5 Lunch Recipes to Enjoy With the Fam on “Take Your Parents to Lunch” Day
Let's be honest: Οnce they reach a certain age, teenagers believe that spending time with their parents is boring and uncool. However, experts(1) agree that family group activities, such as shared meals, benefit kids and adults by strengthening their bond and developing a deeper connection.
And that's why National "Take Your Parents to Lunch" Day(2) is becoming more popular each year. The annual holiday poses an excellent opportunity for parents and kids to bond over lunch, whether at the school cafeteria or a nearby park (picnic, anyone?).
So, to help you join the celebrations and create unique memories with your kid, we rounded up five easy lunch recipes that'll make this year's National “Take Your Parents to Lunch” Day all the more precious.
What is National "Take Your Parents to Lunch" Day?
Celebrated on October 14th, National "Take Your Parents to Lunch" Day is an annual event where parents share a meal with their kids, usually at the school's cafeteria. However, that doesn't mean you can't take the celebrations elsewhere as a park picnic would also be a great idea.
The purpose of this event is to give parents and children the chance to spend some quality time together - considering both tweens/teens these days often have little (or no) time to engage with their families.
Of course, spending time as a family is just one of the perks, as parents can also get a glimpse of their children's school lives and learn more about them. For example, they can learn about their favorite foods and those that never touch their plates.
5 Easy Lunch Recipes for National “Take Your Parents to Lunch” Day
1. BBQ Chicken Burrito
When it comes to making a meal that no kid (or grown-up) can resist, burritos are a no-brainer. This easy version calls for BBQ-flavored chicken and cheese, a combo guaranteed to wow everyone's palate. Don't be afraid to add cilantro to the mix. Picky eaters will hardly notice it in this medley of flavors.
- 1 1/2 cups textured soy protein (TSP) chicken bits
- 3 cups Colby jack cheese, shredded
- 2 tbsp dried onions
- 3/4 cup BBQ sauce
- 6 flour tortillas
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- Salt & pepper, to taste
1. Add the chicken, onion, and 2 cups of warm water to a bowl and soak for 15 minutes. Drain water and squeeze gently to remove excess water. Set aside.
2. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat and sauté the chicken-onion mixture for 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, add the BBQ sauce, and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine.
2. Microwave the tortillas to make them pliable and divide the mixture between them equally. Top with cheese and cilantro and roll them up burrito-style.
3. Wrap in foil and bake for 10 minutes in a preheated oven at 350oF so that the cheese melts. Remove from the oven and pack for lunch.
2. Corn & Tomato Pasta Salad
If you don't have enough time to spend in the kitchen, then salad is the way to go. But, we're not talking about the bland, all-green piles of lettuce. This lunch recipe features corn, tomato, and pasta. The best part is that it also travels well. So, it's perfect for a picnic (if you plan on skipping the school's cafeteria).
- 1 package of uncooked elbow macaroni
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup dried corn
- 1 tsp dried jalapeno peppers (optional)
- 1/3 cup Feta cheese or queso fresco, crumbled
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Salt & pepper
1. Add the corn and 1 cup of warm water to a bowl and soak for 15 minutes. Once hydrated, drain, and squeeze gently to remove excess liquid. Set aside.
2. Cook the pasta according to the package's instructions. Drain and rinse the pasta under cold water. Transfer to a large bowl.
3. Add the remaining ingredients and toss to combine. Cover with a tight lid or plastic wrap and pack for lunch.
3. Tortellini Tomato Soup
Soup may not be the perfect candidate for your kiddo's lunchbox. But if the weather is cold (which will be since it's October), soup is a great way to warm up from the inside out. The added pasta also makes the dish less watery. So, there's little chance of spilling it, anyway.
- One package of cheese tortellini
- 1 cup tomato basil soup mix
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- Salt & pepper, to taste
1. Cook the pasta according to the package's instructions. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.
2. Add the milk to a pot and bring it to a simmer. Stir in the tomato soup mix and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
3. Stir in the pasta and parmesan cheese and season with paprika, salt, and pepper. Transfer to insulated bowls to keep the soup warm and pack for lunch.
4. Caramelized Sausage & Onion Baguette Sandwich
A step-up from the usual ham-and-cheese sandwich, this lunch recipe will appeal to the kid (and parent) with an adventurous palate. The sandwich is also smeared with mustard and stuffed with lettuce for a flavorful crunch.
- 1 French baguette
- 1 cup textured soy protein (TSP) sausage bits
- 2 tsp wholegrain mustard
- 1/3 cup dried onions
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 4 tsp olive oil
- A handful of iceberg lettuce
- Salt, to taste (optional)
1. Add the sausage and 2 cups of warm water to a bowl and soak for 15 minutes. Once hydrated, drain and squeeze gently to remove excess liquid. Set aside.
2. Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the sausage, onion, and balsamic vinegar to the pan and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 10 minutes, frequently stirring, until most of the liquid has reduced to a thick sauce. Remove from the heat and set aside.
3. Slice the baguette down the middle and spread the mustard on one side. Spoon the sausage-onion mixture, top with the lettuce, and season with salt (if needed). Wrap in foil and pack for lunch.
5. Carrot Cake Blondies
No lunch is complete without dessert. So, why not round out your meal with this easy blondie recipe? Featuring almost a cupful of carrot, the treat is as healthy as it is delicious. For a wow-worthy presentation, serve it with a scoop of cream cheese frosting on top and a teaspoon of chopped nuts.
- 3/4 cups unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup dried carrots
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup chopped nuts of your choice
1. Add the carrots and 1 cup of warm water to a bowl and soak for 15 minutes. Once hydrated, drain, and squeeze gently to remove excess liquid. Set aside.
2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350oF. Line an 8x8 baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
3. Add the butter and sugar to a bowl and whisk until smooth. Stir in the carrots, egg, and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine.
4. Stir in the flour, salt, cinnamon, and nuts and mix well to combine.
5. Transfer the batter to the baking pan and bake for 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the blondie comes out clean. Remove from the oven, let cool completely, top with cream cheese frosting, and pack for lunch.
Which lunch recipes would you like to try for "Take Your Parents to Lunch" Day? Let us know in the comments down below!