Meal Ideas for Kids: Birds Nest Springtime Lunch!

Children need a lot of energy during the day to help them learn to read, write, spell and do the rest of their schoolwork. It’s important for them to nourish their bodies with wholesome foods.  To help keep your little ones going throughout the day, we’re happy to feed more than just their minds with healthy meal ideas for kids. Children can even help create these recipes with you!

Today’s great meal idea for kids is a Birds Nest Springtime Lunch!

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“This balanced lunch consisted of:

• Brown Rice
• Beans
• Blueberries
• Almonds

I wanted to add a little hard boiled egg chick, but let’s just say it didn’t look as cute as the one I made last year, so I just ate it instead. (only because the yolk wouldn’t separate from the white part, so it was sort of gray and not round.

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Today’s lunch was soooo easy! I made some brown rice, this time with Instant brown rice, which has the same nutritional profile of regular brown rice, but it takes 10 minutes to cook, rather than an hour. I used a little extra water, and cooked it a little longer, just to make sure the rice would be easy to mold. Because I was adding beans to the rice, and making it a meal, I seasoned the water as well. The final recipe was:

Ingredients:

• 1 cup instant brown rice
• 1 1/4 cup water
• 1/2 tsp oregano
• 1/2 tsp garlic powder
• 1/2 cup beans (kidney or black)

Instructions:

1. In microwave safe dish, or on the stove top, combine rice, water, and seasonings.

2. Cook until all water is absorbed. (about 10 minutes in microwave, or 40-50 minutes on stove top)

3. While rice is still warm, scoop into plastic wrap in order to shape into a ball.

4. Take out of plastic wrap, and press in the middle to shape a nest.

5. Fill nest with cooked and warmed beans.

The response I got was great! My 3 year old neighbor looked at it and said,
“I love beans and rice! Can I have that? I also love almonds! I like the house for the almonds”
Ha ha… he loved that I put the almonds in a plastic egg.

The combination of beans and rice for lunch is perfect for kids! Together, they are a:

• Great source of energy
• Great source of iron
• Great source of Vitamin B
• Great way to get all the necessary amino acids found in animal proteins.”

After your children have finished this tasty snack and helped clean up, talk with them about what they learned about this great meal. Chances are, they really enjoyed helping to prepare it and didn’t even realize that they were learning during the process!

The best way to help your children learn to read recipes is to sign up for a free 30 day trial of Reading Kingdom. Our online reading program has taught children all over the world to learn how to read, write, and spell up to a third grade level, including struggling readers.