Back to School: Rethinking Lunch

Thursday , 15, August 2013 Leave a comment

The school year is upon us and we are once more scrambling for ideas to change up the usual PB & J sandwich for lunch. With the running around that usually makes up most families’ mornings, there is not much time to cook something too elaborate. But as a parent, we all still want our children to eat a healthy and nutritious lunch, when we have the time to make it. Here are a few ideas on just how to do that. Time management and prepping the night before is a big help!

As allergies keep growing, schools are opting to become nut free. What this means for you is that you have to find an alternative to the PB&J sandwich your kid loves, since you don’t want to be the one who sent someone else’s child to the ER. Try a ham and cheese sandwich instead, with lettuce and tomato. Or my personal favorite, a caprese sandwich, which is just a slice of fresh mozzarella, tomato, and basil. yum!

If you want to be a little more creative, you can use whole grain tortillas to create pinwheels, stuff them with ham, cheese, cream cheese, carrots, cucumbers, spinach, or even a combination of all of these. It’s always a kid pleaser.

If you have a little bit of time the night before, try and cook up some macaroni. It’s okay if you can’t do it from scratch, you can use a prepackaged brand, like Annie’s white cheddar mac, which is not only good but all natural too with no preservatives or GMO’s. Then simply pair that with some steamed veggies and an apple or a banana and you are done!

For those heathier eaters, you could try a pita pocket stuffed with chicken salad(sneak in veggies here!) and lettuce, add a few avocado slices for rich buttery flavor and your kids wont even notice all the other veggies.  Plus, this will give them energy for the rest of the day.

To accompany any of these lunches remember to pack any of the following: milk, juice, water, appple, banana, peach, most fruits, yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese stick, granola bar, baked chips, pirate’s booty, kale chips are great too, dried plums, cranberries, or raisins, etc.

Sometimes, we just don’t have that much time, so try to keep it simple. Maybe when you are making dinner, make an extra batch of those meatballs for lunch the next day. But instead of serving with spaghetti, turn it into a meatball sub with tomato sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese. If you are roasting a chicken, save a little for a chicken salad the next day. It’s all about utilizing what you already have and preferably what already cooked! Make a little more for dinner, and recreate it the next day. Your kids and their tummies will thank you for it!

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