We all know the scenario.
Your kid comes home from school, you engage in some short-answered conversation (most of which are of you probing your child on what they did and learned at school today — and naturally, they can only remember the oddest and trivial activities like someones ball getting stuck in a tree…) and then you take their lunch bag out and observe, only to be disappointed YET again at the leftovers or the fact that it’s clean to the tee.
That includes the veggies. You know what that means.
They either swapped their lunch with an invisible hungry lunch fairy that eats everything or it’s sitting in their classroom trash can.
My daughter’s picky-ness level has lowered quite a bit from her younger days (thank goodness!) but she still has her days. And as a concerned mother, having my child active and learning for 5-6 hours a day on just a few nibbles of a sandwich or crackers and cheese and some fruits and veggies just isn’t enough.
It didn’t take me long to realize that although those cute little bento box lunches and designs are tempting, no matter what adorable animal designs I cut up my kids sandwiches in or whether I add some adorable little eyeballs to her cherry tomatoes, she won’t eat it if she doesn’t like the taste of it.
One of the lunches my daughter just loves is anything that has pasta in it. She hearts pasta so much and it’s great for us parents because we can whip up something super delicious with some good pasta. Plus I like that it’s easy to prepare which means I can involve my children in prepping their lunches. It’s a proven fact that when kids are involved in preparing meals, they are most likely to eat it.
Barilla Pasta is a favourite brand of ours, especially with all the options they offer like gluten-free, Barilla PLUS®, whole wheat, La Collezione (very authentic pasta!) and of course their classic variety of favourites!
They also recently launched a fantastic new initiative called Share the Table. Share the Table is on a mission to making mealtime meaningful again.
This includes getting your kids to talk more! Which as I had mentioned above can be a little challenge in our home.
You can check out some great tips to help facilitate more family dinners in your home including recipes PLUS a chance to even win a trip to Italy (wow!) at sharethetable.barilla.ca.
Here’s one recipe that my kids request over and over again and my daughter loves for her lunch (it tastes good hot or cold!) and only requires very little ingredients and prep time.
Another great thing about it is that it is more on the drier side (less saucy) which makes it easier and less messy for kids lunches. But I must warn you first, this isn’t considered “healthy” but it sure is darn delicious! So serve according to your limits, of course. 🙂
- - 1 box of Barilla Farfalle Pasta (or bow-ties as my kids call them)
- - 8 slices of bacon (or the entire bag; the more, the merrier!), cut up in pieces
- - 1 cup of Chicken breasts or thighs, shredded (I used leftovers from a roast chicken; alternatively you can just cook up some chicken breasts or thighs separately and then shred them up)
- - 4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
- - 1/2 stick of butter
- - olive oil
- - white wine (for drinking while cooking and also a small splash for the sauce)
- - fresh leaf parsley
- - salt and pepper to taste
- - 3 Eggs
- - 1/4 cup of parmigiano reggiano, shredded
- 1) Cook Barilla Farfalle pasta as per directions in salted boiling water
- 2) While Pasta is cooking, prepare your sauce. Cook chopped bacon in medium-heat until cooked and renders bacon fat. Remove the cooked bacon and set aside.
- 3) Add minced garlic and cook (but don't brown). Add bacon and chicken to the pan with the garlic and combine adding some olive oil and chopped flat leafed parsley.
- 4) Add a good splash of white wine
- 5) Add butter and let that baby melt. Combine ingredients and cook for 5-10 minutes until all ingredients are well combined.
- 6) Scramble together eggs and add in parmigiano reggiano
- 7) Add sauce to cooled, cooked farfalle
- 8) Add egg and cheese mixture to pasta and then right away combine all ingredients well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve and enjoy!
- The pasta should be more on the dry side but very tasty!
Courtesy of our friends at Barilla Canada, one of you can win a Barilla Canada Prize Pack so you can get inspired to whip up some delicious pasta dishes (and school lunches!).
To enter, leave me a comment below telling me what your biggest challenge is when preparing school lunches.
Open to Canadian Residents only. Ends September 16, 2015.
Barilla Canada Share the Table Giveaway
As always, all opinions expressed are entirely those of the author.