I need some meal planning help. Not for evening dinners, which are actually going pretty well so far this year, but for lunches. I get so bored and weary trying to pull together lunches that my kids will both eat. The main problem is how to sneak in some protein. I try not to use packaged chicken nuggets or fish sticks much, though they both will eat them. I don't mind getting fast food now and then, but I don't really want processed, nitrate filled meat particles becoming a staple in our kitchen.
This leaves me with... Cheese. Seriously. They won't eat hamburgers, Addy won't eat deli meat (Eli will but rarely,) and suddenly doesn't want PIZZA, for goodness' sake. Even before, it had to be PLAIN CHEESE pizza, none of this pepperoni crap. Which I guess is also a processed, nitrate filled meat. Sigh. They both hate hot dogs, they hate chicken noodle soup- they won't eat RAVIOLI, or any pasta with meat sauce. Addy won't even touch it if it has marinara sauce on it. Parmesan ONLY, please.
They will eat regular old chicken, shredded up, sans any seasoning or sauce whatsoever. Eli will occasionally eat shredded up pork or beef. But in general they are VERY picky about meat stuff, and so the only protein they get on a daily basis is whatever they get from dairy items, eggs, and peanut butter, and then whatever I make for dinner. Which, I should note, they usually reject after a bite because I refuse to cook plain noodles, plain chicken, and plain green beans every single night just so we can all eat the same thing. So then they eat pb and j again.
Here's the stuff that I can count on to get eaten at lunch, at least usually: cheese and crackers and fruit; grilled cheese, apples, and a veggie; macaroni and cheese (homemade only, no boxed stuff for my little gourmands!) and a fruit and veggie. And... that's about it. Oh, or scrambled eggs, WITH CHEESE. They both are usually up for that. We do breakfast lunches (and dinners) a lot, actually. I'm just a little concerned about the lack of variety and the predominance of cheese in their diet... It doesn't seem that that much cheese could be good for anyone's... digestive processes, if you see what I'm getting at.
Any suggestions for possible protein sources I'm forgetting? Or ideas for something besides CHEESE for lunch?