Ok! Today, I’m sharing the kids’ very favourite lunch here in my daycare.
This is the easiest, yummiest, kid-friendly lunch ever when you have a bunch of hungry mouths to feed.
It’s so simple! It’s just pasta, butter and parmesan cheese, and you can add in whatever extras your kids like. The hooligans refer to it as “Pasta with Butter and Parm”.
I make Pasta with Butter and Parm all the time here for my daycare kids, my own kids, my kids’ friends etc., and everyone ALWAYS loves it.
In all the years I’ve been running my daycare, I’ve never met a child who doesn’t love this lunch recipe. In fact, aside from my “Pasta with Red Sauce” (an incredibly delicious, healthy pasta sauce that I’ll share with you one of these days), pasta with butter and parm is the lunch the hooligans ask for most often.
Even the older hooligans who come back for special craft days and PA days always ask for pasta with butter and parm when they’re here over lunch.
I love how simple this recipe is, and even the pickiest eaters are crazy for it. You can whip this lunch up in minutes, and you can make it as plain (just pasta, butter and parm) or as fancy (with extra add-ins) as you like.
When I serve this pasta for lunch, the hooligans wolf it down, and always ask for seconds (or thirds!).
Serve this easy pasta dish with a side of toast and some fresh fruit, and you’ve got yourself a wholesome, hot lunch to feed a gang of hungry kids.
Let me show you how to make this simple but yummy pasta dish. I haven’t included actual measurements for the ingredients because I just eyeball everything, and adjust the amounts according to the size of the crowd I’m cooking for.
To make our “pasta with butter and parm”, you’ll need:
- pasta (our favourites for this recipe are shells or penne)
- grated parmesan cheese (you can grate it yourself or use the fine, pre-grated stuff)
- splash of milk
- frozen mixed vegetables
- cooked ham
Cook your pasta, and in the last minute of cooking, toss in your frozen vegetables. They’ll only need a minute or so to cook.
Drain your pasta and put back into the pot. No need to return the pot to the stove. There’s enough heat in the pasta that you don’t need to.
Stir a generous spoonful of butter into the pasta and vegetables.
Then add your diced ham, and give it all another stir.
Now, sprinkle in a handful of parmesan cheese.
I normally use store-bought, grated parmesan, but we’re being all fancy today because I happen to have an actual wedge of fresh of parmesan in my fridge at the moment.
I just grated it in and stirred it around until it got all melty.
Add a small splash of milk. You don’t want too add too much – just enough so that the pasta doesn’t stick together).
Wasn’t that EASY? It’s SO good. Comfort food! Kind of like homemade mac & cheese, but a little different.
And I’m not gonna lie; when I need to pull together a super-quick dinner for the family, this simple recipe is one that I often turn to. Even my husband and I love Pasta with Butter and Parm served with a side of chicken and salad.
More easy lunch ideas for kids:
50+ Lunch Ideas that aren’t Sandwiches
Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.
I always use scissors for my children too! Why spend time chopping when we could spend time playing!
Love to read your blog. Will try the penne dish
Any tips for making this the night before and reheating? I’m wondering if it will be too dry then ext day. Thanks.
I add a little milk when I’m reheating it, Marisol.
Perfect after school snack when my 7 year old is starving, thank you!!
Hope it’s a hit at your house, Kim!