Way back in the era of magazines (dude, did I just actually say that?) I found this amazing article in Parenting magazine (I’m lol-ing at this entire first paragraph) all about how to get your kids to eat a variety of things by using muffin tins – hence the name muffin tin lunch (super creative, right?)
At the time, I only had Annie. So, I gave it a shot. Lo and behold, she LOVED IT!!!
Now that I have four children, Muffin Tin Lunch is a staple around here. Annie is 10 now and still loves her muffin tin!
They love the variety – and they also love that if it’s not something they’re crazy about, it’s only a small serving. 😉
If you don’t have enough muffin tins for the number of mouths to feed, you can always hit up Dollar Tree and grab more. They’re not the highest quality, but since you really are just using it as a plate, it works! If you want something a little better, you can always splurge for some slightly better muffin tins on Amazon. All 4 of ours stack together for easy storage.
In the summer, muffin tin lunch is one of my go-to meals for the kids because I am able to whip them up something fast without turning on the oven to make a meal. Heating up the house is NOT something I’m excited about in the hot months.
When we travel, it’s another win! It’s easy for the kids to hold the tins on their lap and it gives them something to occupy themselves with for part of the drive. So far, we’ve only had two spills in 10 years. #knockonwood
I also make sure that out of the 6 options, that I have 1-2 things in excess so that they can have extras if the meal doesn’t fill them up. It’s usually extras of the protein and fruit.
If I’m busy, this one makes things super fast and easy. Muffin tin lunch is definitely one of those to add to your “easy meals” for when you’re in a busy season.
Whatever is on hand is what goes in, so that means every single Muffin Tin Lunch (or dinner or breakfast) is different. I don’t know that I’ve ever served the same one twice. Because what I have on hand varies so much from week to week!
But, since I get asked all the time for ideas for the lunches, I am going to put a list below for you. I hope you find that this works well for you, no matter the age. I’m in my late 30s and I would still love to have a muffin tin meal!
- Fruit (apples, berries, melon, grapes, etc.)
- Cut up veggies (carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, etc). I put a little ranch in the bottom of the cup so they have dip.
- Boiled eggs
- Deli meat
- Beef sticks
- Cut up pancakes
- Bread sliced into strips
- Croutons (one of their favorite)
- Dried fruit
- Cooked meat
- Cold pasta
Leave your muffin tin lunch ideas in the comments below!
I’m always looking for great ideas!