Family-Friendly Foods

Community Writers - August 21, 2022

Share with us your best lunch packing tips or your favorite dinner recipe!

+ Aleisha Barnes - Teacher of Family and Consumer Sciences, very passionate about making a difference in the lives of teens while teaching them how to be an adult

Marcia Berg - Wife, Mother to one college daughter, High School Science Teacher

Leesa Chesnut - Farmer's Wife, Homeschooling Mom to four boys 18-10, business owner

Taylor Cothern - Wife, Boy Mom (2 years old), 6th Grade Language Arts Teacher, Writer

Brynn Howard - Mom to a rainbow baby girl who is now 4, Wife of 15 years, Physician Recruiter and LCSW

Natalie Jones - Mom to 6 year old son, Fur Mom, Wife to a high school teacher, 2nd Grade Teacher, Upcoming Foster Parent

Heather Lindahl - Wife, Mom of three girls (7, 4, 1), Substance Abuse Counselor, Cupcake Business Owner

Lisa Mayhall - Wife, Mom of two teenage daughters (16, 17), Junior High School Principal

 Aleisha Barnes -

Any salad is my favorite! I chop up lettuce and typically grill some sort of protein, then assemble all of my ingredients for lunch! My absolute fav is a delicious taco salad with salsa, guacamole, and sour cream 😍

Marcia Berg- My favorite lunch is a salad that I can throw together each morning. I usually start with spinach or mixed greens and then add red/yellow/green pepper, tomatoes, black olives, and cucumbers. I can slice all the toppings up ahead of time, which makes assembly quick and easy.

Tacos, burritos, and nachos are our go-to quick dinners.

For burritos, we take a soft shell taco, spread refried beans, tomatoes/salsa, and cheese, roll it up and microwave for 1-2 minutes.

For nachos, we heat up left over taco meat, Italian beef, or bbq and then place it on top of tortilla chips, with shredded cheese and microwave for 30 seconds - 1 minute. Serve with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, or other toppings. Or you can heat the nachos on a cookie sheet in the oven.


Leesa Chesnut - The Crockpot becomes my best friend as the school year starts again! I love that I can throw lots of things in it and there is a meal ready when it is time to eat supper! :)


Taylor Cothern - For myself, I like to lunch prep for the week. I have found sheet pan recipes on Pinterest work great for lunches for the week. But, one of my favorite meals to prep for the week is chicken, black beans, rice, and salsa. I begin by cooking and shredding chicken. While the chicken is cooking, I cook 2 cups of brown rice and cook one can of black beans. After everything has been cooked, I divide it into glass containers that I can grab and go for the week. I put rice on the bottom of the container, chicken in the middle, black beans on top. Finally, I put salsa in a small container. I pour half of the salsa with the rice, chicken, bean mix after I heat it up for lunch. I then take tortilla chips and eat the rest of the salsa with tortilla chips. This recipe usually makes about three lunches for the week. The other two days, I will eat a PBJ or turkey sandwich. :)


Brynn Howard - Crockpot meals are a life saver, as well as “must gos”- we have one night a week where whatever you can find in the pantry or fridge is yours! Nothing fancy, and it tends to be our favorite night of the week.  


Natalie Jones - In terms of kid meals: my son is picky and will not eat school lunches. He will only eat Lunchables. Sam's Club is the best price per lunch at $1.41 each. He adds in a fruit, juice box and a dessert. Usually it will be an applesauce pouch and a Babybel Cheese. For me, I eat what the kids at school eat!

Heather Lindahl  -  Getting as much as possible ready the night before is my biggest piece of advice for packing lunches. Also, Pinterest is such a game changer for new ideas for lunches. My oldest has been such a picky eater most of her life & Pinterest saved me from just packing 7 string cheeses in her lunch every day!
Lisa Mayhall -  My personal lunch packing game struggles! Good thing we have great cooks at PJHS because I often find myself grabbing a lunch (and sometimes breakfast) at school and eating with the students. If I do bring a lunch, it's usually leftovers. My best lunch packing tip for parents is to teach your child to pack their own lunch as soon as possible and to pack it the night before when they are younger! The only time I pack a lunch is if they are out late for a school event.

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1 comment

Great tips…Thanks!

Martha Wilfert – 11/08/2022

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