Kids' Lunch Box Favorite: Quick & Easy Stir-fry
May 09 2016

Former Google Chef John King considers his greatest accomplishment raising his 3 boys. He resides in San Francisco, CA, his personal haven filled with local farmers markets. 

Before having children I thought that my future offspring would be different than traditional PB & J eating, Kraft mac-and-cheese loving kids.  Mine would enjoy ‘adult’ food.  I didn’t plan on cooking them separate meals – they’d eat what we ate, and their palettes would thank me for it.

And then my first child opened my eyes.  There was no way to avoid his diet of carb-filled foods.  It’s pretty impressive how an adamant, screaming 2-year-old will get his way in just a few minutes. 

So I adjusted my cooking, and came up with healthy, delicious recipes that still appealed to his traditionally bland food cravings.  Here are a few of my sons’ favorite recipes–dishes that work together nicely and make a complete Bentgo Kids meal.  

Butter Poached Carrots

Ingredients:

½ cup baby carrots

2 tablespoons butter

Pinch of salt

Instructions:

  1. In a medium pan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  2. Add the carrots and turn up on high heat for seven minutes tossing in the butter. After the first sign of browning of the carrots, turn the heat down to low heat in order to allow the carrots to absorb the fat and infusing the carrot flavor with butter.
  3. Cook down the carrots for about 45 minutes until they are caramelized and lightly cooked through. Season with a pinch of salt.

Noodle Stir Fry

Ingredients:

3 oz package of Ramen noodle soup mix

1 skinless chicken breast, chopped in squares

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ cup cabbage, chopped

1 small carrot, peeled and cut into thin rectangles

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

½ cups water


Instructions:

  1. Bring 1 ½ cups of water to a boil in a small sauce pan. Add the Ramen noodles (without the seasoning – set this aside).  Boil the noodles for 1 minute and then drain. 
  2. In a separate medium skillet heat 1 teaspoon of oil over medium heat. Cook and stir chicken in skillet until brown, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken from skillet with slotted spoon, and place in a bowl set aside. 
  3. In same skillet with the reserved chicken drippings, turn up heat to high. Cook and stir garlic, then add carrots and cabbage after 30 seconds. Cook until all vegetables are slightly tender, about 3 minutes.  Mix in drained noodles, seasoning from Ramen noodle package, and vegetables.  Cook and stir until hot, 3 to 5 minutes.    

Macerated Strawberries

Ingredients:

¼ lb strawberries, hulled and quartered

¼ tablespoon sugar

Instructions:

Stir together strawberries and sugar in a medium bowl, until the juices are released, for no less than 30 minutes at room temperature.

Additional Snacks

Adding a few comfort snacks to the kids' lunch boxes is always a nice way to bring familiarity to their lunch when offering them new dishes.  Here are a few of our favorites!

  • Graham cracker Teddy Grahams
  • Raisins
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Popcorn
  • Club crackers
  • Grapes

Looking for More Kid-Friendly Lunch Box Ideas?

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest for daily inspiration.