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I love it when I find a recipe combination that my daycare kids are crazy about. This tuna bake for kids is an easy dinner idea, can be made ahead, freezes great, and pleases a crowd.
Kids love pasta and most any pasta dish I make is a crowd-pleaser with the daycare kids. I make my own “hamburger helper” easy dinner ideas. This is one of their favorites lately. And anything I can make with canned tuna saves me money and time! Knowing what to eat to save money is not as complicated as you might think.
Pasta casseroles like this tuna bake for kids freeze great and can be made ahead. I love to make casseroles for the kids and set them in the refrigerator the night before. Then about an hour before lunch, I pull it out and set it on the counter while I preheat the oven. It makes the daycare day much simpler.
Canned tuna recipes for babies
Kids of all ages love this casserole and babies can enjoy it too because it’s soft enough for them to chew. This is a perfect choice for one of baby’s first table foods once they have tried all the single foods to start with.
Tuna is a great pantry staple because it has a long shelf life. Making pantry meals is a great way to save money when you are in times like we are seeing now. Grab a can or two of that tuna in there and get creative.
I love tuna. It’s healthy, low in calories, and yummy. I like to buy the white albacore tuna in water because it has a milder flavor than the other kinds. Growing up my mom always bought tuna in water, so I’ve always done that too. I prefer it to the oil-packed tuna. I either let my cats have the water or pour it right into the dish.
Make-ahead tuna bake
Tuna Bake for Kids
- 1 pkg egg noodles cooked
- 2 T Olive oil
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 c mushrooms finely diced
- 4 T butter
- 4 T flour
- 2 c milk
- 2 cans, large albacore white tuna in water
- 1 c frozen peas and carrots
- 1 sleeve ritz crackers
- 2 T melted butter
- 1/2 c shredded parmesan cheese
- In a skillet, place 2 T olive oil, onions, and mushrooms and cook until onions are tender
- Add 4 T butter and flour
- Cook and stir until flour is slightly brown
- Add milk
- Whisk and cook until thickened and bubbly
- Add tuna and peas and carrots
- Cook and stir until carrots are thawed
- Add noodles and toss
- Pour into 9 x 12 casserole dish
- Mix melted butter, crushed ritz crackers and parmesan cheese
- Sprinkle on top of casserole
- Place in refrigerator until ready to bake
- Bake at 425 for 20 minutes
Can you freeze tuna casserole?
Yes. Freeze tuna bake for 24 hours, pop out of the dish, wrap tightly in foil and label including the date. Thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours and bake as directed or until the center is warm and bubbly.
Food Program for Daycare Provider Helps
- How to Get Kids to Actually Eat Healthy Food
- Complete Guide to Planning Daycare Menus
- CACFP Meal Planning Template with Sample Menu and Shopping List
- Premade Daycare Monthly Menus
- 5 Minute Daycare Lunches
- Toddler Meals for Picky Eaters
- Dirt cheap meals for daycare
For more tuna ideas, check these out: