out separated.
Homemade Whole Wheat 'Easy Mac'
Homemade 'Easy Mac':
Servings: 1 • Size: 1 Bowl • Calories: 285.3 • Fat: 12.7 g • Carb: 30.1 g • Fiber: 3.3 g • Protein: 14.5 g • Sugar: 2.1 g • Sodium: 261.2 mg
Entire Lunch Box (Including Easy Mac):
Servings: 1 • Size: 1 Lunch Box • Calories: 414.1 • Fat: 17.9 g • Carb: 45.3 g • Fiber: 4.9 g • Protein: 20.1 g • Sugar: 7.1 g • Sodium: 669.1 mg
Homemade 'Easy Mac':
1/3 C. Elbow Noodles
1/4 C. Water (+ More as needed.)
1/3 C. 2% Sharp Cheese, Shredded
2 Tsp. Fat Free Milk
Salt & Pepper to Taste
The Lunch Box:
1 Turkey Dog, Cooked
1/3 C. Peas & Carrots, Steamed
1/2 C. Grapes
Combine water and noodles in a large microwave safe soup mug or bowl.
Microwave for 2 minutes and then stir again.
Continue to microwave for 4 more minutes in 1 minute intervals, stirring and adding 1-2 tbsp. of water as needed to keep the noodles moist. (The amount of water added completely depends on how strong your microwave is, so you just have to keep an eye on it.)
You do not want the noodles to ever have less than 1 tbsp. of water in the bowl with them.
If you're packing this for a school lunch, you can pack up the cooked noodles with the cheese separate at this point and continue with the steps below once ready to reheat.
Add in cheese and stir to combine.
Microwave for another 30-45 seconds.
Once done, stir in the milk and season to taste.