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. 🙂

Garlicky Chicken Carbonara Bow-ties
Serves 4
A sinfully delicious and easy to make carbonara that your family will love and only requires a few ingredients.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
  1. - 1 box of Barilla Farfalle Pasta (or bow-ties as my kids call them)
  2. - 8 slices of bacon (or the entire bag; the more, the merrier!), cut up in pieces
  3. - 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. - 4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
  5. - 1/2 stick of butter
  6. - olive oil
  7. - white wine (for drinking while cooking and also a small splash for the sauce)
  8. - fresh leaf parsley
  9. - salt and pepper to taste
  10. - 3 Eggs
  11. - 1/4 cup of parmigiano reggiano, shredded
  1. 1) Cook Barilla Farfalle pasta as per directions in salted boiling water
  2. 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. 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. 4) Add a good splash of white wine
  5. 5) Add butter and let that baby melt. Combine ingredients and cook for 5-10 minutes until all ingredients are well combined.
  6. 6) Scramble together eggs and add in parmigiano reggiano
  7. 7) Add sauce to cooled, cooked farfalle
  8. 8) Add egg and cheese mixture to pasta and then right away combine all ingredients well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Serve and enjoy!
  1. The pasta should be more on the dry side but very tasty!
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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

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in partnership with Barilla Canada.
As always, all opinions expressed are entirely those of the author.

125 Comments on B2S Lunch Your Kid Won’t Throw Away: Garlicky Chicken Carbonara + Giveaway

  1. My biggest challenge when preparing school lunches is finding ways to get them to eat more fruit and veggies, without complaints!

  2. I have to make sure the kids enjoy the foods that i’m sending, that I change things up to keep it interesting and that I send small portions. Otherwise the lunches come home uneaten or at least, partially uneaten.

  3. my biggest challenge is trying to keep lunches healthy and interesting so they actually eat them all and not bring things home again.

  4. Biggest challenge was variety. I think it bothered me more than it bothered the children. Having one picky eater and one who would eat anything and everything made it challenging. I kinda miss those days. lol.

  5. Getting my middle daughter to actually eat. She is never hungry at lunch, but two hours later will eat ALL the snacks.

  6. My biggest challenge is to remember not to use any mayo or butter as a spread for the kids as they do not like anything like that on their sandwiches.

  7. My biggest challenge is that the boys are all picky eaters, but not in the same way, so I have to prepare 4 different lunches that do not require the use of a microwave. Makes it difficult and frustrating!

  8. my biggest challenge is variety (not having the same thing every day) and getting healthy food in there (enough veggies/fruits, grains…etc)

  9. I find the biggest challenge is keeping the lunches varied and interesting, it is very easy to fall into the habit of making the same things all the time.

  10. Getting foods made that are healthy, sustainable and something my child likes to eat. I am not a purchaser if much in a box so we bake and make most snacks.

  11. An old faithful B2S Lunch that my Kids Won’t Throw Away is: A tupperware container full of Barilla Pasta with my homemade Meat Sauce. The container comes home almost clean enough to be put away in the cupboard. They love it and constantly ask for it!

  12. My sister is a teacher and her husband works out fora few months at a time so I am it and I love that I can, she will pack some veggies or fruit but they come for a hot lunch because the school is 3 blocks away, they get spaghetti, chili, soup and sandwich, Mac and cheese home made, then when they run to their classes and spots at night they already had a big meal and wear them off

  13. The biggest challenge to making lunches is, is it healthy enough, is it going to be eaten and is it safe to take to school, I don’t want the kids to get bored and you also have to obey the school rules too when it comes to lunch’s

  14. My biggest challenge is avoiding peanut butter. Peanut butter is Sophies favourite thing ever and not being able to add it to her lunch is going to be difficult.

  15. My biggest challenge is finding something that doesn’t contain nuts, my children’s school has a no nut policy.I usually give veggies and dip as a snack. I make bread so I know my sandwiches are nut free.

  16. My daughter is on a gluten free diet so I sometimes find it difficult to make hearty, flavourful & cost-effective gluten free lunches.

  17. My biggest challenge is making sure that it’s a balanced lunch, with all the food groups, and still something that my child will find fun and enjoy

  18. My biggest challenge is providing variety and making things that my grandchildren will actually eat. They are quite picky eaters.

  19. The biggest challenge is my daughter keeps asking for ham & cheese and I’d rather her eat less deli meat and more variety.

  20. it’s hard to find things that travel well in lunchboxes. like some fruit will get soggy , and when you put things together they can get soggy

  21. Our home has to be gluten free, so I making also everything from scratch. Making lunches to go is a different challenge to find new thing everyday!

  22. I can tell ya the struggle when making food for my 3 year old is the fact that she is REALLY picky and hates many different foods so its always a struggle trying to get her to eat something new BUT she LOVES pasta!

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