Customizable Kid-Friendly Lunch Ideas

Step into Cristen Clark’s kitchen for an easy lunchtime idea that the whole family will enjoy! 

Cristen Clark is a pig, corn and soybean farmer from Runnells. She shares her love for food, family, farming and homemade meals in her blog, Food & Swine. Inspired to find new ways to keep her kids, Halle (11) and Barrett (8), engaged while they’re away from school, Cristen developed a simple Microwave Loaded Baked Potato Recipe. 

With a few easy steps and ingredients that are already in your kitchen, kids can be involved in preparing their own potato and customizing it with their favorite toppings. Top the potato with cottage cheese, shredded cheese and sour cream for a great source of dairy-licious protein!


Microwave Loaded Baked Potato Recipe

Makes 2 large potatoes


  • 2 medium baking potatoes, like Russet
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup sour cream, or flavored sour cream
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons bacon bits
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup cottage cheese, optional

Wash potatoes, pierce all over with a fork. Slice one side, lengthwise 1/8" deep into. Microwave for 6 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes before handling. Once cooled, remove from microwave, open potato up and fluff with a fork. Add butter, salt and pepper, sour cream, shredded cheese, bacon bits and green onion. Serve warm. Add 1/4 cup to a 1/2 cup of cottage cheese after sour cream layer for an added burst of protein! 

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Tune into the Iowa Food & Family Project’s new learning series to be virtually transported across the state for behind-the-scenes farm and restaurant tours, mealtime tips, cooking demonstrations and family-friendly activity ideas. 

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