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Need Some Ideas for Packing Healthy School Lunches?

10.04.11 Need Some Ideas for Packing Healthy School Lunches?

packing healthy lunches

It's hard to believe we've already been back to school for a month now!  My daughter always requests a PBJ in her lunch - but sometimes I like to mix it up a bit, plus I know there are many people for whom peanuts are not an option.  If you're needing some new inspiration these days for packing lunches here are some easy and healthy ideas for school lunches that will keep your children from saying, "Aw, this again?"

WRAPS:    Simply mix and match items from each of these categories, roll in whole grain tortilla, slice in half and secure with a toothpick. 

  • Meat/Protein:  Hummus, Turkey, Beans, Diced Chicken Breast, Nut butters, Tofu
  • Veggies:  Lettuce, Bean Sprouts, Tomato, Avocado, Shredded Carrots, Arugula, Peppers
  • Dairy:  Cream Cheese, Mozzarella, Shredded Cheddar Cheese, Feta

PITA:  Pita pockets can be a fun alternative to traditional sandwich bread - simply stuff with your child's favorite meat and cheese.  Or, spread a generous amount of hummus inside and add cucumber, tomato and lettuce.

SOUP:  With tomato season coming to a close, now is a good time to make a giant batch of tomato basil soup and freeze it in canning jars.  The night before school, remove a jar from the freezer and allow it to defrost in the refrigerator.  The next morning, heat the soup in a saucepan and transfer it to a leak-proof thermos.  On a chilly fall day, warm soup is a treat. 

GREEK YOGURT:  Greek yogurt is an incredible source of protein.  If your child likes yogurt, place some in a leak-proof container with a tablespoon of honey, dried cherries and walnuts.  Or, sprinkle granola on top.  Come lunch, all your child has to do is stir and enjoy!

SMOOTHIES: Blend up a healthy smoothie using fresh fruits and vegetables and almond milk and send in an insulated leak proof container.

GRAINS:  Start with a base like quinoa or whole wheat pasta and the sky’s the limit when it comes to what you can add.  If your child likes tofu, it always tastes great in a pasta salad.  Use a mixture of olive oil and lemon juice for dressing and add feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, sunflower seeds, asparagus tips and shredded basil leaves. 

BAGEL SANDWICH:  Spread some cream cheese on a lightly toasted bagel.  Add a tomato slice, lettuce and some turkey breast for a healthy and filling sandwich.

Another note on the PBJ - I try to give it a little more health power by adding thinly sliced apples and bananas to the sandwich.

For some more tips from Environmental Working Group for packing healthy lunches, click here.

What are your favorite ideas for healthy packed lunches?

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